Previously published in South Sydney Herald.
To a large extent, yes. In any bad situation, I have always striven to find the silver lining, no matter how well-hidden it may be. It’s all up to us whether we wish to fill our lives with positive thoughts or with negative ones. If life were to give me a lemon, not only would I squeeze it on a piece of tandoori chicken and relish it, but I would also probably preserve and plant the seeds, make a lemon orchard and give lemons back to life in return! What is my secret to achieving happiness?
I always carry a smile on my face.
How? For this, wake up thanking god for a new day and think of good thoughts. One of my neighbours once told me what his lecturer preached in the class. Think of any good moment in your life or a joke that makes you smile, the first thing when you wake up in the morning. Try this, automatically your day will be all smiles.
I treat happiness LIKE A HABIT and not an end goal.
How? A happy life cannot exist without us creating it. What does that mean? It means that every day we need to actively look for what we can do to become happier, instead of expecting life to just become happy on its own. Is this possible to do? Yes. By applying some positive psychology to the way we lead our life, we will feel a more positive impact on our attitude, our motivation, and our relationships with people.
I am grateful for what I have RIGHT NOW.
How? Practicing gratitude rewires our brain to think about positive things, the things that we have going for us, instead of the things we do not have and that can leave us feeling frustrated and unhappy.
I am friends with MY INNER CHILD.
How? Just because we are all grown up and have adult responsibilities does not mean we should ignore the child that is still in us. Acknowledge it, ask it what it would like to do today, give yourself some time to be silly. Get an ice cream cone and walk through the park eating it slowly. Take out your crayons or water colors and paint something just for fun. Drink a lemonade, a milkshake, or bubble tea with a straw and enjoy it. Watch your favorite cartoons on YouTube. Laugh out loud.
I try to do ONE SMALL THING that makes me feel good every single day.
How? If you love books, make the time to read a novel for 30 minutes before going to sleep. If you like to be physically active, schedule in a bike ride or a run in the late afternoon when you’re done with work or your studies. If you love music, learn how to play guitar or drums or a harmonica. If you love to write, make it a priority to write one page every single day, either early in the morning before getting ready or later at night when it’s quiet and you have the time to organize your thoughts while enjoying a cup of tea and listening to some relaxing music.
I enjoy the TINY THINGS and live in the present moment.
How? Every day we experience things that we either take for granted or don’t find the time to truly enjoy. It’s up to us to hit the pause button on our busy life and make the most of them. For example: Inhale that first sip of black coffee in the morning instead of just gulping it down while you check your email. Smile back at a stranger when you pass them on the street. For once, don’t run away from the rain when it comes down hard; look up to the sky and let it wash your face. Laugh with your best friend over something silly until you’re both doubled over with laughter.