June 4, 2015

The Secret to a Happier You

By Amanda Fernandes, Project Happiness Regional Director, Caribbean

We are all living our lives in pursuit of the most cherished of emotions – Happiness. But have you ever stopped to ponder what ‘Happiness’ really means?

Is it a simple state of wellbeing and contentment, or the more intense sensations of exhilaration and bliss? Is it as specific as being over the moon about good news that you have received, or the more general feelings of peace and serenity that we experience while we’re engaged in stress-free activities?

The questions surrounding this topic are never-ending, but one thing is certain: the notion of ‘Happiness’ is quite subjective. So as you seek to live a better, more fulfilled life, it important for you to recognise that the secret to a happier you lies within you. Therefore begin your journey to Happiness by asking yourself the following questions:

What makes you happy?

shutterstock_171285656What activities do you engage in that put the biggest smile on your face? For some people it might be something as big as traveling the world and discovering new adventures, but for you it might be as simple as curling up in bed with a cup of tea and a good book. Just close your eyes and think long and hard about what you were doing the last time you laughed the loudest and felt most at ease, then make it a frequent priority on your ‘To Do’ list.

Where do you feel happy?

shutterstock_151824182 (1)Many people have a “Happy Place”. That place you retreat to when you feel overwhelmed and you need a few moments to yourself. Whether you’re a mother stealing some quiet time in the shower; a student recharging your batteries on the beach; or an employee relieving some tension on the football field, ensure you regularly carve out time to escape to the place that brings you peace.  It is imperative that you have the opportunity to refocus your thoughts every now and then before returning to your hectic daily routine.

Who makes you happy?

shutterstock_207645040Who are the people that bring out the best in you? Are they your relatives, your friends, your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend? Think about those on the short-list of people who will answer your 2 am phone call and show up at your home in their pajamas to help you through a (major or minor) crisis – no questions asked. Recognise these individuals as your source of comfort and support – whether they serve as the listening ear you need to talk through your problems or the voice of reason to offer you sound advice – and do what is necessary to spend as much quality time with them as possible. If this doesn’t elevate your overall levels of happiness, we don’t know what will.

At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that Happiness is a choice that we are faced with each and everyday. So the final question is, do you choose to see the glass as half empty or half full? Take the time to recognize and appreciate the simple things in life and enjoy them for what they are. In the end, Happiness is no more, or no less than, what you make of it.