It was in 2013 when the United Nations (UN) celebrated the maiden International Day of Happiness on March 20 and also gave a guide on how to be merry.
Taking forward the tradition, Action for Happiness — a UK-based NGO — put a list of key elements to remain happy on their website. This they say is based on scientific studies and surveys carried out to find out what makes people happy, content and satisfied with their lives. So, when local psychologists were approached to know the mantra to remain happy, spending quality time with friends and family topped the chart.
According to Dr Himanshu Desai, a psychiatrist with VS General Hospital, friends and family members are the best stress busters for any individual.
“For me, it is the best mantra to remain happy. Post working hours, I am always surrounded by them and it really helps me relax. We humans have a tendency to become unhappy when we see others happy. And, in order to remain happy, it is this attitude that needs to change. Be happy when others are happy, smile when others are smiling,” said Desai. He also advised living in the present rather than get bogged down by worries of the future.
Similar views were shared by Dr Pradip Vaghasiya of SAL Hospital. He suggested that finding happiness within oneself is the best way to remain happy.
“Be satisfied and content with what you have and can do with your abilities and skills. This is the ultimate pathway to finding peace. In addition, reduce your expectations – be it from yourself or others. If you work hard, results will show without really expecting them to show,” said Vaghasiya.
Vaghasiya also shared another mantra of being happy i.e. the art of saying ‘NO’ whenever possible. He said: “This helps reduce stress levels as one may or may not be able to fulfil wishes or expectations of others on time or according to their needs. Hence, it is important to learn this art.”
However, volunteer with the Art of Living (Ahmedabad branch) Sunil Gulabani opined that bad governance and corruption in the society are the cause of unhappiness.
He said: “We conducted a survey across India and found bad governance to be the primary cause of unhappiness. Hence, we are creating awareness in people about the importance of voting and choosing the right candidate for a happier tomorrow. There is definitely a connection between the phase of our mind and the state of our nation.”
As per UN’s website the 10 essentials for a happier living have been summed up as ‘GREAT DREAM’ – giving, relating, exercising, appreciating, trying out, direction, resilience, emotion, acceptance and meaning.
Other mantras to remain happy as suggested by above mentioned people include exercising that releases feel-good endorphins to boost one’s mood and concentration; learn new things; have an organised and planned work atmosphere; and feel positive wherever and whenever possible — which will eventually lead to positive thinking in other things.