What do you want most? When I ask that, irrespective of age, financial status, ethnicity, religion, gender, each one of them rest their case with ‘I want to be happy and peaceful’ (Of course after beating around the bush for a while). Now, that sounds cute and kind of glamorous too. Part of the charm is owing to the fact that people seem to have started to believe that ‘happiness and peace’ are philosophical concepts and almost impossible to achieve in this lifetime.
I have some news. Positive mental health with lasting happiness and peace are very achievable and retainable. Steps are simple too; just believe that you can do it. So here’s how.
1. Re- Prioritize: Bring Happiness and Peace into focus. They are not the byproducts of some activities that you are doing today. Positive mental health is a way of life and it is in the here and now. By all means pursue all the material activities that you wish to but understand that happiness and peace is equally important if not more. Does your current priority list looks something like this:
Buy a house
A bigger car
Well that means you believe these things and activities are going to bring you your mythical happiness and peace some ‘one day’ and your entire attention is consumed by these activities. When I say re- prioritize, I mean something like this:
Buy a car
Enjoy the car
Buy a house
Spend peaceful and serene time in it with your loved ones
You get it? Yes, make it tangible. Put it in your goals and you are already on your way.
2. Remember No one is coming: So you found a partner whom you are or were attracted to and you named that attraction as happiness. Ouch! Now you put the responsibility of your happiness on this other person. They should know how to make you happy, but hey! Do you know what can make you happy? And what are you doing for your own happiness? Expecting? Controlling? Trying to change others? Putting your wishes on them? And then blaming them for not making you happy… Wow! Stop and think.
They have themselves to take care of. Are you taking care to ensure that they are happy and not trying to change or control them?
No one is coming to make you happy- Period. If you want to be happy accept this fact and work towards finding your happiness within. Stop projecting your needs, desires, wants, insecurities and confusions on others. Start by making an agreement with yourself- I promise to take care of my peace and happiness irrespective of any kind of people and circumstances around.
3. Flex that Comfort zone just a bit: In other words? Stop procrastinating- Your relationship hurts? Every day?- Get a counselor or get out of it. Your job sucks? Look for a new one or explore starting your own venture. Children are not behaving? Stop complaining & put down rules, give them reasons to behave well (Stop their luxury supply!!) Not progressing in career? Take that new skills enhancement course that you have been avoiding all along. Don’t like what you see in the mirror every day? Well get up and work out… DO it NOW. It is not going to solve itself. YOU have to so it.
Now don’t give me- “It is not so easy, I have bills to pay, what can a counselor tell me…” The fact is that you are not happy with the way things are right now. So either take that action or just learn to be happy in the way things are. You do have a choice you know. Of course it is very-very comfortable to just complain and point out fingers. So if that makes you happy enjoy that. But if it is making you miserable, remember? No one is Coming…
4. Dump your stress and worries: Wait, I am not sermonizing, I have a simple logic- if you have a problem get up and take steps to solve it. If you are taking that action trust me you wont have any time to sweat the stuff. Usually the presence of stress is an indicator of inaction. Are you worrying a lot? Do think if you have taken all the necessary action that you could take in the matter in concern. You have a choice – Take action or keep stressing. What do you choose?
5. Add a interest to your day: Everyone has to go through the drudgery of earning and paying the bills but whoever said that if you are busy earning you should not do anything to make yourself feel good? Remember the sketches or paintings you used to make as a child? And the guitar lessons that you so longed to take up? There was either baking, or traveling, solving the crossword, making small art pieces, simply observing the ants in action or watering a plants? Remember the unadulterated joy these insignificant activities brought to you? And most of them do not need long time or money investment. It can even be once a week or learning on the internet, but think of the happiness and pure bliss!
No one works 24 X 7. That is just an excuse as we flip absent- mindedly thru the TV channels, browse through Whatsapp and put meaningless thumbs up on meaningless posts on Facebook. Just a little awareness, that is all is needed. Awareness about the self and awareness of our responsibility of being happy ono ur own.
Make a promise- Look out for yourself. Do your duties, stand up for your responsibilities and grow materially, but do keep reminding yourself, “I am the best that I have got, let me ensure mental and emotional fitness for myself before I reach out to others or expect from others”.
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