Happiness is the ultimate goal for every human being. We often talk about it. But unfortunately, most of us see it as a high-point that we will experience only if we accomplish something – for instance we think that we will be happy if we are able to buy a car, go on a vacation or bag our dream job. What we forget is that ‘happiness is not a destination but a journey.’ It is a choice that we make every step of the way and in everything that we do.

What brings happiness?
People complain that their outside circumstances generally disrupt their happiness. Things that they don’t have control on makes them unhappy. Surprisingly, only 10% of your happiness comes from your external circumstances. The rest 90% of your happiness comes from your genes (50%) and the choices that you make (40%).

This emphasizes on how critical your choices are in determining how happy or sad you end up being. And, we are talking about small everyday choices here. Things like choosing to exercise more often, being grateful every day, developing healthy eating habits, deciding to shut yourself off from the virtual world, giving more time to your family, etc.

The ultimate happiness
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs defines physiological needs such as food, water, warmth, rest & safety and psychological needs such as love, belongingness & self-esteem to be the primary needs of every human being. Once these are met, there are just two things that can take them to the pinnacle of happiness –

· Contributing to someone’s life positively and making a difference to the world

· Self-growth- this can be growth as a person, in position, money, etc.

Think if you are working towards these two parameters. If not, start now!

Accept what you cannot change
Why do we feel unhappy?

Because we want things as we want them to be. And, when that does not happen, we feel unhappy.

What can we do about it?

The solution is in accepting things that are out of our control and changing whatever we can. It may not always end up as you want it to be but as you do this, it will be an enriching experience and help you to grow as a person.

Suppressing our negative emotions is another mistake that frequently makes us unhappy. Anger, anxiety, envy, frustration are as much a part of human emotions as love, empathy, self-esteem and compassion is. Don’t shut them down. Don’t tag them as illegitimate. Just accept them as they are and they will pass soon. Feel them and then make a choice about what you want to do with them. Your choice about how you deal with your negative emotions maters the most. Once you give them the required space and make the right choice, you will soon find yourself being overpowered by the positive happy emotions.

Tips to stay happy
Here are a few things that will enhance your happiness quotient. Though they have been spoken about since the beginning of time, what matters is to bring them into practice and being stern on your choices-

· Your choices should always focus on both short-term and long-term outcomes. While eating a burger might bring instant happiness, think if it is really good over the long term?

· Exercise often. Maintain a healthy sleeping & eating regime. Never underestimate the mind-body connection and its contribution to your happiness.

· Stop taking small joys for granted. Be grateful for every small thing in life.

· Identify the elements that make you truly happy land indulge in them at the first opportunity- like reading a book, a trip to mountains, watching sunrise, meeting old friends, etc.

· Open yourself to new perspectives. This will help you in seeing life from a different angle and staying happier.

Want a kick start in elevating your happiness? Connect with Peyush Bhatia at ______________