Upping The Happiness Quotient

As children it only took a lollypop or video game to bring that smile back to our face. It was so easy to be happy. Small things made us happy, but with time, we move the goal posts. It takes a balance of successful careers, relationships, financial security and other determinants to make us happy. Let’s explore a few situations in life that can help us improve upon our happiness quotient.

Old Parents Feeling Redundant, Lonely and Lost

Ruzbeh excelled at academics. He made a great start to life, working in a leading multinational company. An only child, he was doted upon and vice versa. Now Ruzbeh is a hard-working and goal-oriented branch manager who travels, has lots of friends and is very popular. Unfortunately, his parents feel sidelined and left out. They’re thrilled for him but it’s challenging for them to accept that their boy has grown up and that they are not his priority any longer. Ruzbeh tries to fit his parents into his hectic schedule but for his parents, everything else still fits around Ruzbeh. Suddenly there is a vacuum and dealing with the emptiness is hard.

Very often we give so much to our children, we have nothing else to move on to. Instead of our child being an integral part of our lives, the child becomes our life. It is imperative that parents live for themselves as well, and not only for their children. Instead of feeling redundant, rudderless and lost, slowly pick yourself up now:

  • Try to keep busy to escape the sad thoughts – go out and meet people, old friends, neighbours, etc.
  • Look around you and reach out to those in a similar space. Become someone’s strength and source of inspiration. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Many feel they are too old to do anything fun. Dancing is great for older couples or singles. There are senior citizens’ classes in Waltz and Ball room dancing.
  • Become a little tech-savvy. A decent smart phone and internet helps. You can do online classes, connect to people and interact with entire group of friends.
  • If you have the means, then consider philanthropy – in your own small way. Teach children to read and write. Volunteering for a cause that you relate to will give you immense satisfaction.

Bitterness After Divorce:

The sweet nothings and pillow talk soon turned ugly for Jimmy and Perin. Suddenly those happy moments turned into ugly disagreements, to the point where one or both partners wanted out. Today our tolerance levels are so low that we want out at the drop of a hat. Many people are left feeling bitter, dejected and cheated. The institution of marriage itself is questioned. Parents start becoming protective of their children post-divorce and coax their children to start anew – which is great, provided you are ready and open, and not negative in approach and thinking.

  • Stop mentally regurgitating the ugliness and revisiting the divorce proceedings.
  • Don’t judge others through the lens of your bitter experiences – all men are not ‘so and sos’ and all women are not ‘gold diggers’.
  • Avoid any rebound relationships – they rarely work.
  • Pursue a hobby – this helps express yourself and channelize your energy, and may prove cathartic.
  • Look after yourself and your personal space. Self-neglect is common. When confidence crumbles, so does self-worth. Take charge of your life.
  • Pursue that new job or career you always wanted to but couldn’t.
  • If children are involved, act maturely so they learn how to handle stressful situations with grace. That will earn a lot more respect than cribbing about your ex.
  • Be open to finding some else. Take your time to decide.

Challenges Faced By The Youth And Adults:

Finding Fulfilling Employment: Many have great degrees but are unhappy with their jobs. Some complain that this is not what they want to do. Every job teaches us something. Rather than waiting for the right one to fall in your lap, continue what you are doing and keep looking out for that dream job. Network and keep applying. Do what you have to do to get where you want to be.

Performance Anxiety At Work: Work stress can cause physical and emotional issues. Learn to leave your work at the office, son bring it home. Take up activities that help destress. Speak with family and confidants. Look at work as a positive challenge and something that makes you realize how capable you really are. Make your work your friend, not a tyrant.

Fitting In / The Urge To Belong: Blending in and gelling is important. So many youngsters use foul language and dress funny in an effort to look ‘cool’. They’re constantly insecure about dissenting opinions from others, so they indulge in self-destructive things like smoking, consuming alcohol and even drugs just to belong. If friends cannot recognize you as a person and appreciate your personal qualities, they aren’t your friends.

The Need To Be Attractive To The Opposite Sex: Looking good is the primary means of attracting the opposite sex. However, take your time to know the person within. Brains, compassion and even a sense of humor will go far as you start living life with someone. You need a sounding board, someone to understand you and who can give you perspective where you see none.

Financial Security: Money is important if you want to live a comfortable life. However, this often costs us family time. So many of us look back and wish we had spent more time with our loved ones. Earning money is great and gives a sense of satisfaction, but it has to make you happy in the long run too.

Our biggest mistake is to search for happiness in material things. Happiness is a feeling of wellbeing which stems from within. We must stop relying on external things. The new dress, the chic haircut, that great party – all eventually lose their sheen. Empathy, maturity, confidence and strength of character will take you a long way towards finding true happiness. Also remember that a healthy body is the foundation for a balanced and well nurtured mind. The best things in life are free – simple things that bring a smile to your face include listening to music, reading, exercising, dancing, interacting with people and laughing with friends, taking a walk in the early morning sun, taking in and bonding with a pet, and so on.

Each of us have our individual journeys – let’s live life to the fullest. If we are happy, we will make those around us happy too!

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