Tag: Happiness

The Recipe for All things Good

Lifestyle Blog August 29, 2018

There’s a positive correlation between desirable outcomes in life and happiness; marriage, comfortable income and friends. There’s also a positive correlation between success and attractive people; attractive people tend to get more opportunities, more free things and so conceivably are more happy (because they get more).  There’s also the possibility of reverse causality; happy people are more prone to better life outcomes.

What if I was to tell you that you could be happy, successful and beautiful all at the same time? Would you believe me? Is there really a recipe to achieve this? Why hasn’t anyone else told you this? And why on earth should you believe someone on the internet. I don’t have any credentials, I’m not famous or rich and I am definitely not on billboards for my beauty but I still think I have tapped into something amazing yet so simple that I thought I’d share it.

So here it goes:

To be happy: say yes to things you love and commit to them and say no to things that hurt you or don’t serve you. That friend that is always saying lets go to India on an adventure and it’s been your dream to go with her since you were a kid. Well, go do it. Saying no has always been hard for me and letting people down is so hard for me to bare, so instead I say I’d love that but we’ll see or I’m not sure, let me get back to you. Choosing what you occupy your time and energy with, to me the most important aspect of achieving happiness. For me it’s being outside with my boys and being active.

To be successful: do what you love.

If you don’t wake up every (most) morning not excited to start your day, then that’s an indication that you are not excited about your daily life. Waiting for those fun vacations is great, but it’s sort-lived and usually expensive. For many people, the realities of life require them to work jobs they don’t love to survive, but it also means they lead lifestyles that do n’t promote their well-being. Finding what ignites your passion for life is the first step to being successful. Doing what you love may also not always require you to quit the job that pays your bills, but finding the thing that turns every day into a mundane routine into an adventure will ultimately lead you to a place of success.

happiness-at-work

Beauty: Take care of you both on the outside and inside.

We’ve all heard it before, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ right? be the beholder of yourself by loving and accepting yourself wholeheartedly. It doesn’t come naturally to anyone considering we are in an environment that is constantly bombarding us with products and gimmicks to enhance or alter our physical appearances. But to wholehearted acceptance is when you acknowledge the things you don’t like but choosing to love yourself anyway. Because if you can’t love yourself, how will you ever love someone else.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this:

Feeling low is okay, just as feeling high is okay too. If we were constantly at a high in life, we would have a hard time dealing with the realities of this world. Life is messy and that is why it is beautiful. Make peace with your internal enemies and demons, befriend them and love them because they are you and you deserve to be loved wholly and completely and that starts with you.

happiness

Let it all go

Lifestyle Blog August 7, 2017

What is the one memory you cherish most? It will tell you more about who you are and what drives your soul.

My most cherished memory of all time is waking up early for school, and walking down my street in my safe and familiar neighborhood. The crispness of the air, the brand new school supplies in my bag, the sheer excitement to go back to school. It wasn’t because I was excited to see my friends or teachers, it was the sheer glory and joy of being able to be go learn.

I constantly craved knowledge and  answers. It wasn’t to understand how things worked nor was it to fix things; it was a desire to understand how and why things went wrong. I didn’t want to be the hero who solved the problem with the bandage, I wanted to be the revolutionary that would help prevent the problem from ever happening. I wanted everyone to feel the feeling I felt when I could explain things and then fix them.

I’ve learned over the years, that answers are hard to come by. Sometimes answers are half truths, sometimes they distort reality and sometimes they depended on perspective and bias. There were short, and long answers, complex and complicated answers and sometimes there were silent answers. Ultimately, answers didn’t seem to be enough to understand things which became exhausting and they didn’t solve problems.

Difficult experiences often beg for answers and understanding, like why someone you love has gone to tremendous lengths to hurt you or belittle you, when in reality their role in your life was that of a primary care-giver, protector and guardian. Sometimes, we don’t have the chance to understand others actions, but we have every opportunity to understand our own actions, reactions and experiences. And to also make peace with them by learning to let them go. What we hold closest also has the potential to hurt us the most.

Meditation is an extremely challenging task when you’re feeling heavy with emotional baggage. But it’s also the most liberating experience when you learn to acknowledge those uneasy feelings, accept them and release them from your thoughts. How do you do this? Well, Headspace creator, Andy Puddicombe says to convince yourself that your thoughts are the clouds in the sky, and that when they are gloomy, they are dark, stormy clouds and that happy experiences are fluffy ones that we see on a warm sunny day. When negative thoughts come to the surface, you acknowledge them, you know they are there (so you don’t ignore them), but you simply allow them to pass by you as you are looking up at the sky.

I use Headspace every day after I workout at the gym and either sit in the sauna, do a headstand or in downward dog pose. I find that being in an active pose, helps my brain not to wander and to stay present. I usually leave the sauna feeling extremely grateful and happy.
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The Big Secret to Happiness

Lifestyle Blog August 1, 2017

I’ve decided to do a few things, here is my list:

  1. Devote my energy to what I love

This one bullet is a hundred bullets of what I love. I love yoga, meditation, painting, spending time with loved ones, eating, watching movies, research, science, medicine, hiking, running, sports, crochet and knitting, travelling and learning new languages. Instead, I’ve been dividing my energy to what I love with a constant worry of not achieving everything else I want in the meantime and constantly worrying about failing. I am constantly worrying about how much more there is that I want to do and the panic that sets in disrupts the harmony of my thoughts, actions and words. I want to achieve so much, but I am not investing in me the way I would like to. I want to invest in everything I love at 100%.  To soak up every ray of sunshine when it’s out, to dance in the rain, to love the chair I sit in when I study for my MCAT every day, to drink that cup of coffee with gratitude for it’s warmth and present the work I do in epidemiology with the passion I have for it. Instead of focusing on why I don’t feel happy about where I am, I’m going to redirect that energy back into fueling my inner drive and focusing on ME.

For months, I was excited every day to write my goals of the day in my calendar. I wrote down my supper plans, notes, to do lists, and finally my daily gratitude. This was the most exciting part of my morning. There was a sense of accomplishment when I could check off each item throughout the day. But, I also wrote what I was grateful for in that moment. Often times, I had to write more than one and not have enough space in that tiny box I was allotted.

I watched a TED talk by Shawn Achor several years ago and it changed the way I thought about happiness, productivity and life in general. He said the answer to happiness, productivity and life fulfillment was in gratitude; being thankful for the little things. But not passively grateful, physically writing down three things we were grateful every day. I heard this advice echoed again and again in other TED talks, self-help books and by my therapist. A month ago, I stopped writing in my calendar and I attributed my lack of productivity to that (as well as other personal turmoil)  but it was that I stopped writing down something I was grateful for each day.

Happiness

So how will I do everything? Simple. I am just going to do it because I can and because I want to do it for me and because it makes me happy. I’ll do it with every ounce of my being, with dedication, love, acceptance and awareness, and with purpose and on purpose. AND being grateful for all the wonderful surprises that come along the way.

Let’s start!