Happiness Evangelist

The Place to Be Happy is Here…


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A little becomes a LOT!

Well-being is attained little by little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself. ~ Zeno

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We celebrated March 20th as the International Day of Happiness

Around the world people smiled, meditated, held flash mobs, participated in various activities that brought happiness to those around them.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the purpose of the International Day of Happiness was to “reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.”

A grand mandate. Lofty ideals.

Is the goodwill generated on the International Day of Happiness sustainable?

Did we renew our pledge to help one another? Did we even make a pledge in the first place?

In the hustle and bustle of life, with our timelines and our deadlines, let us take time to be happy and make others happy. Let us expend effort to spread happiness out, beyond ourselves.

This is what the International Day of Happiness is all about. It is not just one day.

It is all the days that come after, the changes we make in our lives to spread happiness, all year round.

Please do it today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

If enough of us keep doing it, we really can nudge the world to a happier place.

LITTLE BY LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT!


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Mindful???

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Take a simple test….

Extend your right forefinger (left, if you are left-handed)…

Draw the capital letter ‘E’ on your forehead.

Did you draw the letter that it faces you or in a way that the person looking at you can read it?

Neither way is right or wrong. But the direction of the letter reveals a lot about your disposition.

Social scientists have used this simple exercise to measure perspective taking – the ability to step outside one’s own experience and see the world from another’s viewpoint. Adam Galinsky and his colleagues at North Western University’s Kellogg School of Management used the E test and some other techniques to investigate the connection between power and empathy. They found that while most people took the other’s perspective, those who had a surplus of power seemed to be connected to a deficit of empathy. They write “On the altar of action orientation and tough-mindedness, we’ve sacrificed the fundamentally human quality of empathy”.

Daniel H Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us says: The key is to strike a delicate balance between action-orientation and perspective-taking. It’s not a matter of deciding between hitting your numbers or drawing the E. It’s a matter of hitting your numbers by drawing the E.

When we empathise, we figure out what others think and feel; this forms the basis for meaningful and fruitful relationships and the ability to see things as others see them.

So let us be MINDFUL of one another. Let us EMPATHIZE more and treat each other with RESPECT and KINDNESS.

And the next time, we are asked to draw a vowel on our forehead, we know what to do 🙂


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Miling while Smiling…

Walking is good, not just for physical health but also to enhance our sense of well-being, improve and sustain the quality of life.(C3 Collaborating for Health, The Benefits of Physical Activity for Health and Well-being (2011)).  

**  It is free.

** It is low impact.

** It is appropriate for all age-groups.

**  It has physiological and psychological benefits.

**  It makes us happier.(A University of Essex study measures the positive impact of exercise in a natural setting on self-esteem and happiness)


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One Woman…

To All the Wonderful Women!! 

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Thank you for enriching lives, for making them better, fuller, more meaningful, bringing joy and love, care and concern, expanding thinking, bringing freshness, cooking fabulous meals, gossiping, laughing, caring, tending, listening, goading, rapping on knuckles from time to time and loving unconditionally.

We bow our heads in deep respect and gratitude, lift our hearts in love and raise our hands in salute!

“One Woman” is a musical celebration of women worldwide, featuring 25 artists from 20 countries across the globe. The song calls for change and celebrates acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who daily make extraordinary contributions to their countries and communities. The lyrics are inspired by stories of women whom UN Women, the UN organization charged with advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality worldwide, has supported. “One Woman” is the first theme song for a UN organization. www.song.unwomen.org

One Woman – Lyrics by Beth Blatt

In Kigali, she wakes up,
She makes a choice,
In Hanoi, Natal, Ramallah.
In Tangier, she takes a breath,
Lifts up her voice,
In Lahore, La Paz, Kampala.
Though she’s half a world away
Something in me wants to say …

We are One Woman,
You cry and I hear you.
We are One Woman,
You hurt, and I hurt, too.
We are One Woman,
Your hopes are mine.
We shall shine.

In Juarez she speaks the truth,
She reaches out,
Then teaches others how to.
In Jaipur, she gives her name,
She lives without shame
In Manila, Salta, Embu.
Though we’re different as can be,
We’re connected, she with me

We are One Woman,
Your courage keeps me strong.
We are One Woman,
You sing, I sing along.
We are One Woman,
Your dreams are mine.
And we shall shine.
We shall shine.

And one man, he hears her voice.
And one man, he fights her fight.
Day by day, he lets go the old ways,
One Woman at a time.
Though she’s half a world away,
Something in me wants to say.

We are One Woman,
Your victories lift us all.
We are One Woman,
You rise and I stand tall.
We are One Woman,
Your world is mine
And we shall shine.
Shine, shine, shine.
We shall shine
Shine, shine, shine.
We shall shine.
Shine, shine, shine.

You can download the song at: http://bit.ly/UN_Theme_Song_OneWoman

 


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Laughter the Best Medicine :-)

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Take time to laugh; it is the music of the soul.

A laughter therapy session may leave a person feeling elated and exhausted in equal measure. Muscle tone and cardiovascular functions improve and oxygen levels in the blood are boosted.

We don’t just have to laugh when we are happy. Laughing in the face of anger, stress or anxiety – even if it’s forced laughter actually fools the brain and enhances happiness. It is infectious too…

Try laughing for at least 5 minutes each day to laugh by yourself or with someone. It really makes a difference.  Try it. You’ll like it!


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The How of Happiness

What makes us happy? How can we become happier? Is happiness sustainable?

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology addresses these fundamental questions in her book “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want”, a book of strategies backed by scientific research that can be used to increase happiness.

ImageOur individual level of happiness springs from three primary sources:

  1. Our Genetic Set Point:  50% of our happiness derives from a genetically determined “set point”. Those of us with low happiness set points have to work harder to achieve and maintain happiness, while those of us with high set points will find it easier to be happy under similar conditions.
  2. Our Life Circumstances determine only 10% of our happiness. In our quest to become happier, many of us focus on changing the circumstances of our lives in the misguided hope that those changes will deliver happiness. Research shows that trying to be happy by changing our life situations ultimately will not work because we human beings readily, rapidly and remarkably adapt to positive circumstantial changes
  3. Intentional Activities – The remaining 40% of our happiness is determined by our behaviour – intentional activities that we can call “happiness strategies.”

We cannot alter our genetic set points; changes in life circumstances don’t have a lasting impact on our happiness, but we can increase and sustain our happiness through these happiness-increasing strategies.

Expressing Gratitude – Counting your blessings for what you have or conveying gratitude and appreciation to others

Cultivating Optimism – Practicing to look at the bright side of every situation.

Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison – Using strategies (such as distraction) to cut down on how often you dwell on your problems and compare yourself with others.

Practicing Acts of Kindness – Doing good things for others, whether friends or strangers, directly or anonymously, spontaneously or planned.

Nurturing Social Relationships – Picking a relationship in need of strengthening and investing time and energy in healing, cultivating, affirming and enjoying it.

Developing Strategies for Coping – Practicing ways to endure or surmount a recent stress, hardship or trauma.

Learning to Forgive – Keeping a journal or writing a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment toward the one/s who have hurt or wronged you.

Increasing Flow Experiences – Increasing the number of experiences at home and work which are challenging and absorbing.

Savoring Life’s Joys – Paying close attention, taking delight, and replaying life’s momentary pleasures and wonders, through thinking, writing, drawing, or sharing with another.

* Committing to Your Goals – Picking one, two, or three significant goals that are meaningful to you and devoting time and effort to pursuing them.

Practicing Spirituality

Taking Care of Your Body – Meditation, Physical Activity, Smiling and Laughing

It is important to choose happiness strategies that address the source of our unhappiness, that take advantage of our strengths, talents and goals, that can be adapted easily to our needs and lifestyle.