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10 Forgotten Truths About Happiness

10 Forgotten Truths About Happiness

All of us would like to be happy. We would like to find joy, exhilaration and satisfaction in everything we do and in the lives we lead everyday. In the crazy, sophisticated world of today, many of us seem to have forgotten how amazingly easy it is to make the constant choice of being happy. Just to remind this amazing, busy and sometimes happiness-yearning 21st century world, here are ten forgotten truths about happiness.

1. Gratefulness for how lucky we are despite the challenges we face is the key to reaching true happiness.

Last year, I conducted leadership campaigns for several children of an orphanage in my hometown in India. I was surprised to see how happy the children were though they had never known their parents and though more than 40 of them shared a single room for living space. Their optimism and immense will to keep hoping and dreaming taught me that the obstacles in our life, however daunting they seem, are irrelevant if we have the courage to be grateful for everything we already have. The fact that we are living to breathe this moment and that we have senses to read this article is a proof of how tremendously privileged we are and all the things we should be thankful for. Thankfulness inevitably brings happiness.

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2. Long lasting happiness is usually got from our experiences and  memories, not material things.

Clothes, booze, mansions, cars and all the material luxuries that money can buy us often only serve as a palliative to numb the desire for true happiness. To be really happy, we should invest in experiences and build memories doing the things that exhilarate us and with the people with whom we share the greatest love.

3. Happiness can be found in slowing down, listening to others and reconnecting with nature (and perhaps with God, if you are a believer).

In the totally crazy and absolutely busy world of today we often overlook the simple pleasures our surroundings can offer us. It could be the fragrance of flowers on the street side, a laughing baby in the neighborhood, deep meditation, travelling or perhaps, prayer. Some people, like me, find real happiness connecting with nature and some others, like my mom, find happiness by connecting with God through prayer. We all have different ways of tuning into our inner selves and giving ourselves a break. Finding what our ‘way’ is and doing it is key to finding our unique happiness.

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4. Peace+love=happiness.

In the words of a song in Barbie the island princess “love knows, love grows bigger than before…in your heart there’s always more”. When we choose to care more deeply and for more people, our capacity to love expands, because we always have more to give. Often loving others is the key to being loved and this cycle often has a cyclic effect of giving us joy. Peace, got from pursuing what we love, and love, gained by sharing and caring for people, add up to give guaranteed happiness.

5. On our deathbeds, many of us are going to wish that we had let ourselves be happier.

According to an article published in The Mind Unleashed, one of the top five regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they hadn’t chosen to be happier, more often. So let yourself be happier. Choose to do what gets you there.

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6. Tuning into upbeat media when things seem dismal is a better shot at rediscovering joy.

Self-pity is not going to help heal our melancholy. Looking up to sources of hope and optimism-upbeat songs, optimistic books, rom-com movies etc.- in depressing times can help us much better in rediscovering the way of joy than drowning ourselves deeper in the well of tragedies.

7. Following the Cinderella motto, having courage and being kind is a sure-shot way to make us feel happy.

Have courage under to face all circumstances, and be kind to others and even more importantly, to yourself. You’re not perfect and life is not perfect. Serving others and exercising regularly are universal keys to feeling happy and good about ourselves.

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8. Don’t let regret swallow the precious times in which you could feel happy instead.

Don’t blame or give yourself negative pep-talks-remember you’re only human and it’s okay to make mistakes- just learn to forgive yourself, to learn from your mistakes and move on.

9. Smile.

Forcing a “genuine” smile and holding it for two minutes can actually make you feel happier by boosting the levels of your ‘happy hormones’ like serotonin, according to a research published in psychology today.

10. Happiness doesn’t occur by chance, it’s a constant choice we have to make, every second of every day.

Every time we feel happy, it is firstly because we choose to and not because of the events that are happening around us. If we have the will to be happy every moment, we will find a way to get there regardless of our circumstances.

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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