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     Volume 7 Issue 20 | May 16, 2008 |

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Improving Your Happiness Quotient

Tulip Chowdhury

Happiness comes to us in different ways. The sight of a single scarlet shimul staring up at the pristine blue sky of summer is likely to bring a smile to your lips. Sometimes we smile or laugh for the smallest blessings. And yet there are times when we fail to see the happiness factor even if that comes in greater margins. Happiness is elusive. It's the golden goose that we chase. If we were to measure happiness, the measuring scales would have shown sweeping changes as life goes along its anomalies. On our one-way journey between life and death happiness has its stations marked on different spots. As life goes on we learn to stop at the stations and gather the bouquets or sometimes we just pass off, missing the marks.

No matter how far our research or our hereditary traits go, being happy is to some extent depenant on one's own self. However there is food for thought when we think of happiness.

Nurture the haves: Research has shown that genetics contribute to 50 percent of our happiness quotient. However, if you have a tendency to cling to the family frown you are not fated to a life long gloomy picture. This world is full of wants. No one is are happy without some fulfillment of their wants. But all wants cannot be fulfilled. Therefore we could put our first step to happiness by nurturing what we have. A bigger house, a better job, a lottery ticket can brighten our lives. But the thrill gradually fades. We could nurture the seeds of happiness by looking beyond fleeting happiness. Engaging ourselves with family, work or passionate pursuits could add meaning to our life. Making a list of the things we are grateful for may seem silly but it has been known to work in making us see the brighter side of life.

Acts of kindness: Take the week and decide that at least five days of it will be spent on some acts of kindness. Bringing smiles on other people's faces can invariably lighten up the heart. Experts are of the opinion that young people tend to pay more attention to the bad, to the negative aspects of life. Therefore teach children to go forth with some acts of goodness.

See the sunny side of life: Try and think that your glass is still half full and still better things are coming. There are times when life seems to go down hill. But if you stop and assess it honestly you will see that all forces are not working against you; some are favourable indeed. And it is then that you build your platform on the favourable conditions of life. Quite often we tend to highlight on the negative aspects of life keeping the positive aspects in oblivion. Just approach life from the opposite direction and life will hold out different shades of light.

Free the stress: Life is extremely stressful these days. Balancing home and work for working couples becomes extremely difficult. We want to be well at both, home and office. This puts us in a vulnerable situation where stress can come with all its health hazards. Unless one is in good health, happiness remains a distant speck. At such times escape to your stress- free zones. Think of the sea or in your mind play the music you love.

Take the break: When you have a choice between work and a vacation pack your bag and take the break. All work can drain one of emotional and physical well-being. Take family and friends to share your time out. And if you dare for once, tell your boss that you are on a purely family outing and would appreciate it if life is left at that. You and your family may be in dire need of that long wanted vacation

Exploring your creative side: Creative work does bring bliss to the heart. Did you draw, did you sing or did you write poems? Why not start them all over again? You will be surprised at the mental satisfaction you derive from them. It's never too late to learn something anew.

Living in the moment: Alas! How often we wait for the big bang to come. Seize the moments that are passing by. Live the small pieces of happiness that float by. Remember that the ocean is made of drops of water. Little pieces of happy events can shine like a big sun in your life. Let that sun illuminate your life.

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