• Madhura

Happiness is a choice

Hello my friends, welcome if you are tuning in for the first time or welcome back if you are a regular listener of Morning Cup of Sunshine. I am so happy to be here with you today. I can’t express how much joy this podcasting brings me. I am so grateful for each one of you for spending a few minutes from your day with me. I am incredibly happy to bring you a new set of goals starting today. This time we will focus on core values or core goals which are absolutely necessary for a content life. So, without further delay, let’s start our beautiful journey of life goals with the goal which we all are trying to achieve and that is happiness my friends. Happiness !! 

Happy Moment of the week

But am I forgetting something, no I am not getting rid of my Happy Moment of the week. I am so much in love with this segment that it is not possible for me to step away from it. It taught me to look at my day intentionally. It taught me to find happiness in small things. So my dear friends, this will continue till the moment I can inspire you to look for happiness in small moments and little memories. I hope you love it too. So this week, I am happy to report that my happy moment of the week will cheer you up as well. Few weeks back, I mentioned in my podcast that I have found a new hobby. I am starting up my collection of indoor plants. I am slowly learning to take care of them. In the same podcast, I mentioned that one of my plants was looking sad and had yellow leaves. It might be because of my over watering. I did a lot of research to fix the possible root rot. One of the suggestions that I found on google was to use the Moisture Meter. It is an instrument to measure the moisture of the soil, you basically insert the probe into the soil and it shows if you should water the plants based on the moisture of the soil. I was thinking of buying that meter. But I am the type of person who doesn't buy anything on a whim. I added it to my amazon cart and it stayed there for days. My husband started teasing me if I am becoming a full fledged farmer with such fancy equipment. It was in my amazon cart for days and I was debating on whether I should purchase it. I really wanted it but somehow I never got around to really hitting the place your order button. But do you know what happened one day? One of my friends said she wanted to come over for a few minutes as she wanted to give me something. I had no clue what she wanted to give me. She rang the doorbell, I opened the door, without saying anything, she just gave me this box. I opened the box and inside was a moisture meter, the one which I wanted to buy so badly for days. She said she listened to the podcast episode and she thought this might help me fix my plant issue. I never mentioned that moisture meter in the episode. But she figured it out herself. I was so pleasantly surprised by her thoughtful gesture. It really brought tears in my eyes. I wish I could hug her and tell her how precious this gift was, but social distance you know.. Still I felt incredibly grateful for her, for our friendship. She showed her love and  her thoughtfulness through this sweet gesture. Thank you thank you so much Surabhi for listening to my episodes and of course for such a thoughtful gift. I got another reason to keep going and keep learning. This was certainly my happy moment of the week. What about you my friend? How was your week? Did you do anything new? Did you have a fun weekend? Just close your eyes and think of the one moment, that brought you joy, that put a smile on your face. Experience it again, cherish that moment and of course share it with us in our weekly post for Happy Moment of the week in the Morning cup of Sunshine community over at facebook group. I am waiting to read all your lovely happy moments. 

Alright, today, I want you to keep all your worries, tensions aside for the next 30 minutes at least and just enjoy this episode. I want you to feel happy, refreshed and energized after listening to this episode. I hope it makes your days brighter, sunnier, happier and better, so let’s start shall we? 

Do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the state of being happy. Happiness is enjoying the little things in life. Happiness is choosing joy. Happiness is your mindset. Happiness is the purpose of your life. All our struggle, our daily hustle is all for happiness. Ultimately, we want to be happy. We all want to live happily ever after. But we get so stuck in the pursuit of happiness that we forget to experience happiness. The other day, I was doing some guided meditation. I was loving it. I was feeling calm and relaxed for the first 5 minutes while listening to a soothing voice in that guided meditation. At one point, she asked to visualize the happiest moment of your life and then hold on to that feeling so you can experience the same joy throughout the day, even after the meditation ends. I started thinking about the happiest moment of my life. First I thought about the day I got my first job, but then I realized the day I got married was happier. But then I remembered the day I held my son Mihir in my hands the first time, it was equally precious, and of course seeing Maitreyi for the first time, it was an unparalleled moment. I was extremely happy when my husband’s movie was released in the theatres. I was overjoyed when my sister visited me here in the USA. I was not able to pick one happy moment. Instead of acknowledging and appreciating my life, for having so many happy moments. I got stuck thinking I don’t have one big, bold happy moment to choose. I could not finish that meditation practice as I was lost in unnecessary confusion of finding happiness. Was it really necessary? I should have counted my blessings instead. I should have appreciated my beautiful life for giving me so many happy memories. But instead, I was trying to find that one big, out of the world happy moment by ignoring my own special moments. We all do the same thing, we run behind some unseen idea of happiness, ignoring the small joyful moments along the way.  I always say, journey is as important as destination and today I want you to see and enjoy the beauty of journey. We all want to be happy in our life, but does that mean we want to be happy at the end of your life? No right? It means you want to feel happy every day, hopefully every moment of your life. Isn’t it? Just ask yourself, are you happy right now or are you waiting for happiness to find you? Are you ready to explore the ways to fill your day with abundant happiness? If your answer is yes, then keep listening. 


Step 1 : Introspect

I want you to think for a few minutes and list down the reasons that hold you back from feeling happy. Friends, this episode is going to be filled with a lot of tips. There is going to be a lot of actual work that you need to do. Even though the topic looks seemingly straight forward, it is extremely crucial if you want a better and fulfilled life, so get ready to take notes on your notebook or phone or google docs but I want you to do the work and feel extremely confident to achieve the state of happiness at the end of the episode. So, pause the episode in between if you need to, but work with me here. I am here every step of the way. Anyway, I am way too chatty today, you must have realized how passionate I am about this topic. Okay, so I was saying that list down the reasons that hold you back from feeling happy most of the days. Introspect your reasons. Look closely and try to remember the last time you felt sad, what was the reason and the time before that. Once you identify the reasons, start thinking about the ways to work on those areas.

I think most of the time, these reasons fall in one of three categories - stress, clutter and low self esteem. 

Every time, you are stressed out because of your job responsibilities, or family obligations or your personal commitments, you feel no where near happy. You  feel exhausted, tired. You become cranky and unmotivated. If you see a great dip in your happiness quotient due to stress, think what can you do face that stress head on? I think the first thing that you should do is to ditch your phone. We waste so much time scrolling through totally unnecessary feeds. I read an article, where they mentioned on average people spend at least 38 minutes a day only on facebook apps. They open the app at least 8 times everyday. I was shocked to read that stat. But the next day, I kept a close watch on how many times I opened the app, I was surprised to see the number was pretty close. You increase your stress level because of social media by either wasting time or comparing yourself to someone else’s picture perfect feed. So the first thing is ditch your phone and make some real connections. Find your happy place, the place where you can always turn when you feel sad, worried, stressed. Talk to your friends, have a heart to heart conversation. It is absolutely important to surround yourself with good people, positive people. I firmly believe that there is goodness in everyone around you, you just have to look for it. Stay away from the negativity and enjoy the uplifting conversation. Stressing yourself out over small worries will not solve any problems, instead live in the moment, be mindful of your thoughts. Mindfulness is the key to persistent happiness. Don’t wait for everything to be good to feel happiness instead be happy because you can see good in everything. 

If you start getting anxious because of clutter, either physical or mental clutter, if you feel your happiness is getting buried under the heap of clutter, start taking action to tidy up your environment. Clean and organized environment instantly lifts your mood up. Same thing is applicable for your mental clutter. Decluttering your mind is an important step to destress your day. I have an entire episode on decluttering your mind. I will leave a link to that episode in the show notes. I urge you to check that episode. The simple ways that I mentioned in that episode are so powerful.  

Finally, if you don’t feel good about yourself, you will never be happy. When you doubt your own capabilities, you will start losing the confidence. Lack of confidence and self esteem is an instant recipe for absence of happiness. Always, always, love yourself the way you are. Work on yourself. Lift yourself up, support yourself in each and every situation. Believe yourself that you are a good person, you are doing the best you can. Just love yourself no matter what. Find your purpose. The moment you start feeling good about yourself, you will find happiness in every small thing that you do. You glow differently when you are happy. Remember happiness is a journey not a destination. Just be intentional about your thoughts, if you feel good, happy about yourself, that surely reflects.


Step 2 : Habits matter 

I mentioned earlier, happiness is not a destination or an end goal, rather, it is a journey, a collection of moments that brings you joy. You need to put in some work to be happy and sometimes, it might feel like work, it might even cause some discomfort. But there is no change or a shift in mindset without a slight discomfort. I firmly believe that your habit make you the person that you are. You want to build a business, then your habit to show up for yourself is what will help you get closer to your goal. Happiness is a life goal, isn’t it? So, some small habits will help you get closer to your goal. Am I correct? There are few basic habits that you can cultivate. The first and foremost, just smile. Your beautiful smile brings the warmth and a positive persona out in the world. You are on your morning walk, you see a friendly face, or may be just an acquaintance, smile at them as if you really meant it. A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. Remember, we smile because we are happy and when we smile our brain releases dopamine which again makes us happier. So why not, right? Just smile.Your smile is the prettiest thing that you can wear, so flaunt it. As Dalai Lama once said, “A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.” Som Smile a little, laugh a little and be happy in your life. 

Another habit which will make you happy is exercise. It just makes you feel so accomplished and that in turn makes you happy. Another habit is count your blessings every single day. Journal, list down the things you are grateful for. Once you start looking for happiness in the smallest possible moments, you won’t even realize how quickly you filled up your jar of happiness. I  kid you not when I say, from the moment I started writing about the moments that bring me joy in my journal everyday, I started looking at small trivial moments way more intentionally. Those moments started bringing me so much joy. Happiness attracts happiness. I feel happy when I experience those moments and I feel happy when I try to remember those moments, that feeling so that I can write in my journal and I feel happy again remembering those moments when I actually write in my journal and the cycle continues day in and day out. 

Having a solid 7 to 8 hours sound sleep will help you wake up with a broad smile. Once you feel refreshed rather than sluggish because of heywire sleep schedule, it will help you start the day on a right note. A beauty sleep, as they call it is so important. Same thing goes for eating intentionally. I highly recommend you to try one thing for this week. Try and eat at your dining table for every single meal, even a small snack. This will surely reduce the munching throughout the day or mindless eating in front of the TV. Enjoy the food that you are eating. Enjoy the taste, the texture, savor the feeling of getting full after eating. Be grateful for each bite that  you take. I guarantee you eating your meal will be a happy experience for you. Finally, meditation, at least 5 minutes. I am not asking for more. If you can do more, more power to you. But for someone like me, after these many days I can not go beyond 10 minutes. But 10 minutes everyday goes a long way to meditating 1 hour  for one  day and then simply forgetting about it for months. I will tell you from my personal experience, it will make you happy and calm. These are simple habits my friends, habits that shape your life. None of them is difficult. I am not telling anything new, anything that you have not heard before but the little push , the little nudge that you need to start these habits is what I am offering you. If you are still struggling to form a habit, I highly recommend you to listen to one of my previous episodes, how to start a habit. I will link it for you in the show notes. 

Happiness is a choice, the choice that we make everyday. Simple choices, simple habits shape your life. If you find some habit or hobby that makes you happy, isn’t it wise to keep on doing it every single day.  You need to practice happiness everyday, make it a priority. This is the best part of being a human, every morning you have an opportunity to be a happier version of yourself. 


Step 3 - Spread Joy 

Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too. Have you seen somebody who is very lively and it is always fun to be around them? I have a friend, she is always so happy and cheerful. I have never seen her dull or negative, whenever she is around, the conversation flows so effortlessly. Whenever she is in the room, she fills that room with her positive attitude and happiness. You are left with no choice but to be part of that happiness feeling. I absolutely adore her and she always always lifts my mood. This is how I want to be. Spreading joy in the world is one of the most noble things that you can do. I want to spread joy, happiness, positivity amongst each one of you. Isn’t that the mission statement of this podcast? Yes it is.. Every time, I start recording any episode, however difficult the subject is. I always imagine that you are either driving your car to work, thinking about the humongous amount of work piled in front of you or you are at home and have a mile long list of to-dos for the day. You gave me these 30 minutes of your life, to listen to me talk. I want these 30 minutes to be the catalyst for all the joy, happiness and positivity for the rest of your day and hopeful days to come. After listening to my episode, I hope you feel ready to conquer your day. That’s the vision I have and so I chose every word carefully when I record an episode. I want it to be an uplifting, joyful and happy experience for you. I sincerely hope that I am able to do that. Spreading joy and happiness around is a lovely act. Have a beautiful day yourself. Go out and spread cheer, joy and love to all those around you, to fill your day with their smiles. There are so many simple ways to spread some joy. Just give someone a sincere compliment. A compliment is like a verbal sunshine. Fill someone's day with this sunshine. By complimenting someone you  magnify their strengths but that does not mean you become any less. Don’t be jealous, you are beautiful and unique in your own way. You have different strengths so be free and give a sincere compliment. If you see something beautiful in someone, if you see someone really making an effort, compliment them. It is an easy thing to do. Isn’t it? 

Collect small happy moments, think about them, cherish them, share them with others, We all are here to lead a happier life. Let’s be part of each other’s happiness quotient. Let go of all the grudges. Holding a grudge, does not make you strong, rather it makes you bitter. Be forgiving instead. It will not make you weak, instead it will set you free. Just think how many days, months sometimes years you waste because of an old grudge. Life is too short to hold the grudges. You lose all the happiness, laugh you could have enjoyed instead. Just apologize when you can and move forward. Grudges are a perfect waste of happiness, just let them go. Whatever makes you angry, sad just let that go and whatever makes you happy hold onto them. 

I absolutely agree that there are all sorts of emotions and you are bound to feel them everyday. I don’t want you to fake the happiness and struggle internally. Instead accept all the emotions. Acknowledge their existence. But don’t dwell on them. Try to find a way to your north star, your happiness. Sometimes, it comes naturally sometimes, you need to work on it. But try to find the silver linings. Focus on good. I always always believe that there is so much good in the world. It is you who needs to find it. You need to be the catalyst for your and even better someone else’s happiness. Be happy and make at least one person happy everyday with your happiness. This could be the goal right? Find happiness in little things, like family, friends, your own hobbies and interests, nature, work, food, exercise. The list is endless if you start looking for it. It is not about how much we have, it is not about the money, big house, lavish vacation. It is internal,  my friends. It is how much we enjoy the smallest joys of life that makes happiness. Happiness is not ready made, you have to work on it some days. So put in that work my friends, it is your life and living the happy life is everyone’s dream. Isn’t it?


Recap

On this note, let’s recap this episode. In this episode, we started working on an important life goal, Happiness. You don’t need a reason to be happy, it is just a good day to be happy. But some days, it is a work and for all such days, we came up with few ideas to work on our happiness

Step 1 - Introspect

Step 2 - Habit matter

Step 3 - Spread Joy


Today, let’s decide to work intentionally on your happiness. Be happy yourself and spread happiness. Start a habit that makes you happy. Be the catalyst for someone else’s happiness. Be incharge of how you feel today and choose joy, happiness. Always, remember my friends, happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy. There is going to be stress, worries in your life but it is your choice whether you let it affect it or not, whether you let it get the best of you, whether you conquer it with some joy, positivity and happiness !!



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