We are reeling under stress and anxiety. While we’ve all been victims, the desire to get back to being happy has led me to develop the following ways of life:
1. Using Gratitude
I start my day with a small prayer and a thank you. It makes me reflect on what is good in life and serves as a daily reminder of what I am grateful for. Even though we are vaguely aware of the good things, this ritual can help us reinforce it every day. Over time, I have learned to notice the good things and store the positive experiences.
2. Small Acts of Kindness
I have also developed a daily habit of performing small acts of kindness for a family member, friend or even strangers. You don’t need to go out of the way for this. It can be as simple as packing lunch for your children or making a cup of tea for your spouse. I love to do this without expecting anything in return.
At the same time, I look out for strangers in need of help—maybe by pushing a car, carrying a bag (in airports I see a lot of people needing such help), or sharing a food packet. At times, I have faced refusal, and that’s fine as it’s all God’s way of teaching me acceptance.
3. The Importance of Family
I believe that spending time with family is one of the best ways to de-stress. It helps you feel relaxed and content. I make sure I spend every weekend with them. Every Sunday morning, I visit the temple with my father, and follow it by eating breakfast and tea with the family.
My family has three generations of people and we all talk about what happened during the week—it helps us unwind and reinforce the support and love of the family.
4. Physical Fitness
Along with nourishing the mind, it is important to take care of our bodies. A healthy body is essential for the mental well-being and it is not necessary that you go to the gym every day to maintain health. I make it a point to eat small meals throughout the day and consume lots of fruits, vegetables and water. I also prefer to walk as much as I can.
5. Reducing the Use of Technology
I have to confess: I have been addicted to my phone. Social media is a great way of engaging and networking, and as I saw the advantages of it, I lost myself in it. It’s only now that I realise that I am addicted.
Today, I adhere to timings for when I will be on social media. Family time is off-the-phone time for me and there are no exceptions to the rule. I think that social media is a wonderful tool but you need to find the balance.
6. ATM For Happiness
Overall, my mantra is “ATM” for Happiness.
A: Accept the present situation with objectivity, let go of the past, and stop worrying about the future.
T: Take charge of your thoughts, expectations, fears and hope in a manner that negativity can be reset to positivity or a neutral position.
M: Make the best of what you have with gratitude.
I apply “ATM” to all aspects of my life, personal and professional. These simple practices have helped me maintain healthy relationships and flourish in personal and professional settings.