personal development

Xing fu. We All Need It

Xing Fu. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony..png

The Chinese have a phrase:  Xìng fú which means stable and lasting happiness—happiness that is not dependent upon conditions.

幸福

In today’s world, happiness relies on a number of conditions. Topping the list are: the state of our finances and our connectedness to technology. Hectic lifestyles dictate that we’re always connected, always on the go, and always wish we could, should, or would.  And don’t tell me money cannot buy happiness. It can. And even if it cannot, it helps one enjoy misery in comfort.

Okay, so are there ways to actually find happiness?

Dumb question!

Of course there are.

I recall how, when my son got his first email address at the age of seven, he’d sign off saying, “self-help is the best help”. And I used to think, what does he know about self-help? I asked him, and he answered, “Grandma said it is easy to be happy. It is in our hands” And he showed me his hand, which was in a fist. I opened his fist and there was a rapidly melting bar of chocolate. He had helped himself to it from the fridge.

Simple, no?

So you see, it IS possible to find happiness.

Change invariably comes from within. And I am not even talking about the physical ones like switching to a healthy diet, exercising, and all that.

Sure all that is equally important, but let’s look at the mental side today.

Because, let’s admit it: physical sickness can invariably be sorted out by a doc and perhaps medication where necessary. But when we feel bad, it messes with our minds. Mental well-being is one step more important than physical well-being—at least for me. When we’re in a good place emotionally, our interaction with others is better, and our self-esteem is high.

If you read my gratitude post yesterday, you’ll find yourself smiling at the mention of Project Inner Peace, where I listed certain symptoms. When these symptoms are strong, it can very well lead to that wonderful condition called . . .

Xìng fú

Let’s look at ways to cultivate those symptoms.

Shhhh your tendency to gossip

Gossip is good, gossip is beneficial. But when you make it a habit and enjoy waxing poetic over other people’s miseries, it totally backfires on you. For one thing, others begin to wonder whether you’re talking about them the same way and stop trusting you. They become wary of you and soon, you’ll find others distancing themselves discreetly from you. Not a nice situation to be in.

How to overcome? Here’s a way: how about saying nice things about the people you know? Side effect? Lots of love coming your way.

Open up your Optimism

NOT going to explain that glass-half-full-half-empty thingy, so don’t argue with me about being realistic. I am realistic. But there’s absolutely no problem with anticipating good outcomes, right? Speaking for myself, when I am optimistic, my efforts are geared towards getting those positive results. Also, there’s research to prove that optimistic people enjoy better emotional health (totally true in my case) and live longer (time will tell). Other bonus benefits? Less stress, less pain and lower risk of heart disease. I am not saying no to that!

How to do this? You have the choice to choose how you think. Practice thinking positive. I’ll bet it will make you smile often!

Pooh! To People Pleasing

I wrote a post a while ago about that BS called people pleasing. Oh, nothing wrong with pleasing others. But hey, when you focus on other people’s problems rather than your own and saying yes to them, life becomes unhealthy. My friend’s dad would always joke about the “give and take” equation. For some people, the concept of give and take is: you give, they take. And that is never a pleasant feeling. When you kill your own needs, you’re doing some serious damage to yourself. And why would you want to do that, eh?

Fight the urge by saying No the next time someone expects you to put aside your plans and live their life for them just so they can enjoy themselves.

Recharge your resilience 

Don’t give up too soon. Sometimes that seems like the easiest thing to do, but when you persist with certain things in life, you become stronger, more balanced and a smarter problem solver. Not saying don’t ask for help when you need it though!

Rather than crib about that bad day you had, appreciate the things you do have in your life. (yep, it is called gratitude!). And move on!

Get rid of grudges 

You know what they say. Holding on to grudges or anger or resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Total self-sabotage. This not only makes your stress shoot up, but also plays havoc with your health. When you hold a grudge, you are the one that suffers.

If you have a grudge, practice forgiveness. Now.

Ignore the inner critic 

Tell your inner critic to go on a permanent holiday. Stop apologizing for being the way you are. You know you are amazing. And accept that compliment graciously.

Learn to love yourself and see yourself in a positive light.

Lighten up and laugh 

Laughter is the best medicine and beneficial for your health. Learn to see the humor in everything in life, it helps you place things in the right perspective.

Grab that joke book and laugh. Loudly. And don’t forget to share a joke with me.

Trust your thoughts

Which basically means stop stressing over what others think. When you base your opinion of yourself on what others think about you, you open the door to anger, misery and lousy relationships. Instead, focus on being your own awesome self and help others. You’ll find yourself being more confident and emotionally healthy.

And that’s how you attain Xìng fú.

When our head is in the right place, our bodies follow suit.

We are all works in progress, progress being the operative word.

Which of the above tips did you like?

And if you enjoyed the sub-titles, say yay!

Cute featured image at the top of the post is from Shutterstock

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Mayuri Nidigallu
    April 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I loved reading it all, Vidya.
    I am learning to say no, it’s not going down too well with people who have to hear it though :)))

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 28, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      You have to stop worrying about reactions, Mayuri. Sometimes it IS all about you. Hugs! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 28, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I definitely say ‘yay’! ~grin~ These are all great tips. I can’t stand gossip. And I never tire of reading great anecdotes about you and your lovely family. Be well!

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 28, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Xìng fú…. I like it and thanks for introducing me to this word. Enjoyed reading about it. I had this grudge/hurt which kept gnawing at me. It took away my peace. It took me a long time to let go this grudge and when it did go, it was like I got my sanity back.

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    April 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    These are excellent points to remember to improve our way of living. I loved the term Xing Fu – it has such a beautiful meaning.

  • Reply
    Modern Gypsy
    April 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    These are great tips, and this is a lovely word! Gossip is something I cannot stand. And I can attest to the power in letting go of grudges and setting firm boundaries. Actually, I loved all your pointers!
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…The Xciting world of watercoloursMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shalini
    April 29, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Woo.. I like it! Lovely word. I don;t think I will ever forget it now. Such great tips too 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen
    April 29, 2017 at 4:02 am

    I think our mental state is critical to our overall health. You have some great ideas on the topic. The one that especially struck me was the “lighten up and laugh” one. I have absolutely no proof to back it up, but I’ve always thought that comedians live longer than others because they laugh every day. I want to laugh every day.

  • Reply
    Kalpanaa
    April 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    That says it all. Love the story of your son and the chocolate. Hilarious 🙂

  • Reply
    Soumya
    April 29, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Oh the day I learnt to say ‘No’ has been the best day of my life so far. Thanks to that I now lead a no nonsense life and am happy as I have zero expectations from people.

    What else making happy? Visiting your blog or just checking random pictures of you on FB. I really do that at times. Don’t brush me off as a stalker now. It’s just love <3

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 29, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    I know that social media often gets a bad rap, but you know, one of the good things is, the number of people who share really good jokes – the ones they write themselves. They’re mostly clever puns, and I can never ever resist laughing at a good pun (or even a bad pun). It’s one of the things I actually keep time aside for – reading “punny” things on Twitter. (How did I reach here – oh right, the point I was trying to make is that I don’t have a joke book)

    Channeling all your thoughts towards something positive makes gradual, but noticeable changes in life. It’s something I’m experiencing right now, and I’m one tiny step closer to xing fu 😀
    Sreesha recently posted…You Before Me | #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shailaja Vishwanath
    April 29, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Had to recently say No to something and it made me feel queasy. I don’t know why.

    Yes, we need Xing fu. Now more than ever. A daily practice definitely helps.

  • Reply
    wendy of the rock
    April 29, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    You always make these things sound so straight forward, logical, easy to achieve.
    If you have willpower.
    And definitely YAY.
    The subtitles work brilliantly.

  • Reply
    Tally
    May 1, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I’m so glad I read this today–I just woke up a few hours ago from a short sleep after working two jobs in a row. It’s becoming a trend, and while I’m glad someone needed my help and I was able to provide…I do need to say no more often. Granted, I need the money badly to pay down debts and get back on track, so I’m taking all the work I can handle…but it’s going to be a long process. Saying “yes” to everybody else has led me away from my true needs and wants, such as fitness, coursework, and my writing has suffered (aka, nonexistent). I have to find the bits of me and rearrange things, create balance to pay my bills AND fulfill my needs. At least I kinda like my jobs…I just can’t afford to let everything else go, too.

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