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