Article from the star
SUNDAY is a day everyone looks forward to because it is the day to relax, have some fun and spend time with the family.
But for sales executive J. John, a father of four from Kuala Lumpur, he dreads Sundays because that is the day he becomes unhappy.
He wrote an e-mail lamenting that his children drive him up the wall and he is often in disputes with his wife. He wanted to know the secret of happiness because although it is free, he finds it difficult to be happy.
Many may not realise that our prime time and long hours of our daily life are spent at work and in some cases we tend to understand our colleagues better than our family.
Emotional conflicts have become inevitable and part of our life. It is almost impossible to escape from such issues.
Unhappiness is something we have created for ourselves through material gains and greed. As we race to amass them, we increase our stress levels and in the process harm our body, mind and spirit.
The question now is how can individuals like John cope with such challenges, which are the norm in almost every home, because Sunday is the time the family members off-load and do the catching up.
While some view such challenges with pleasure, others see them as problems.
No family is immune from problems but there can be more happiness in the family if we identify and build our family strengths in common areas.
One such area is spending quality or healthy time and undertaking activities like playing a common game or sport that the whole family can participate in, and this is best done on a Sunday.
Happiness cannot be purchased and it should not be confused with pleasure, which is short-lived. Happiness is a natural outcome of living and this takes place every moment.
As long as we remain unaware of the things we have been blessed with, we cannot be happy. We crave for more and more materialistic things but ignore the greater value of the intangibles.
A simple exercise to test and stay happy is to wake up tomorrow and make a declaration that you would be extra careful when you speak and not utter a single negative word that could bring unhappiness to anyone.
Once this is in practice and is successful, continue with it for a week and carry on for the subsequent weeks, months, years ? and you will remain free from all negativity and enjoy happiness constantly.
This test can be further checked by your sleep pattern because studies have shown that people who are happy do not have difficulty sleeping. If we are unhappy, our sleep becomes disturbed.
Doing selfless service and charity is another way of finding happiness but charity should not be interpreted as when we give away what we don’t require like used clothes and belongings.
It should be giving away what we need most, and experience the happiness that giving brings.
For peace of mind and happiness, we need to look inwards rather than outwards. We need to find harmony within ourselves because it is not available through other means – no matter what price one is willing to pay.
The search for lasting happiness lies at the very heart of every individual though the attainment may be in different ways.
Some simple tips to stay happy are:
Train our mind daily with positive thoughts and energies. This will help us attain our goals.
Undertake simple exercises for our body, mind and soul. This has been found to be the foundation of lasting happiness. I recommend meditation and practising silence because in these exercises, the body is viewed as the plant, the soul as the flower and the happiness as the fragrance.
Start your day with sweetness of speech; practise kindness, selfless service and compassion.
Appreciate life and be happy with what you have, not what you do not have. Exercise simplicity.
Add smiles and laughter to the start of your day as this will relief burdens we have carried with us from the previous day.
Many of us have forgotten to smile. Smiling actually brings cheer to our face and improves our complexion.
One simple exercise will be to wake up tomorrow morning with a smile on your face and view your reflection in the mirror.
Following this, smile at everyone at home and as you travel or drive to work, greet anyone who comes into eye contact with a smile.
Next, when you walk past the security guards at your office, pause and give them a broad smile. When you are in the lift, switch on your smile again.
You can be assured that 90% of the people will return your smile and you can be sure of a happy day.