Five Strategies to be Happy in the Face of All Odds

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging ~ Joseph Campbell

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to sail through their lives with a smile on their lips and a song in their hearts come what may? Look around you and you will be sure to find inspiring people at work or at home who on the surface of it may have no plausible reason to be cheerful but still manage to be focused, positive and motivated (so much so that it can make you want to gnash your teeth sometimes 🙂 ).  Do you think life has given you a raw deal and you cannot possibly be happy in the circumstances? Well think again, because it is all in the mind and you can actually train your mind to be happy – NO MATTER WHAT!

Research has shown that people who cultivate a positive mind-set and stay happy cope and perform better in the face of challenges in their personal and professional lives. Here are some tried and tested strategies that can lift up your mind and heart instantly even when it’s all gloom and doom around you :

Strategy #1: Keep Moving Forward – What is the worst that could happen? Confront the thought. Come to terms with the fear or anxiety that you are experiencing. Let it go and experience the power of release. Also dwelling on the “Why me” question is really pointless. Think and focus your energies instead on the “what” you need to do next to make the best out of the situation. Multiply tiny pieces of time with small steps of daily effort and watch yourself getting happier.

Strategy#2: Count your Blessings – Often, we spend so much time fretting over what has gone wrong that we forget to be grateful for our blessings and tend to take them for granted. No matter how hard the situation is, there is always a blessing or two in there somewhere, be aware and be grateful to trigger your happiness. And if you can’t think of a single good thing about the situation, remember what Helen Keller said: The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

Strategy#3: Share a Smile – Laughter is an instant pep-up and it becomes even more special when shared. It is hard to laugh and cry at the same time, eventually laughter takes over, sadness dissolves and cheerfulness takes its place. When you are feeling low, just reach out to people around you, and make someone happy to feel much happier yourself. Consciously avoid negativity and being in the company of people who add to your misery.

Strategy#4: Dig into your Memories – Sift through your life experiences to pull out the ones that brought you joy. Savour them again and share them with your dear ones to flood your thoughts with happy feelings. Here is one memory from the poetries of my childhood that never fails to bring a smile to my face:

“For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.”

~ William Wordsworth

Strategy#5: Celebrate the Little Victories – In the midst of pain and misery, it is important to celebrate the small victories of faith, love and effort to be happy in the now. It doesn’t take much for us to make a big deal of small upsets, why is it then so difficult for us to be happy in the little things that bring us joy ?  Look for these victories every day in your life and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with each and every one. The more you celebrate – the more things you will find worth celebrating.

What tips and tricks have worked for you to stay happy even in difficult times? Where do you go for inspiration? It would be great to hear and learn from you and your experiences – we all need big doses of happiness in our lives.

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