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Happiness: How Do You Measure It?

Written by Farzana Rijas


For a mum, delivering a baby is usually one of the most painful incidents in human life.
As a student of medicine, even just seeing the whole procedure was traumatic for me. Yet, when everything was over and the baby cried for the first time, the new mum who, just moments ago was in excruciating pain, was suddenly the most happy person ever. Ever wondered how or why that happened? Ever stopped for a moment to measure the level of happiness in your life?

If happiness is something you find in the decadent chocolate cake in the patisserie next door or through the pizza boy when he delivers your favourite chicken pizza, you are probably talking about pleasure. Pleasure is something that vanishes as the cake or pizza vanishes down your throat. Happiness is much bigger than that.

If you think happiness is about owning a luxury car or a countryside home or a million dollar business, step back and ask yourselves. Do these things really keep you happy? If they did, why would so many celebrities and famous people go through depression, attempt of commit suicide or generally are having it rough? The truth is that once we achieve something, we long for the next in the list and this goes on.

In other words, if you measure happiness in terms of what you own, wear, eat or drink, you are probably getting it wrong. After all, happiness must not cost you a fortune. Anybody alive should have the bliss of happiness.

“If you want to be happy, be.” – said Leo Tolstoy. And yes, it's as simple as that.

So how can you reach the merry land of happiness? Here are some helpful clues to help you be part of the happiness bandwagon!


1. Adapt your attitude!

As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade “. So sit back and enjoy the sip. Everything that happens is an opportunity to grow and live better. Enjoy it, cherish it and wait for the surprises and spontaneity of life.

Practical Tip: Always put your full attention on what you do in that moment.


2. Be Grateful

Each and every moment of our life is gifted by the Creator exclusively for each of us. Whatever hardships we face, we still enjoy the many blessings that we never asked for- the sunshine, the earth, just even breathing without difficulty and so on. Realizing these little blessing and living a grateful life is often what it takes to be happy.

Practical Tip: Keep a “gratitude journal”, at least for a month, and reflect on the blessings you enjoy. You will be amazed at the items that fill the list!


3. Good Relationships

As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Robert Waldinger finally concluded that “quality relationships keep us healthier and happier.” Investing some time and effort in rekindling those forgotten ties is probably worthier than you thought. And obviously we are not talking about the ‘face-less’ Facebook friends, but those ties that are real and that are likely to stay a lifetime.

Practical Tip: Make it a habit to touch base with your family and friends, once in a while.


4. By spending right, buy happiness!

Money can’t buy happiness; I think we have all heard that before. But guess what, you can still find happiness in spending money, but if we spend that money on others! Spending anything, from giving a small gift to someone you love to donations to the needy who we have all heard of but perhaps never seen, will spread happiness in your life and obviously in their lives too. And remember, happiness when shared, is double the joy for everyone! Organizations like MAA International have been at the forefront of alleviating human suffering the past 27 years. All you have to do is become a regular donor and help us help others!

Practical Tip: Reserve a small part of your salary, even 1% of it, to spend on others every month.

5. Enjoy the ride

In one of his books, Paulo Coelho narrates a story of being introduced to ‘Nordic Walking’ (Google it!) and how he and his wife started loving it, until they came across the “rules” that had to be followed. They decided to correct themselves from the next day and tried to adjust the height of the pole, balance their gait, straighten their shoulders etc during the Nordic Walk and surprisingly, by following all those rules, they lost the joy of leisure walking altogether. Life is not always about following the rules and doing everything as planned. At times we need to let the imperfections unfold themselves and enjoy the ride as it comes.

Practical Tip: Be adventurous, try new things and embrace new ideas!



Farzana Rijas is a Homoeopathic Physician by profession currently pursuing her passion for writing. She likes to learn and share anything that inspires her to live a productive life. 


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