Sitting on the couch on a gloomy evening with a fine cup of tea with a handful of sweets and listening to the heavenly piece of music ‘River flows in you’ by Yiruma is the happiness that I seek in life everyday. Happiness is subjective. It is a personal feeling that depends on the situation and the mood. We believe that happiness is a strong emotion that even determines the process of life. What exactly is happiness? There are tons of things in our personal lives that we believe to be and classify as happiness. Sometimes it can be a good cup of coffee, moments with your circle of lovelies, reading an old diary and recollecting those nostalgic feelings, obtaining an unexpected result for an exam etc. Moments that you experience in life, they can make you feel happy. But it is temporary, which helps to live that particular moment. True happiness or eternal happiness is not that much hard to find. In fact, it is easier than we imagine.
Happiness is the one thing that all 7.9 billion people in the world chase after. The spiritual experience that we all are craving is happiness. But is this true happiness? Over 4.2 trillion outlets sells happiness in various ways. This natural emotion has turned into a business where people earn money by selling happiness. Over 3.4 million people take an online course on happiness. There are even 151 million people who post Instagram posts with the hashtag happiness. But why cannot people earn happiness naturally? If we can fulfil the following six ingredients properly, building up happiness becomes a simple thing: income, life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. If you can prioritize happiness by developing positivity within you, you’ll be free with happiness. Out of 195 countries globally, Finland stands as the world’s happiest country. As well as rest of the nations that belong to the Nordic region are in the top 10. These people have the liberation to live life enjoying nature, and even the government is keen on the people’s happiness. According to Finns, they believe that happiness in life is life satisfaction. Therefore, a government’s policies can be an essential factor in inducing happiness. Health and education are two factors that equally matter in developing a country’s wellbeing. Finland is a nation that has proved that time and time again. The education in Finland is outstanding, and the country’s literacy level is at 100%. While being the happiest country in the world, it also holds the reputation of having the best education. With this idea, it is clear that happiness can play a significant role in education. Once a Bhutaninan king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck declared that gross national happiness is more important than gross domestic product (GDP). According to this statement, it is clear that it is the duty of the government to ensure the wellbeing of people and not just create wealth.
Religion, too, has defined happiness with various interpretations. For example, according to Buddhism, happiness means wealth. And that is the only satisfaction that someone can earn. Materialistic things vanish with time, but true happiness never departs from lives. Moreover, Islamics believe, happiness is a life living process. It includes peace of mind, tranquility of heart, and contentment in everlasting bliss. According to Catholicism, happiness refers to the overall good life. And followers of Moses believe happiness is the ultimate goal that a man can achieve. Finally, Judaism says the pursuit of happiness is a moral duty. According to Hinduism, they believe in four chief purposes in human life, which secure temporary happiness. They are moral duty, wealth, conjugal bliss and liberation. Therefore the permanent happiness for Hinduism is obtaining freedom. That is how religion illustrates happiness. Therefore, comfort is the slight feeling in the emotion of happiness. That is the thing that we are craving, to achieve that comfort. That comfort is what we all absorb after watching our favourite movie series, after having a perfect dinner out, after reaching the end of the novel or what about the night before the annual school trip? These comfortable memories are the simple feelings of happiness we experience in life.
Happiness always depends on the quality of the relationship. And it comes with gratitude. True joy is always a mental relaxation. Money can satisfy you but can not give you eternal happiness. Chasing external pleasures like money and fame means you don’t know the exact meaning of happiness. Money or fame cannot buy you true happiness, and those external objects are just things that cannot even compare with happiness. Scientists that study feelings such as happiness have developed various scales to measure happiness. Happiness has become a more materialistic and impersonal thing in recent years. Some of those are the Steen happiness index, Subjective happiness index, and Fordyce’s happiness scale. Another question that arises parallelly is that, can we get the accurate value of happiness through these artificial mechanisms? Though it is not practical, it is even good to develop some mechanism to search for happiness.
If you ever feel you lose happiness within you or barely feel the happiness, look above and watch the blue sky and feel the rhythm of the cloud movement; you will feel the satisfaction. Touch a dewdrop on the grassy tip and feel nature; watch a cobweb and imagine its mechanism. That is happiness. Do not stick to one particular hobby; moreover, feel the vibe of other simple activities to collect happy moments. This life is one specific stay in this process called ‘sanasara’. Therefore live life with happiness. Be with the things that bring you joy and delight. Happiness can get you good health and morals to complete your next task. Without buying materialistic happiness, listen to what your heart tells and do accordingly. So finally, worry no more, live your life. Be happy on purpose. Look for beautiful things and absorb joy. Find hope and work according to it. Choose forgiveness even it is bitter to bear. Choose love even when it feels impossible. Make it a habit to choose joy as much as you can because life is not meant to be lived in disappointment and frustration. And it is not meant to be lived with hatred. It’s meant to be lived laughing so hard till your tummy yells, “stop laughing!”. It’s meant to be filled with tender moments in life. It’s meant to be filled with tight hugs that last for minutes. Life is meant to be lived happily.
– Rtr. Sarasi Adhikari
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