Saturday, June 17, 2017

10 things that make me happy


I haven’t blogged for a long time and so when I came across this "30 day writing challenge", thought of taking it up. Felt that these exercises will give you a road-map if you like to write but have a resistance sometimes.  I don’t want to force myself just for the sake of writing, so I don’t think I’ll be doing it continuously. However planning to do 3-4 posts per week.
So the first prompt is “10 things that make me happy”
There are many little things that make me happy on a daily basis – a flower that blooms in my garden, the smell of brewing coffee beans, snuggling under the warm blanket on a cold weather, welcoming antics of my dogs when I get back home, getting personal calls/chats/messages, a nice warm hug, the small thin crust pizza from the neighboring pizzeria, popping a bubble wrap and the list goes on... Probably these are the everyday things worth celebrating which we don’t appreciate enough and take them for granted. There are still many more that instantly lifts me up in whichever mood I am in.
So below is my “Cheer Up” list, in no particular order:
1)     Journals and Photographs
I love writing journals and read through them many many years later. It’s so funny to realize how naive you were and how much you and your situations have changed from that. Same way, I can look at the old photographs for hours together and relive those moments in my head. For that matter anything that evokes memories - a handwritten letter, old greeting cards, a gift – all of these evoke a feeling of happiness in my mind.

2)     Smell of rain
I have written this earlier – Rain for me is an emotion. It brings an instant smile to my face. The smell of soil when it first rains, the pitter patter sound, the puddles it leaves behind - everything is just perfect (ok almost. I’m not counting the flooding drains and traffic jam in Bangalore which are more of man-made disasters)

3)     My friends and family
I am the luckiest to have a huge support group of genuine and long standing friends all through my life. Most of my friends are from school time and we are still in touch and share the same bond whichever part of the world we are in. Even in the later life, I have gained quite a few from office, from my travels, from the volunteering organizations I worked and such. It's more like the thin line between friends and family doesn't exist with them. So there's nothing better than meeting up with a few of them for a meal or just a coffee and have a hearty conversation right? And it doesn't even have to be a meet - even a sudden call or a random message from a friend surely makes my day and gives an instant happiness!

4)     Reading a good book
I am not a voracious reader and so it has to be a really good book that can totally immerse me in. That book which I just can't put down, where the characters come alive, where the book-world seems as real as the real world. And finally when I reach that last page; it’s not a happy feeling, it's euphoric. And sometimes it also make me sad that the book is over and there are no more pages to turn over.

5)     Babies
They are ridiculously cute. Aren't they? The chubby little cheeks, twinkling little eyes and the happy little smiles have a certain honesty and a complete sense of innocence that's difficult to find in grown-ups. And I think it’s not just limited to humans, even the antics of baby animals are so adorable. I guess babies represent new hopes, new aspirations and kind of brings in a flood of positivity in everyone.

6)     Nature
Brown Earth, flowing rivers, sprawling mountains, crystal-clear lakes, dense forests, colorful flowers, warmer tones around sunrise and sunset, the ocean waves repeatedly crashing on to the beach – who can resist admiring these beauties. Nature has so much to offer us, if we simply slow down to enjoy it. I will always remember that moment of awe when I stood watching the sunlight leak out through the clouds over the mountains of Chembra Peak in Wayanad, or the way the sunrise turned Mt Neelkanth in Badarinath to a striking shade of gold or the sudden appearance of a double rainbow in front of us during a stroll in the park in Munich. Nothing else has given me as much joy as these small sights and yes it certainly makes me happier, kinder and more creative J

7)     Take Vacations
I can write essays and essays on this topic. Travelling is about gaining new experiences and insights, meeting new people, understanding their culture, admiring the beauty and also challenging our own boundaries. Although I like to plan all the details of my trip to a T, I have experienced that things can take a surprise turn like this. But knowing that whatever happens, you can deal with these situations and that there is a way around the problem is a big boost to self-confidence and happiness. I believe travel can make you a better person than you are today. It helps me to broaden my horizons and adapt a totally global view in everything.

8) Helping someone
    No I'm not talking about giving to charity or volunteering in NGOs. Of-course most of us do that in order to enrich our own lives and boost our self-esteem and yes that also gives happiness in it's own way. But what I am referring to is about doing some kindness for a person sitting next to us that we often ignore - a family member, a stranger, a colleague, our spouse, anyone we come across in our day to day life. It can be as simple as giving a smile and being friendly. Or maybe stopping to help when we see someone pulled over with a flat tyre or teaching a neighborhood grandma to use a computer. If you see someone in grief, comfort  them with a hug or a kind word or just by lending a listening ear. Often someone who is sad, depressed, angry, or frustrated just needs someone who will listen. Just be there, sit with them, talk, help out if you can - it all matters more than we know and make their day a little better.

9) Art and Crafts
     I love making and learning new crafts. It is therapeutic and it has the power to engage me so fully, till I finish the learning part 😑 After that I may not repeat the same again but it's so much fun to explore and try out any new form of art

10) Weekends!
Today is Friday eve and I’m already beaming with happiness 😉 Not sure what is behind this feeling - is it the possibility of that extra sleep or the opportunity to laze around or having enough time to pursue your creative ventures? Anyways it can definitely help boost my mood
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