Have you reflected on what emotions most of the times dominates you? Generally speaking, most people would love abundant happiness on their everyday lives. Many people want to possess that positive feeling, yet they always see happiness as an emotion which is very elusive. For this reason, I decided to write proven and tested tips for someone to discover what it is really to be happy.
Before the awaited wedding of my sister in the Philippines, my boyfriend and I visited Hongkong Disneyland, an awesome place for all ages. Lovely princesses, fearless knights, majestic castles, fantasies, and fairies. Name all those things that make you feel alive during your childhood days, and you’ll definitely see them all in Hongkong Disneyland. In addition to that, it is widely known as the happiest place on Earth. There is no single doubt about it as people of all ages had the fun of their lives going from one attraction to another.
This lead me to the realization that no matter how old one gets, there would always be the inner child longing for play and fun. Being in Disneyland opens a magical path for me to travel back to my childhood days.
Thinking about the fantastic trip to Disneyland, I came up with 10 simple ways on how we can invite happiness to dwell within each one of us.
1. Once in your life, travel
Whenever my playmates and I would hear the sound of an airplane, we would frantically point at the airplane flying around on the big and wide blue sky. Then, we would be guessing who were the people inside the airplane. Some of us had relatives abroad and each one would say that it was the aunt, the uncle, the cousin, or the grandparent who was one of the airplane’s passengers. I would listen to each one of them with enthusiasm and would silently dream that someday I could have wings to fly. This reminded me of Peter Pan and I wish I were Wendy. I just needed to think happy thoughts and voilà! I could fly.
I was a playful kid even though most of the times I was shy. Every time I would see that there were gravel and sands/filling materials that resemble a hill, I would go over to its top. Then, I would stretch my arms like wings and ran down fast as if I was flying.
When I became a teenager, my family took me to far places where there were sights of tall mountains, clear and blue bodies of waters, and a bunch of greeneries all around. I absolutely love it travelling by bus or train but I would love it more to travel by an airplane.
God heard my prayer. My first airplane experience was when we competed for a national competition in Visayas Region. After a year, my boyfriend and I went on a trip to Singapore. Although travelling almost empties my pocket, it also enriches my life in some ways. Going from one place to another offers a sense of adventure and wonders that reading travel mags or watching TV’s alone cannot fulfill. Just by looking at my travel photos, I feel happy and I will be always looking forward for more travel and more happiness.
Traveling changes perspectives which make someone a better person. It leads us to different cultures, beliefs, and languages that make us understand people on the other side of the world. When we travel, we also discover by our own selves that this world is not a scary place to live in as what the news programmed us to think
2. Read a good book
Christmas is the time of the year when my parents would take me to my Godparents home. I would usually receive dolls and tiny cooking pots as gifts every year. I would accept the gifts with joy and thanks. However, not all dolls were meant to be played when I was a child. My parents would just prefer some of them displayed in our living room. I had many toys in the house but I did not enjoy playing those as much as I enjoyed reading a book.
My love for reading gives me an edge to my other classmates. I continued that interest in reading up to high school and college. It has been a way of escapism for me. Through reading, I can explore the world of fantasies, get lost in space, trace the history, or learn some things in life that will be beneficial for me in the long run.
3. Watch a movie
Disney movies are the types that I love watching the most even I am already a professional. I treasured those moments when my mom and I would simply take a break from doing household chores. Then, we would get some crackers and would watch Disney Cartoons together. My mom and I shared a hearty laughter when those Disney Characters do silly things. Those movies are beautifully crafted not only to entertain its viewers but also to leave lessons about love and friendships.
Watching Disney movies has been always an entertainment backed up with lessons. I love how those movies take us to a perfect world where good always win and evils are always defeated.
4. Commune with Nature
One of the memories I would always cherish during my childhood days was those years when my parents would take me with them to our farm. I would be very excited as it would mean riding a canoe from our place to our farm. My parents paddled on the water and I had to sit quietly watching the trees and few houses from a distant while listening to the rush of the water.
Being on our farm was like being in a relaxing place. The air was fresh and sweetened by the smell of the greenery. Our farmhouse which was built by my grandfather offers comfort after a long day work in the rice paddies. Walking on an embankment of the verdant rice field was a fun for me for there was no such thing like that when I was in the city.
Tree-climbing was done with zeal even though I was most of the times got scolded for doing such. There was a deep well beside the tree that I climbed, but when I was a kid I did not focus much on consequences of my actions. The tree and I had a wonderful relationship. I felt like I found a best friend in the form of nature.
5. Develop a genuine interaction with people
I was not a hundred percent extrovert child. Most of the times, I would be inside our house helping my mom cleaning the house, or I would be watching a TV, or reading a book. But when my mom would tell me we were going to my grandparents’ house, I would jump with joy. My cousins were there and it would mean that I could play with them. We would sometimes play hide and seek or chit-chat about their pets or their gardens. Being with others definitely made me a happy person. With my cousins, I felt the added joy of childhood years.
The well-known cliché “No man is an island” is proven true. Each of us is a part of a grand design created by our lovingly Father above. It is indeed amazing how our life becomes connected to others. Our story most of the times are intertwined to the story of other people be it intentional or incidental. From that, our life suddenly becomes more meaningful. We cannot exist in this life on our own. Our parents are our first best friends, followed by our siblings, cousins, and all people around us. Definitely, no man can live alone. Even the most independent and strongest person on this planet needs someone.
6. Appreciate small things
I love when it is sunny as well as when it is rainy. Every time a raindrop would fall, the kiddie version of me would persistently ask my parents if I could play in the rain. Once permitted, I would rush to our downspout and let myself get drenched. I saw our downspout as our shower for we did not have it in our bathroom. My parents said only the rich owned a shower.
We also had a wide backyard that time and I would usually found my simple joy splashing in puddles with my small feet and be reaching out to catch the falling drops. There were times that I would bring out the paper boat that I made and run them to the water. Sometimes, I would play with other kids on the street by chasing them or letting myself be chased. Whenever it rains, I was the happiest.
When we were kids, we were keen on many things no matter how small it was. It was easy for us to laugh, to smile, or to make peace with other people. Life becomes lovelier when we set our mindset in gratitude and positivity. Putting our attention on what we have and being thankful for it goes a long way. It has been said that what we think, we attract. Focusing on the blessings and not complaining about things that did not go according to our plans is a good way to throw away the negativities.
7. Forgive and Forget
It took days that I did not talk to my brother because of a misunderstanding. My mom talked and explained to me about forgiving. Keeping pride is something that is comparable to cancer that destroys one’s body. It would make us sick and would torture us inside and out. So if we want our loads to get light, we should despise pride and open ourselves to forgiveness.
As people gets older, life becomes more complicated. The older one goes, the more difficult it is to let go. But we have to realize that we can only attain peace and happiness once we moved on from the past, forget all the hurts, and treasure each moment given to us to live. Easier said than done, but nothing is impossible if we try it.
8. Take Challenges
It was difficult to perform in front of my classmates but my groupmates would always encourage me. With a constant push, I found myself already standing in front and doing what I supposed to do.
I guess that I would never enjoy the life that I have now if I did not take challenges that were given to me from my past. I had been always afraid to take challenges. On the other hand, there have been always people who push me to give it a try. They have been my family, friends, special someone, colleagues and sometimes even just an acquaintance.
9. Learn a new skill
When the sweet soothing sound of the organ filled our house, I knew exactly who was playing. It would always be my brother. Then, I would stop whatever I was doing and I would watch him played the organ. My mom noticed my enthusiasm so she asked my brother to teach me how to play the keys. After many weeks of practicing, I was able to play “Lift Up Your Hands to God” by Basil Valdez. My parents would be very proud of me for being able to play the organ and at times, my mom would sing along. It would give me a bubbly feeling inside because there was something new that I learned.
Having quiet times helps me to organize my thoughts. I love learning new skills. It keeps me from thinking about things which are not worth thinking of. Making myself busy and productive brings in complete satisfaction.
10. Stop comparing yourself with other people
I experienced being compared to my classmates, cousins, and friends since I was a kid. There seems to be an endless list of things which have become the basis whether a person is good or doing well or not. I struggled with it for many years and it has been one of the major causes of frustrations for me.
Through constant reading, I have realized that it should be stopped. Nothing good will happen if we will keep on comparing ourselves to someone else. It will just be the cause of jealousy or animosity. We have our differences that make us unique. No one is perfect and accepting our being and appreciating what God gave to us, and improving the skills and talents that we have already are keys to having inner peace within ourselves.
Just like the Disney stories that we read or watched before, I bet that all of us want to have a happy ending story. We cannot go back to childhood days when life was simple and easy but we can focus on the present and enjoy the life that we have now. There are two reasons some people live in miseries and it is either they cannot move on from the bad events of the past or they are too worried about the future.
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