The quest for happiness is eternal to humanity. Every human on this earth wants to be happy. The meaning and search for happiness vary from person to person. Happiness to different people could either mean comfort, satisfaction, growth, achievement, enlightenment, freedom, contentment, or peace. All of these words refer to happiness in different contexts. In the end, happiness is the feeling of joy and ecstasy.
People get so caught up in their daily lives, failing to realize what offers them happiness. It is not a bad idea sometimes to pause and reflect on what we are running after. It can help us determine what it takes to be happy.
A vast majority of people are unaware of mindful living or don’t introspect enough for their happiness(or lack thereof). Such questions even may seem meaningless to them.
It’s a common perception that materialistic things are the only source of happiness. It is believed that buying expensive things and possessions can only offer happiness. What skips the realization is that possessions provide temporary happiness.
Experience is better than possession in various aspects. Experience gives you perspective, enlighten your minds, and it stays forever in your heart compared to materialistic possessions that fade away sooner. You can retain your experiences throughout your life as it renders the lasting memories to cherish forever.
Happiness is essentially a state of mind with a positive outlook on life. Following are some of the ways you can experience happiness without spending a single penny and can remain resilient in unprecedented times:
Ways to experience happiness without money
Health is the first and foremost factor for human happiness. You don’t realize the importance until you lose your health and badly want to go back to your normal health. Sometimes just good health and food on your plate are all you need.
2) A flow state
It is also referred to as “being in the zone”. You are fully immersed while working on your task, project, assignments. It is the mental state of heightened focus and enjoyment in the process of an activity that you lose track of time and space.
3) Learning & Growth
Learning and growth go hand-in-hand. Learning gives you a new perspective on life and enables you with the skills for your professional development. It doesn’t matter whether you are learning for professional growth or as a personal hobby, it can always give you a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
It is the sudden realization of an idea, a notion, a perspective that you feel on top of the mountain. For instance, you are impeded on a project you are working on. Following a few trials, you get the epiphany that you must approach the problem differently and you proceed thereafter. I have personally experienced this multiple times while solving technical problems.
5) Lost in pursuit
It’s a no-brainer that the pursuit of a purpose gives you happiness. The progress is happiness. Knowing that you are moving towards your goal one day at a time gives you a feeling of contentment.
Any sports activities like exercising, running, swimming can boost your physical and mental health and thereby improve your overall well-being.
There are endorphins rush following an extensive sports session that makes you experience a heightened mental state. All sports activities are credited for such euphoric highs.
Sunlight elevates your mood and fosters the feeling of calm. I eagerly wait for the beautiful Sunday morning where I do nothing and just soak-in the Sun for some time. It’s one of the greatest pleasures given to humans for free.
8) Experiencing Nature
Nature is the best way to uplift your spirits. Experiencing the Sunrise/Sunset, Rains or Trees exhilarates the mood. It’s surreal to connect with nature, walk in the gardens, and look at birds. You can rejuvenate with the serenity of your surroundings.
Mindful living is about being able to stay present at the moment, being aware of your surroundings, and to focus on what are you doing at the moment like eating food or talking to your friends. You are not absent-minded while performing an activity.
10) Living on your own terms
Living on your terms is the way to personal freedom. It’s not about disobeying the rules and regulations. It’s about living your life true to your values.
You don’t give in to societal norms, herd mentality or anyone’s opinion of success/failure. You develop your own value system that guides you throughout life. You live by your integrity without ever compromising on it.
Gratitude is about being grateful for what you have. You can be thankful for the people in your life, the education you had, the opportunity you got et al. In the modern world, if you can read English, has an Internet connection, have food on your plate, and live at a hygienic place, then you are better than a large majority of the world’s population.
To realize the gratitude, you have to look at people who are less privileged than you. Your life fares better on several parameters.
12) Learning to play instruments
You can’t think of the world’s problem while playing musical instruments. You can go to the center stage in your college/office if you are good at any musical instrument.
13) Giving back
Everybody wants to be part of something larger than himself/herself. Making an impact in the community, volunteering to a cause or contributing to society gives you real happiness. It gives a sense of belonging and makes you feel to be part of a larger cause.
What people commonly understand that happiness is a top-down approach. They believe that they can only be happy once they are successful or have tons of money. They may hold themselves from being happy until they reach a particular point in their life.
The reality is exactly the opposite. Happiness is a bottom-up approach. If you are happy in your work, you work with enthusiasm and can get promoted sooner than you anticipate. The happiness advantage works in your favor.
Happy people reach the corporate ladder faster, contribute to the project effectively and their overall contribution is higher than that of their peers.
You can potentially realize your happiness quotient by asking simple questions like what makes you happy, what makes a sparkle in your eyes, what makes you come alive, what things hold your attention for long, and what work gives you inner peace? You can not know the answer to these questions initially unless you try tons of things.
It’s not easy to find answers instantly. People would not be unhappy had they known answers to all these questions. The point is to experience multiple things and introspect altogether as to what makes you excited and get you to jump off your seat.
In the end, happiness is the feeling of overall well-being not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too !!