“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” And Indians may not just be looking the right way. According to the findings of a recent Gallup poll on well-being, India scored 78 numbers in terms of positivity and happiness.
Perhaps, Latin American nations seem to know a thing or two about achieving happiness with its seven countries scoring top on the poll- all being Latin American. On the contrary, people in Syria and Iraq are least likely in the world to report experiencing positive emotions.
The poll recorded the percentage of adults in each country who responded with a “yes” to the questions asked such as: “Did you feel well-rested yesterday? Were you treated with respect all day yesterday? Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday? Did you learn to do something interesting yesterday...?”
This means that though 78 percent people in India feel positive and happy, it’s not just good enough. We need to do better than this for our own well-being. Probably we are saying a lot of “No.” It can be hard to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes,’ especially if we ourselves are the sources of our own negativity. But, it cannot be impossible; after all Paraguay has proved this by being the happiest country in the world.
Many-a-times life seems like a perpetually dark tunnel and a negative mindset easily sets in our day-to-day lives. This pushes us into unhappiness and depression. Indians are famous to take “everything to heart” which makes them a whining lot. Be it snivelling about the cruel boss, or the nagging mother-in-law, or the amateur driver in front of our car, or the careless cable guy who just can’t fix the dish in time; we don’t leave any occasion to complain.
Fortunately, some positive ideas can make a huge difference in improving our outlook towards life.
Cease to complain all sorts of complaining. Indians can very easily express discontent over their city being so dirty and polluted while they happily ignore the fact that they are the ones causing all the filth. It may seem like the most difficult thing to stop complaining and start doing something about what is bothering you, but changing your perspective can help. Instead of sulking about “wow, there is so much crowd in the metro,” think “wow, I have lots of beautiful people to look at, which will make the journey time go by quickly.”
Remember Elvis Presley saying “When things go wrong, don’t go with them?” Similarly, when people go wrong, don’t go with them. Back biting may be the favourite pastime of us Indians, but even if someone has wronged you, speak nicely of them. If you find it difficult to do, just abandon those people instead of saying mean things, and surround yourself with positive people who will lift you higher.
It is when we are ungrateful to all the great things in life, that we lose our humility and gather negative thoughts. We Indians just can’t stop being displeased about how less leaves our office provides or for how long we have to over-work, but we never thank God for giving us a job at least which is far more comfortable than a mason’s and will be treated as a treasure by a beggar. The husband can go on and on about his wife’s poor culinary skills but never thanks her for looking after his ageing parents or young kids. Start to write 10 gratuities daily- “my loving family,” “my supportive partner,” or “my spacious apartment,” “the sunshine after four cloudy days,” or “my thick volume of hair at 40 years of age.” It could be anything that you are grateful about.
And start smiling! There doesn’t have to be a reason for it. Just smile for the heck of it. Smile at the cute little kid playing in the playground, smile at your maid cleaning your house, smile at the old neighbour listening to ghazals on high volume, smile at the pretty butterfly hovering around a bush. Even if someone makes fun of you, laugh with them.
Of course, the colleague who got promoted didn’t deserve it and you did. But, these are things you really can’t control. We Indians let others’ success overpower their feelings, which we shouldn’t do. Look at others’ success with a positive view point- if they can do it, why can’t I? If you can learn to control your thoughts, you can control the experience and emotions of life. In order to control your thoughts, be it envy, jealousy, or anxiousness- meditate and relax; it is a change in consciousness.
The harder you will work, the luckier you will get; and no one will get time to think of all the negativities. Sitting idle and doing nothing is the worst thing for a negative frame of mind. Stop moping around feeling sorry about yourself. Get up and do something worthwhile. Exercise, help needy, go out on a vacation, and give your life a positive spin.
Remember, negativity causes stress and stress causes weight gain, imbalanced hormones, insomnia, depression, anxiety and other chronic health issues- precisely everything that we Indians suffer from. You want to avoid it at any cost. Don’t let negativity ruin your relationships or your spirit. Fight it and fight it hard!
Come on India, gear up! In the next poll, we must rank at the top position for the happiest country in the world.
Image Courtesy: Getty
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