What is happiness? – The quintessential philosophical question that evades the best, wisest and oldest of us. In today’s world, a million opportunities surround us. Especially for us women, the world is an exciting oyster, and we are here to devour it. Sometimes though, it takes a while for us to swallow the oysters, and sometimes a while more for it to digest. These little obstacles in life tend to slow down, impede and tarnish the entire big, beautiful picture of life.
As women in this exciting 21st century world, we are inundated with opportunities and choices around us. As per Barry Schwartz, PhD, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, “The more options you have, the higher your expectations, and when your expectations are sky-high, you’re destined for disappointment…no matter how good things get.”
So, if lavishness doesn’t get us all giddy, then what does? In today’s consumerist society, we tend to feel like the latest gadget or article of clothing will bring us that everlasting bliss. But those goods leave a fleeting speckle of joy. So, what is the key to that bliss? Let’s try and get a li’l beneath the surface in our quest.
1. Getting a close-knit, solid group of friends
From Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, to Emma and Liv in Bride Wars, and the epitome of Sitcom friendship – Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler in Friends, we all need our posse. Those special few that brighten the rainiest day, our silver linings in the grey clouds – the list of clichés goes on. But the foundation doesn’t – we need our friends; someone we can be ourselves around and share our tiny joys and sorrows with.
2. Wake up early
A seemingly small cog in the machine of happiness, albeit a crucial one. Think back to the last time you showered in 5 minutes straight, printed your notes off in 3, grabbed a coffee in 2 more, and just made it to class in time; only to realise that your conditioner is still stuck in your strands, you printed last week’s notes, your coffee has no sugar, and you just made it to class in time. Waking up 15 minutes early would have prevented an array of tiny, stressful moments that may slightly mess your day up.
Adventures needn’t mean being ‘wild’ in the stereotypical way – going to a party or a club, getting sloshed out of your mind, and not remembering it the next day. It could also be skydiving, or writing a book, or baking a new type of cookie, or taking a different path to hike from what you take usually.
Being adventurous comes down to 3 very powerful yet less used words – Follow your heart.
4. Send something to someone you care about anonymously
They say that happiness is like a perfume – one cannot have it without spreading it on others.
Knowing that you’ve brightened someone’s day can be the highlight of your day as well – simple as that.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Okay, so the hairdresser ruined your hair cut. Will that matter in a few months?
Okay, so your relationship didn’t work out. Will that matter in a couple of years?
No it won’t. You might not believe it now, but as clichéd as this may sound, it will. The nail polish will chip off, the hair will grow out, and the memories will be replaced by new, happier ones. And to aid the processes, there’s always acetone, a wig and lots of chocolate with reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Woman and Psycho (depending on how twisty you are).
6. Loving yourself is non-debatable
You are awesome. And beautiful. And intelligent. And sexy. And funny. And kind. And confident.
On certain days, you might lack a few aforementioned qualities. But always remember that those form the very core of you. Never compromise your values and beliefs for anyone; live your life the way you want to, without intentionally hurting anybody, and you’re en-route to blissful contentment.
The first stage to loving yourself is discovering yourself. Keep a journal, take those silly Cosmo quizzes, anything to find yourself, and once you find yourself, celebrate yourself.
Stay Bright and Bold Ladies!