Finally, happiness is unlocked
- Mondelez India’s Happiness Unlocked campaign puts you in touch with the little joys of life.
This Saturday will mark exactly 333 days since lockdown was announced last year. As days turned into weeks and then months, you adapted to life in confinement. Eleven months down, one learning is universal: It doesn’t take much to be truly happy. Just being mindful and present in all you do is enough.
So, you learnt to be mindful of your, and your loved one’s health, paid heed to passions and interests by nurturing creativity, became open to love and took care of relationships, focussed on work as you juggled responsibilities, and in doing so Happiness Unlocked. The Founder and CEO of The Positivity Company Birender Ahluwalia says “In the best of times, in the worst of times, happy and positive individuals stand out as a hope for leading brighter and more fulfilled futures.”
Emerging from isolation and looking at the future with renewed hope, you have figured out a way to shrug off the madness and walk the path of happiness. How was it possible?
Positive Psychology advocate Chris Peterson expressed it perfectly, “Happiness is not a spectator sport.” And you jumped in. Slowly you inject happy and positive practises into your routine. Some started practising mindfulness and meditation, others found happiness through physical activity like walking, cycling, or yoga. Some rediscovered joy in creative pursuits and learnt to play the ukulele, wrote poetry, or just took pleasure in baking.
You paid heed to Peterson saying: “Other people matter.” That was the second route to happiness. People reached out to make sure loved ones were okay, expressed their gratitude to others. They reached out to look after senior couples. “Zooming” into each other’s homes, they celebrated birthdays together, wiped each other’s miseries, and gave hope. Forming heartfelt connections with the people who truly mattered, they reconnected. Whether by baking cookies or helping people find jobs, everyone chipped in. Social distancing did not result in an emotional disconnect.
Now the time has come to make a fresh start
Economist Katy Milkman’s research has found that when people cross a significant time-based landmark such as anniversaries, birthdays, New Year, or even month ends, it helps make a new beginning. Humans tend to take a big-picture view and leave behind the imperfections of the previous period. This motivates aspirational goals.
A month from now, 20 March is World Happiness Day. Last year India slipped to the bottom rung. Here are three science-backed strategies to continue doing the small acts of happiness that worked for you in the last 333 days. Find your key to joy and set out on your journey towards Happiness Unlocked, for yourself and those who matter.
Reach out to loved ones
If relationships make you happy, you could start by telling someone how much they mean to you. You could write a small note or even call them and tell them what they need to hear. When you reach your workplace, and all faces are covered with masks, you could make eye contact and flash the brightest of your smiles. It might make someone’s day. The most important gift you can give someone is your time. Pick up the phone and call a friend you haven’t connected with for ages and just reconnect with them. You could even freshen up people’s birthdays. For some people instead of sending them a text, send them a voice note by recalling one or two endearing traits that they have.
Try random acts of kindness. Pick a particular day of the week. Think of five people. Now think of a random act of kindness that you would like to do for them. Now do all the acts of kindness in one day.
Reconnect with nature
You could even look at bringing the emotion of wonder into your lives. Step outside and connect with nature. Notice five things in nature that are beautiful on their own. Try waking up early and watch the sunrise, or if possible, go to a place where you can watch the sunset. Watching the spectacular red, orange and pink colours of joy will slow you down and bring a fresh perspective to the way you see the world.
Happiness starts with you. You can inspire people when you share your tiny stories of joy. Start a spiral of fulfilment and positivity. What is your story of happiness? Share your positive pick-me-ups, it might inspire someone to greater heights.