Shri Jagat Singh Bisht
(Master Teacher: Happiness & Well-Being, Laughter Yoga Master Trainer, Author, Blogger, Educator and Speaker.)
☆ Exercises That will Make You Happier ☆
I suggest some exercises that will make you happier. Try the ones that you like. You will feel happier. Repeat the exercises that work for you periodically, and you will feel still happier.
Have A Beautiful Day!
Have a beautiful day. Set aside a free day every month to indulge in your favourite pleasures. Pamper yourself. Design, in writing, what you will do from hour to hour. Be mindful and savour every moment of the beautiful day. Do not let the bustle of life interfere, and carry out the plan.
The Gratitude Visit
Select one important person from your past who has made a major positive difference in your life and whom you have never fully expressed your thanks. Take your time to compose a testimonial just long enough to cover one laminated page. Travel to that person’s home. It is important to do this face to face, not just in writing or on the phone. Do not tell the person the purpose of the visit in advance; a simple “I just want to see you” will suffice. When all settles down, read your testimonial aloud slowly, with expression, and with eye contact. Then let the other person react unhurriedly. Reminisce together about the concrete events that make this person so important to you.
Answer the following questions: Where can I simplify? What can I give up? Am I spending too much time on the internet or watching TV? Can I reduce the number of meetings at work or the duration of some of the meetings? Am I saying “yes” to activities to which I can say “no”? Commit to reducing the busyness in your life.
Each night before going to sleep, write down three things that went well during the day, that made you happy or things for which you are grateful. These may be small things or important ones. Doing this exercise regularly can help you appreciate the positive in your life rather than take it for granted. You can do this exercise on our own or with a loved one: a partner, child, parent, sibling, or close friend. Expressing gratitude together can contribute in a meaningful way to the relationship.
Practicing Acts of Kindness
True happiness consists in making others happy. In our daily lives, we all perform acts of kindness for others. These acts may be large or small and the person for whom the act is performed may or may not be aware of the act. Examples include feeding a stranger, donating blood, helping a friend with homework, visiting an elderly relative, or writing a thank-you letter. Over the next week, try to perform at least three acts of kindness that you may decide.
Learning to Forgive
This exercise involves letting go of your anger, bitterness, and blame by writing, but not sending a letter of forgiveness to a person who has hurt or wronged you. In it describe in detail the injury or offence that was done to you. Illustrate how you were affected by it at the time and how you continue to be hurt by it. State what you wish the other person had done instead. End with an explicit statement of forgiveness and understanding (e.g., “I realize now that what you did was the best you could at the time, and I forgive you”).
Sit quietly, in a comfortable but balanced posture. Keep your back straight without being tense. Rest your hands on your knees or thighs or in your lap, keep your eyes lightly gazing in the space in front of you, and breathe naturally. Watch your mind, the coming and going of thoughts. At first it might seem that instead of diminishing, thoughts rush through your mind like a waterfall. Just watch them arising and let them come and go, without trying to stop them but without fuelling them either. Take a moment at the end of the practice to savour the warmth and joy that result from a calmer mind.
References and Acknowledgement
Martin Seligman, Authentic Happiness, and Flourish.
Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier.
Matthieu Ricard, Happiness.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness.
Jagat Singh Bisht
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