The Art of Happiness And Being Kind

Happiness is an art, which makes it hard for all of us to attain it.

Everyone has dreams and aspirations. Some people strive towards certain long-term goals, integrating their sense of self, their career, their relationships, and other aspects of their lives mindfully — and in such a way that they organize particular steps on how to find success and work on that plan.

Others are more content to live each day to the fullest, making the most of the different aspects of their lives even without a precise set of objectives, and finding small successes in short-term goals that they achieve.

Either way, everyone is trying to figure things out. In my understanding, what we’re really trying to figure out is the art of happiness.

I’m sure all of us have wondered, some more often than others, if we’re currently happy with our lives.

And if we realize we’re happy, we then ask, how do we continue being so?

And if we realize we’re not, how do we start working on it?

I don’t have a degree in psychology or anything, and I’m sure I’m only one of too many people to reflect out loud about the art of happiness, but let me speak from experience and take a crack at it anyway.

What can you do to be happy?

The Art Of Happiness: The 4 Things You Can Do

1. Start Here And Now

First and foremost, it’s important to stop delaying or postponing the search of what makes you happy. It helps to start simple.

You don’t have to engage so deeply in a philosophical discourse and quote from famous ancient Greek scholars.

You don’t have to get a life motto tattooed on your arm and consistently try to stick by it everyday.

You don’t have to repaint your entire house so that it will look cheerful and inspire you to feel the same.

If any of those helps, good. But what matters is this: start today.

The desire to have a profound definition of happiness will put so much pressure on you. Instead, focus on the many unexpected little ways to start reflecting on your life and the art of happiness.

Simply reading a book, dressing up nicely for yourself, baking cookies or walking around the community might be able to help.

The point is for you to put yourself in the mindset of actively wanting to be happy, instead of merely letting your ordinary day-to-day routine pass you by.

2. Work Towards A Healthy Lifestyle

Now that you’re in the mindset of being happy in small and simple ways, it’s also time to introduce small and simple changes to your lifestyle.

After reflecting on the ordinary things you do everyday, it helps to identify how you want to make them better.

A definitely beneficial step is to pursue the healthy lifestyle you’ve always known you needed, whether that means putting effort into a plant-based diet or a regular exercise routine or both.

After all, a healthy body and a healthy mind should work together. Relax once in a while. Take breaks from social media.

I’m sure being more mindful of your lifestyle practices will eventually have a payoff.

Work towards your happiness by becoming healthier

3. Make Positive Memories

No man is an island. As creatures with a social nature, it’s a significant part of our lives to cultivate our interpersonal relationships.

But it’s not enough just to ask your family or friends how they are every once in a while. To properly keep up with our intimate connections, we have to ensure we spend quality time together.

Do a fun activity with your peers, something that you miss because you haven’t done in so long. Go bowling. Redo your garden with your family. Have a picnic with your nieces and nephews.

I’m sure there are a lot of positive memories from the previous years that you go back to whenever you’re feeling down, so what’s stopping you from creating more of those?

Bond with your loved ones, help each other make fantastic memories, and I don’t know, take some selfies to immortalize those great moments? Again, it doesn’t matter how you do it; what matters is that you do.

Be thankful and happy

4. Express Gratitude And Exercise Kindness

Here’s where I go scientific about the art of happiness. Some studies have tried to recognize certain predictors to our well-being, and they consistently include these: gratitude and kindness.

Feeling grateful is an awesome mindset to maintain, though it doesn’t come naturally. We spend so much time wanting more that we forget to be thankful for what’s already there for us.

We forget that sometimes, good enough is good enough.

It takes practice to inculcate gratitude in oneself, so make it part of your life. Write a thank you note each day — to a parent, a friend, a co-worker, or even a stranger. (Science says you don’t even have to send the letter of gratitude, so long as you write it down and get to think about it.)

If you’re a spiritual person, say thanks through your prayers before going to sleep.

Perhaps most effectively, feel grateful and pay it forward. Interestingly enough, gratitude works best when the positive feelings associated with it translate into kindness.

Don’t be afraid to help out. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself, performing acts of kindness can even give you actual health benefits.

Express gratitude and exercise kindness

These are only a few steps that you can initiate towards discovering the art of happiness. The specific answers, of course, will depend on your own history and your future goals.

But then, if you’re only going to follow four words from my list of tips, choose these: start here and now.

You might be surprised at the happiness — and more potential of it — that is already present around you, if you just look close enough.

BeepBeep Nation’s upcoming app will provide a platform for people to request for the help they need and others to offer their help. By facilitating face-to-face human interaction and creating a culture of kindness, the world becomes a much kinder and better place for everyone.

If you want to be one of the first in the world to use it when it’s ready, simply register as one of our supporters here.

An Attitude Of Gratitude Is Good For You

When I was a kid, my parents instilled an attitude of gratitude in me.

They taught me what they called “magic words.”

This includes saying please, I’m sorry, and most importantly, thank you.

Vague memories of preschool also have a similar lesson; I remember my playmates and I practicing that habit as encouraged by our awesome teacher Mrs. Silverstone.

When Nick lets you borrow his toy truck, say thank you. When Amy shares her fruit bites, say thank you. When Karl and Jessica make you join in their game involving color blocks, say thank you.

I myself don’t have a kid yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll definitely teach my son or daughter the same thing.

Especially after reading stuff here and there proving that something like it really exists. The science of gratitude.

Attitude of gratitude - be thankful

In a research study involving around 300 adults who sought psychological counselling services at a university, it has been found that an attitude of gratitude do not only help well-adjusted individuals, but also those who had mental health concerns.

The participants — most of whom reported clinically low levels of mental health, and struggled with depression and anxiety — were divided into three groups.

Although all three groups received counselling services, Group 1 was additionally asked to write one letter of gratitude every week.

Group 2 was asked to write about their deepest negative thoughts and feelings.

Group 3 didn’t do any writing.

Create an attitude of gratitude by writing a gratitude journal.

Those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health four weeks and 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

The researchers then decided to delve into the more physical science of gratitude and found out that their gratitude exercise had actual lasting effects on the brain.

Using an fMRI scanner to analyze how the participants’ brains were processing information, the researchers asked Group 1 (gratitude letter writers) and Group 3 (people who didn’t write) to do “pay-it-forward” tasks.

They were to be given money by a benefactor, and they can decide how much of it they were going to give back to a cause of their choice.

The researchers found out that across participants, the brain activity of people who felt grateful and the brain activity of people who felt mostly guilty and obligated to do the task were very distinct.

When grateful people donated more, their medial prefrontal cortex became more sensitive. This is a part of the brain associated with learning and decision-making.

Interestingly, this higher sensitivity was also more identified in the group who were gratitude letter writers in the previous experiment.

Attitude of gratitude - show your appreciation

Other studies involving the science of gratitude also yielded fascinating results.

It has been linked to better quality of sleep, as well as decreased blood pressure.

And in seeming accordance with the neurological findings of a study, gratitude has been linked to a boost in willpower and impulse control, helping people make better decisions like avoiding overeating, exercising more and attending regular checkups.

Attitude of gratitude - thank somebody for making a difference in your life.

So don’t be afraid to need help. What’s important is to remember to feel grateful and to express it to the people who are there for you.

If you want to read more about the science of gratitude, here’s a link to various research projects.

If you want to participate in a cause that encourages people to get help and feel grateful, check out the BeepBeep Nation App. It provides a platform for people to request for the help they need (called requestors) and for other people to respond (called helpers).

Once the task is done, requestors may give a gratitude tip to their helpers. However, it’s not mandatory, because as we have seen scientifically, gratitude is so much more real if it’s willingly felt and reciprocated.

Of course, requestors themselves may also want to be helpers to somebody else if they want to pay it forward. 

BeepBeep Nation instills an attitude of gratitude in its users, which will definitely make the world a better place.

If you would like to be a BeepBeep Nation supporter, click here now.