The secret to happiness….
It’s possibly the most cliché thing to say, as all would profess to knowing one secret or another. Yet, it’s often the simplest of gestures that are the biggest of these well kept secrets. Society is created in such a way that one doesn’t often realize what is missing from their life. We are kept as wind-up dolls, rushing to and fro streets that lack lustre, striving to reach the stars while gravity pulls you back in.
How many times have we stopped this last week to give our monotonous and rather unhealthy routines a break? How many times have we showed it or even felt grateful to all that we have in our lives? We often wake up grumbling, go to work dreading the day and anxiously await the moment we are free of the confines of those walls necessary to make a living from. When that fateful moment does arrive, we make a dash home to continue with more work that is required, to families and demanding dependants. We leave one nightmarish moment for another, mechanically juggling our duties but forgetting ourselves in the mix. We seem to forget that as malleable as the human brain is, as flexible as our abilities are, we need rest. Sleeping seems to become that only rest, a piece of paradise that seems to shrink evermore, until power naps between working day in and day out become the norm much more than a restful 8h as our biological clocks demand. Furthermore, this is all considering one has a steady routine career as opposed to shift work that imbalances the whole of one’s system, increasing stress levels and leading to burnout.
The secret in all this is to take a moment to yourself and give your busy mind a rest. Wake up with a smile on your face and give thanks for a simple pleasure. Feel the sun on your skin and thank the weather. Listen to the rain pelt against your windowpanes and thank the natural lullaby. Smile at your neighbour and give him a greeting, giving thanks that you have one who wishes you well. Thank your boss for giving you the job and for keeping you on. Thank your friends for sticking around. Thank your children for being good to you and your spouse for holding your hand. Take pleasure in a single morsel of food. Simply smile and accept what you are given, looking at the good. Then tell me you are stressed, that you feel depressed and lonely. It takes no more than a moment of your time to simply reflect on the present, the feel the beauty that surrounds you instead of focussing on the concrete greyness of the city. If you hear a bird chirp, listen to it and allow the music to fill you. If you touch a dress that feels soft to your skin, savour the moment and imprint the memory. You don’t need pills, dieticians, nutritionists, self-help books, etc.. All you need is a moment of reflection, given to yourself. A single second with a single smile that will brighten as the day goes by.
That is my secret. Shhhhh…