An Eight-Step Guide To Happiness For A Post-COVID World

Uncertain and complicated though these times may be, the secret to happiness lies in keeping things simple and getting the small things right

Rajesh K. Pillania Updated: May 16, 2020 10:45:08 IST
An Eight-Step Guide To Happiness For A Post-COVID World Photo: Shutterstock

Simple but effective, consistent and focused steps are necessary to overcome the fear and uncertainty of a post-COVID-19 world. What’s important is to set your mind on what you can control. Overall, adopt a positive, cautious attitude, follow the guidelines given by the government health departments and keep faith that these times too shall pass.

One way to stay positive is to replace each negative thought with two or three positive ones. Once you have crossed this barrier, deal with the days, one at a time—how you want to spend it is entirely up to you. However, keeping a simple routine helps as it allows your brain and body to know what to expect at a particular time of the day. This will bring order to your daily life.

Here is an eight-step strategy, which you may choose to follow to stay happy. All the steps have been backed by scientific evidence as having a positive effect on people’s well-being.

1. Start your day with a smile—and do so, as often as possible, through the course of the day. Science has shown a correlation between smiling and happiness—when we smile, we feel happy, and vice-versa. On that note, end your day with a smile too.

2. Playing sports or doing workouts or yoga, any time of the day, helps build your immune system and also releases the hormones responsible for happiness, such as serotonin and dopamine. If you do not know where to start, check out the many free videos on sites like YouTube. When it comes to eating, immunity boosters are highly beneficial.

3. Connect with your family and friends, either over the phone or in-person (if possible), every day. A Harvard University study, one of the longest on the subject of happiness, found that the number one contributing factor to our happiness is the strong bonds with our near and dear ones. Use this time to make your relationships with people stronger, or mend the ones that have been damaged.

happiness-2_051520061218.pngPhoto: Shutterstock

4. Don’t feel shy to ask for help from your friends, family and colleagues to get you through these difficult times. The fear and anxiety will naturally reduce once you know you are not alone in this crisis. It’s also a great feeling to help others, be it people, animals, birds or plants, without expecting anything in return.

5. Use this time to learn or do something, which you always wanted but never had the time for.

6. While it’s important to minimize COVID-19 losses, especially personal ones if there have been any, it’s also equally vital to let go. By dwelling too much on tragedies, you will only be increasing your pain and suffering, even though the physical cause may no longer be around.

7. It’s simple, oft-repeated advice but counting your blessings does work miracles. According to many happiness and wellness experts, it’s also a good practice to note down some good things you are grateful for, before going to bed.

8. Last, but not the least, do not blindly believe whatever you see on social media as there’s a lot of misinformation being spread across platforms. Exercise your critical judgement and trust only credible sources to stay away from fake news. More importantly, be aware of all that’s happening around you, but do not obsess unnecessarily over COVID-19 news.

The author is Professor of Strategy at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
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