The pursuit of happiness

Published On: April 27, 2018 08:48 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

The many ways of loving yourself and being truly happy 

Everyone wants to be happy. But happiness is an elusive concept. Philosophers and psychologists have long sought to define it but there is no way to actually pin it down. More than simply just positive mood, happiness is a state of wellbeing that encompasses living a good life, with a sense of meaning and satisfaction. Research also shows that happiness is not a result of bouncing from one joy to the next but a constant state of being. However, everybody strives to be happy and there are things that are intrinsic to our happiness. The Week spoke to some people from various walks of life to find out what makes them happy. Here’s what they had to say. 

Spending time with my family inspires and energizes me.
- Sadikshya Budhathoki

I’m a software engineer so most of my time is spent staring at a computer screen. But whenever I get some time off, I spend it with my family. My family – my mother, father and my younger sister – are an absolute joy to be with. They connect me to my reality and in many ways inspire me to my best self. We have this tradition of always having dinner together because everyone has different schedules in the morning and we can’t have breakfast or lunch together. So we make it a point to have dinner together instead. But there are times when I’ve been home late because of work and missed dinner. Those days are the absolute worst for me and I actually have trouble falling asleep. We also have this old tradition of going somewhere and having a picnic of sorts every weekend and I do not think we have ever missed out on it yet. We talk about our week and anything to everything with one another during these mini getaways. This honestly refreshes me no end.

Working hard to create a life that feels good.
- Sunita Shrestha

For me, happiness doesn’t have to be limited to one or two things. The only way to truly care for yourself and be happy is by working on building a life that you do not need an escape from. And you do not get that from just doing one thing to perfection. It is a byproduct of everything that you do in your day, day after day. Every little thing counts. So I do everything that I have to, to live a fulfilled and happy. I stay on top of everything that I have to do for my job, I eat healthy, exercise everyday, educate myself in any way possible, meditate everyday and, once in a while, take time off to just focus on myself and my emotional stability. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember and I can honestly tell you that today I’m living a life I’m proud of and I’m the most satisfied I have ever been. This does not mean I don’t have days when I feel down but rather than running away from it or shutting myself off from the world, I deal with it. I try to find out the cause of this feeling and do what I have to in order to overcome it.

Faith and religion are important to me. 
- Babita Pokharel

I’m a very religious person who believes that God has full control over what happens in my life. So I put my faith in him and trust him to look after me and my loved ones. This gives me strength. My favorite part of any religious activity is the bhajans. I simply love listening to them and I like how bhajans today are really upbeat and motivating. It makes me happy. About once a week, I surf the internet for new bhajans that I haven’t come across yet and sometimes I end up finding a unique and weird one and I get hooked on it and annoy my family. Lately, I have also been listening to a lot of mushaira. I think they are very raw, original, and tell true tales. I also enjoy going on trips to religious destinations with my family. These trips really make me happy and fill me with positive energy. I get to do two things I love: Worship and spend time with my family.  

I enjoy planning everything but I’m also trying to be more spontaneous. 
- Nita Tiwari

I love planning things. It might sound pretty basic but I plan things on a religious level. I’m a very productive person and I love it. One of my biggest fears is wasting time and, to avoid that at all costs, I plan every minute detail of life. The worst-case scenario for me is when things don’t go according to my plan. I’m working on being more flexible with my schedule and being open to spontaneous activities. But I do not think I will ever give up on planning altogether because that is my happy thing – something that I do solely for myself and something that brings me immense joy. I love how we have control over what we do with our time and that determines what tomorrow will be like. So, I take full advantage of that control over my life and time and avoid doing things that are irrelevant and do not make me happy. When I say I hate wasting time I do not mean I work 24/7, I do take time off to relax and have fun. But I make sure these are things I really enjoy doing and don’t have to force myself to do.  

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