Everyday is race against time in our maddening, fast paced city lives. I too run this race every single day as I go through my morning chores and finally huffing and puffing reach the bus stop hoping and praying that the bus would arrive on time. As I wait I am guilty at times of thinking what a struggle this is everyday… and then I see one of my regular co passengers, a blind gentleman also on his way to work like me. The sight of him and his cheerful “Good Morning” to the cheerful conductor of the Volvo bus in namma Benguluru is enough to pull me out of any preoccupation I had chosen to plunge myself into. It is a gentle reminder to me that I cannot take anything for granted in life even for a moment… of how blessed I am.
Many of us often equate happiness to all those things we do not have, situations we are not in… of all what is not there in our lives. Here is where we miss the bus to destination “HAPPINESS”. Have we ever paused to think of what it would be like if we did not have our five senses intact, the windows through which we experience the world? Have we ever spared a thought of how it would be without someone to care for us or to care for? Have we ever thought how challenging it would be if we did not have any education or a job to go to, a roof above our heads… to be in a country where we are free citizens and have the freedom of expression? I could go on and on… The fact is that we often take so many things for granted and we realize their importance only when we lose it.
This is often the main source of negativity in those people who we label as depressed. All of us need to be careful that we do not fall into this trap of negative thinking. We need to ensure that we do not entertain negativity. At the same time I am not advocating a wishful positivity. Instead what would be healthy to nurture would be a realistic positivity.
One of the powerful ways of nurturing realistic positivity is by maintaining everyday what is called a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal consists of writing down everyday what you are thankful for that day; for e.g., my bus arriving on time .
Initially you might find that you struggle to register what was good or nice that took place that day. But soon, if you persist you will find that it comes more easily and you’ll soon be amazed at the number of things you are thankful for. What it leaves us with is “feel good” factor. Once it becomes a habit, you will find that now your mind searches for what is there to be thankful for or be happy about.
When that starts to happen with increasing frequency then you have boarded the bus to destination “Happiness”.