Today’s guest post is written by fellow blogger Vidya Sury. Vidya is a Mom, writer, editor and blogger. She loves coffee, books, music, cooking, DIY, people, photography, and collecting smiles. She blogs at Vidya Sury, Coffee With Mi, and Be healthy, Be happy. Connect with her on Google Plus, Twitter, and Facebook.
10 Easy Ways to Buy Happiness
I admire your blog and am honored to be here today sharing your space, Laurel. Thank you for hosting me.
Dear friends, I am here to talk about something close to my heart. Happiness, naturally, because I firmly believe happiness is a choice!
Did you know there’s something called GNH or Gross National Happiness? Bhutan’s fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in the mid-1970s, birthed this concept under the belief that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.”
Seeking happiness is a-okay. That quote which compares happiness to a butterfly – elusive when you chase it and yours when you turn your attention to other things (Thoreau) may hold some weight, but often, I’ve realized that sometimes you just have to help yourself. You’ve got to go out and take action when you want to be happy!
And that’s easy.
So maybe no two people have the same definition of happiness but there’s no doubt that almost each one of us seeks it. Who does not want to be happy? Oh, I know there’s retail therapy… and I am yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy it – I certainly do – and that brings me to the point of this post – money CAN buy happiness. And it is affordable, as I’ve personally discovered.
Here are ten ways to buy happiness. And I am talking about long-term, not short-lived.
1. Grow something
Oh, the joy of planting a seed and watching it sprout and flourish! We had some trees felled in our yard recently. We were sad, but they had to go. The roots were weak and with monsoons around the corner, they posed the threat of falling without warning. We pledged to plant new trees and the residents of our apartment complex readily came forward to “adopt” a small space. Small expense for seeds and other stuff. The happiness and sense of pride in nurturing? Immense. And a great way to de-stress.
I am a child of the sixties and grew up in the non-digital age. “Play” meant going to the park, to the beach with a bucket and a paddle to create sand castles. And board games when we had to stay indoors. There was “Snakes and ladders,” “Ludo,” Chinese Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, Carom, Jigsaw puzzles – the list is endless. Most times I was happy with a drawing surface and chalk or pencils. Cheap investments that pay off big time in the form of happy family hours or time with friends. I love to play with children, too. Added bonus? Another great way to bust stress after a busy day.
3. Sponsor a meal
This has to be one of my favorites. I support my local welfare home for girls. In fact, all my blog earnings and part of my monthly earnings, such as they are, is dedicated to them. The happiness that comes with helping those in need is unparalleled. Try it.
Writing in a diary, or journaling, is good for the soul! Invest in a nice solid book – made of paper. I know we are in the digital age, but there’s something very satisfying about picking up a pen or pencil and writing the words. Express yourself on paper. Write about what’s bothering you, what’s making you ecstatic. Free your mind. Sometime later, when you go back and read it, you’ll find it easier to understand yourself and feel better about a lot of things you didn’t at the time. Beats therapy any day!
5. Take up a hobby
Ask Laurel. She “tangles” and does such a fabulous job of it she has her own store. If you have a passion or hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue, do it now. There’s music, photography… you name it! I enjoy painting and sketching. Rather than do it randomly, I focus and create so I can gift them. Handmade is valuable, right? I enjoy recycling and have a knack for creating “wealth from waste.” Think carry bags from cartons and DIY projects. It is fun to be environmentally conscious and reduce the stuff that goes to that landfill. Satisfaction? Guaranteed!
6. Bring home a pet
I have friends who are rescuers and crusaders for animal shelters. The work they do is deeply fulfilling to them. For your part, why not adopt a pet from a shelter? There’s research to prove that people with pets are happier and live longer, healthier lives.
And that, naturally, brings us to…
Exercise is the key to good health. When you exercise regularly, you are healthy. When you’re healthy, you’re happy. Believe me, you won’t miss those visits to the health care center. And no, you don’t have to enroll in an expensive gym. Just invest in a pair of good walking shoes and you’re good to go. Walking, jogging, or whatever you are comfortable with. (Do consult your doctor if you have any health issues to find out what works best for you.) I am usually active, but since being diagnosed with diabetes early this year, I’ve pledged to walk for at least an hour every day. It has helped balance my blood sugar, brought down my cholesterol levels, helped me drop a dress size (Yay!) and halved my medication dosage (double Yay!). The sense of well-being is wonderful. You also eat better and sleep better! If that is not happiness, I don’t know what is!
Enough said, eh? Books, like travel, broaden the mind. Join a library. Borrow a book (and don’t forget to return it). There’s nothing like getting lost in a great book by your favorite author.
9. Visit an out-of-town friend
My childhood friend (who now lives in Canada) and I, enjoy marathon phone calls every weekend. I mentioned that my husband was visiting Calgary. She insisted we accompany him and visit her. The thought of a trip abroad sounded impossible but the more we thought about it, the more attractive it was. Finally, we took the plunge and made the trip. My first trip overseas. I cannot describe the happiness I felt on seeing her after 15 years. We’ve been close for over 40+ years now. But you know you don’t have to make a trip overseas. You can simply hop into a cab and go visit a friend for a coffee or lunch or dinner and a long chat to make you happy!
10. Do something that makes you happy
Reward yourself. Doesn’t have to be expensive. Get that haircut, those pretty earrings, or that dress that looks as though it were made for you. Yes, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha
Happiness, as you can see, is a journey and a lifelong one!
I’d love to hear if you’ve tried one or more of these. How did you feel?
Got a tip to add? Go on, make my day!
Thank you for sharing, Vidya!