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Five things you can do to stay happy.

Last night, I wasn't able to sleep.( I am a chronic insomniac and not being able to sleep doesn't bother me any more. I use the time well instead.) I read a wonderful article by Erin Pavlina-- "How to be happy when your life really sucks."
I really liked the analogy she used about being in prison and not having any choices. (With everyone and their aunt  talking about Kasab, the prison analogy struck a  slightly deeper chord.)

She is very right in what she says. (Do read the article linked. It is worth your time). We do have choices, no matter how bad the situation.

It is of course not possible to be 100 percent happy ALL the time! (Unless you are on dope and that too comes to an end)  And yes, sometimes life really sucks because whatever it is that is making you unhappy is not in your control. What can you do about it?

Here are five things that you CAN do, no matter how horrible you feel your situation is.

1. Do the best you can and then shift focus

 Ask yourself these questions--Under the current circumstances, what is the best that you can do? Have you done it? Is there anything further you can do to ease the problem? If you have done all that you can, box up the issue. Leave it there. Give it room. Trust me, more often than not, we create more problems for ourselves. If we leave things be, time has a way of resolving many issues.

2.Take time out and listen to yourself.

 I am a great believer in listening to your own voice. With the invasion of the great Internet, our lives have become so busy and we become totally entangled in ways to connect with other people through social media. I am a fan of social media--no doubt. For example, yesterday I connected with my cousin who had recently been to Antananarivo (yeah, I learnt it for the first time yesterday too) and saw all the photos. I felt wonderful talking to another cousin based in U.S. who had recently celebrated her birthday. But I do think, we all need to take a breather from the constant bombardment of these external stimuli and listen to our own voices. That can come only when you sit in quiet introspection. I am a huge fan of meditation--and no it is not some mumbo-jumbo which old people do. There are so many depths, so many kinds, so many levels at which one can meditate. If you want to start and do not know how to, I found this article to be a well written one.

3.Watch a great movie or read a great book.

I find movies inspiring. Not all movies of course, but certain ones. The ones I highly recommend as 'must watch' are 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Pursuit of Happyness' (it is spelled that way) and 'The Bucket list'. The books I highly recommend are 'Tuesdays with Morrie' (Mitch Albom), 'Who will cry when you die.'(Robin Sharma) and 'Creative visualization' ( Shakti Gawain). I also loved Albom's latest book 'The time keeper'.
Books and movies truly make me feel alive when I am down in the dumps. (and yes, I go through tough times too, like all of you :) I am not happy and positive and chirpy all the time :) )

4. Do something small that changes your physical environment.

Sometimes a small thing can make a big difference. Do something that alters your physical environment. Clear your bedroom or workspace of clutter.
Get new curtains, a lovely rug and some throw cushions. Get a potted plant and look after it. If its too much of trouble, get a wine bottle, and grow money plant in it. (my home is full of money plants in wine bottles. See this picture)

 Clear your closet, desk--anything.
Choose some of your happiest memories and make a collage, get it framed and display where you can see it. I have a collage with pictures of me and my closest friends and our happiest memories together, which I have put up in my special sanctuary (where I work. See linked post) and I feel very happy whenever I look at it, knowing I have so many genuine, supportive friends who deeply care for me.

5. Use visualisation technique.

I found the following video explaining this very well:

So, there you have it--five things that you have perfect control of and are not so hard to do. Hope you find these useful.

Leave me a comment if you do. I like to hear what you have to say. Have a great day and stay positive!
 ps:  You can pre-order my fourth book 'The Secret wish list' by clicking here. And yes, if you pre-order from this link, you will get a copy signed by me :) (Signed copies are not available from other sites as my publishers have tied up with this one.) You get a whopping 30 percent discount and you can even pay cash on delivery. You can follow the FB page of the book too (which has got more than 740 likes at the time of publishing this post. Thanks folks!)

Here is the link:


  1. Beautifully written.. Sometimes all that can be done is accept and move ahead.. But what if the problem is a tussle between logic and emotions? Logics always tend to overrule the emotions and that is a great discomfort. Emotions say, pour out yourself and logics say, you might lose self-respect and create a bigger mess..

  2. Pre-ordered book. Very excited! Dreaming more about book launch and meeting you. Sorry.:-P

    Lovely post with great ideas. I agree that happiness is a habit that has to be cultivated and nurtured.


  3. Lovely tips ... Visualization helps and so does meditation.
    What helps me the most is finding gratitude in everything big and small and trying to find happiness everywhere and in everything. Interestingly I just did a post on this :P

  4. Thanks Megha.
    I would be able to comment if you tell me the situation.
    I always follow my heart--and it makes me happy. But of course there are boundaries too! How tight or loose you want them, is upto you.
    There are never all correct answers or one single way to any situation.

  5. Ruch: Oh! Is it? Hadn't read your post. Will do. Oh yes--gratitude is so darn important too.

    Shankari: where are you based? I am looking forward to meeting you too.

  6. ground truth and excellent points you have shared. The linked article is equally giving me strong impact to write something about the same.
    The one who stay happy creates the adorable ambiance around.
    Thankyou for Sharing this.


  7. Nyc post indeed..!!!:):).. I really need it now days.. Will surely try this 5 things.. Hopefull my life will change.. Nyc writing..keep writing.....thanks:)

  8. I am at Hyderabad. But, I am more than happy to plan a trip to Bangalore:-). Please let me know as soon as your dates get finalised.


  9. Well written Preeti. these are indeed simple to follow, and will bring great results! Have tried 3 and 4!!:-)
    Looking forward to the book!:-)
    And let me see if I will get to make it to the launch of this one!:-) Any idea when is it in Bangalore??!!

  10. Hope you are feeling better now Preeti.
    An inspiring post and I agree, each of these steps help a lot to keep us sane.
    I loved the Money plants:) and the video.
    Hope I can make for the book launch, do let us know when it is:)

    Take care

  11. Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring post!! :-) such simple and doable things. hope u feeling better and waiting for the secret wishlist excitedly!!

  12. Krupa: me too :) yes, much better now. Thanks :)

    Gayu: Surely. There is likely to be one in Mumbai too. Thanks for all the love!

    Durga: Will announce as soon as I know.Thanks!

    Ajnabi: I hope so too. Glad you found it useful.

    Jasmeet: true. positive people spread happiness. Glad you liked it.

  13. This post has come at such a right time....awesome...thanks Preeti :) And wish you all the success for your next book!!!


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Be that man Who looks his woman in the eye when he gets home And says ‘You look beautiful, darling.’ And means it. Because this thing you have going is Sacred
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