MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT- Every single man, woman and child wants to be happy. People marry and then divorce for the same reason- to be happy.

Even those who drink and do drugs to end their sadness- do it because they want to be happy. People choose a specific career – because they want to find happiness in their success.

People behave and observe the Ten Commandments to make their God happy and thus give joy to them; people break the same commandments to achieve an earthy desire that makes them happy. Every single one.

In the country of Bhutan whose, officers once visited Bohol – they are not interested in GDP or GNP as they are with GNH (Gross National Happiness). Bhutan wants its citizens happy.

It is noted that in Harvard Business School, one of the most prestigious in the world,  “ one of the most popular and successful courses teaches you how to be happier.”

Ben Shahar is the “happiness guru” of The Positive Psychology and enrolls 1,400 Harvard students per semester- in fact, 20% of Harvard graduates take the subject. The subject teaches how to succeed and face life with more joy. Shahar offers 15 tips:

  1. “Thank God for everything you have”-  Focus on the good things and list 10 things in your life now that give you happiness. We are sure you can list more than 10.Focus on them.
  2. “ Practice physical activity”- exercising helps improve mood- even just 30 minutes of exercise daily helps fight sadness and stress. No need to go to the gym- do it in your room or walk the dog in the park.
  3. “Breakfast”- as the word suggests, you are breaking a fast- several hours after dinner going through your sleep- without food. It is important that one refuels the body with nutrients by starting the day with the right food. Those dieters who skip breakfast to lose weight -could be getting it all wrong. Breakfast s the most important meal of the day.
  4. “Be Assertive”-  Ask what you want and say what you think- of course, within a respectful and appropriate manner. Being assertive spurs self-esteem- being silent creates hopelessness. We recall a training program on assertiveness where one is encouraged to walk into a restaurant and just ask for a glass of water as you are thirsty without ordering anything else. Say thank sincerely and walk away. On the bus, try not to carry a watch and ask your nearest fellow what time it is -without feeling awkward. Say thank you, after.
  5. “Spend Your Money on Experiences”- about 75% of people surveyed said they were happier when they invested their money on travel and learning new skills like culinary, singing or painting. And less happy when buying things- warning to shopaholics. You cannot buy happiness.
  6. “Face Your Challenges”-  “Things to do” sometimes overwhelm us- that we end up procrastinating and not doing things. But the fact is the more one postpones, the more anxiety and tension that generates. Write short weekly to-do lists and complete them.
  7. “Put everywhere nice memories, phrases, and photos of your loved ones” They can be award trophies,  pictures of loved ones and success anniversaries or your theme songs of old. “Fill your refrigerator door, computer, desk,  component, room, YOUR LIFE of beautiful memories.”
  8. “Always be good and nice to other people”- a good saying to remember is “Lord-whatever good I can do, let me do it now- for I will never pass this way again”. Today that is gone- will never come back again- it has been spent.

Just smiling changes one’s mood. Try smiling straight for 7 minutes even to oneself- and one can carry that attitude through a long period of the day thereafter.

  1. “Wear comfortable shoes”- If your feet hurt you, you become moody- says Dr. Keinth Wapner, President of the American Orthopedics Association.

Invest in well-built, scientific shoes rather than have many cheap ones- that will damage one’s feet forever by walking, dancing or running.

  1. “Take Care of Your Posture”- Walk straight with one’s back slightly backward and eyes focused on as far as possible. Try the Melanie Marquez route, too- walk with books on top of one’s head without letting them fall. Or just stand erect -back against the wall for 10 minutes.
  2. “Listen to Music”-  It is proven that listening to music awakens one to sing or tap one’s feet or hand on the table or nod the head in rhythm. This generally makes one happy. Sing as if not one is listening, dance as if no one is looking is sound advice.
  3. “What you Eat Has Impact on Your Mood”-  Do not skip meals- instead eat every 3 to 4 hours with light snacks. Avoid too much white flour and white sugar. Glucose is bad- leads o diabetes. As my favorite phrase goes: You are what you Eat.
  4. “Take Care of Yourself and Feel Attractive”- Invest in facial upkeep and buy nice not necessarily expensive clothes, be cheerful and stand erect. People are happier, you will notice if they think that they look good that day.
  5. “Fervently believe in God”- With Him, nothing is impossible. If one does not believe in God and an afterlife, they will always be mortally afraid of sickness and eventual death. Because death ends it all. For believers, however, endings are just beginnings.
  6. “Develop a good sense of humor”- You know the line, laughter is the best medicine. He who does not smile – must never open a shop etc. In his sickness, comedian Gary Lising said “ I get easily sick because I am diabetic. I inherited it from my Dad. My father was a sugar daddy”. Ahaha. There you go.

Smile and the world smiles with you, frown and you frown alone.

Don’t worry, be happy. Happy New Year to you all.

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com