They say there is no free lunch. But the title of this post suggests that there can be sources of happiness that are absolutely free!
It is true that one can get happiness for free as it is not a commodity. Happiness is a feeling and largely depends upon one’s thoughts and reactions. Most important things that one seeks in life are all free of cost. Blessings of parents, happiness and values for children, peace in life, trust on spouse, harmony in community, happiness in personal life, all these things are absolutely priceless and cost nothing at all.
The following ways are sources that give us abundant joy for free. Not that there is anything new or different about them but just that sometimes in our busyness and stress we ignore them. This post is simply a reminder of some of the life’s best gifts.
- Watch Nature’s Wonders – stargazing at night, counting shooting stars, watching a sun rise or a sunset are some of the most common yet highly overlooked ways of seeking divine peace. Some people are fortunate to live in places that offer these lovely views. I live on a Island and thus I get numerous opportunities to watch sunrise or sunset at a beach. But then I am not lucky enough to see many pearls in the night sky! Choose your way and appreciate it. Each time you do it, you would feel you are luckier than many others who do not get a chance to see such views and also remember that people spend thousands of dollars to get one glimpse of a beautiful night or sun rise or sunset.
- Do Something Different – if you have not cooked before, cook an exotic dish. Try to do embroidery on a handkerchief, do a pedicure/manicure spa to yourself at home, rearrange furniture at home, make a handi craft, do some exercise, play tennis or any sport that have not played in long time or just take a day off if your entire stock of casual leave is lying still. You can even plant a plant! The idea is to do something that you have not done in long time. And that you always thought was boring or beyond your capacity.
- Give a Gift to Someone – I remember an incident where a young facility girl in my office looked at a brand new bangle that I was wearing and smilingly said, ‘didi, this is very beautiful’. I smiled back and gave it to her. She hesitated in accepting it but I told her to accept it as a gift from me. She happily did. She immediately adorned it and it looked much more beautiful on her slender wrist than mine. Watching her fiddle with it gave me a joy that can not be expressed. Later on, whenever I went to the water point to fill my water bottle and I saw a queue or if I had to wait, she would come up and say, ‘didi, I will fill your bottle. You can go to your seat’. That was her sweet gift to me. The gifts do not have to be things in kind or expensive materials. They can be anything from a poem, compliment to a lift in the car or sharing your favourite pizza or drink.
- Engage in Happy Activities – there are many activities that are said to be happy in nature. I call them ‘Happy Activities’. Playing with kids, watching movies, having dinner together, reading a book, watering plants and much more. It does not cost anything to get involved in such activities though it boosts your spirits like nothing before. On the other hand, if you think any of your family members or friends or neighbours is stressed or sad, try to engage them in the acts and lift up their moods.
- Indulge in Nothingness – many a times, all we want is nothing. No phone calls, no walks, no food, no drinks, no kids, nothing! And it is absolutely alright. If this is what you want on some particular day, have it. Enjoy the nothingness. Lie down quietly and dream. Sit on a beach and hear the waves. Stand near a railing and watch the traffic passing by. In fact, every once in a while we all must do ‘nothing’. The only point is that we should enjoy it.
This list can be endless. Our lives are filled with trillions of such treasures that do not affect our bank accounts but enrich our hearts with true fulfilment and happiness.