In the recently-released World Happiness Report, India ranked 139 among 149 countries. Now, a year into the pandemic, experts share tips on how to learn from the past and make life more fulfilling
Last week, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network published the World Happiness Report. The document assesses levels of happiness based on six key variables that include Gross Domestic Product (GDP), social support, life expectancy, generosity, freedom and corruption. This year’s report specially focused on the impact of the pandemic on happiness, too. While Finland topped the list, India’s place was pitiable; it ranked 139 among 149 countries.
Bahl suggests journalling and engaging in fun activities every day. Representation pics
It would be naïve to assume that the unprecedented nature of the virus couldn’t possibly affect us. But a year has passed and we could all do with keeping up with the times. We invited success coach and author Nidhika Bahl, and performance coach Advait Dikshit to share tips on how to navigate life in the second pandemic-led year.
Contrary to popular belief, Bahl shares that many aren’t approaching coaches during lockdown, due to lack of privacy at home. So, to keep ourselves afloat, she has come up with an acronym worth remembering — PEACE.
Practise mindfulness: This could be done in multiple ways including yoga, meditation, and mandala art. “There is so much anxiety. So, every day, we need to set aside 20 to 30 minutes calming ourselves down,” she says.
Express your emotions: If you have someone to talk to, reach out. Otherwise, start journalling. “But after you journal, burn those papers because you will store negative energy and be stuck there,” she cautions. If nothing works, seek help from a professional.
Appreciate yourself and others: Gratitude is always spoken about in context of others but we often don’t practice it for ourselves. Bahl explains, “If we don’t recognise our own worth, there’s very little we can do for others. This doesn’t imply being selfish.”
Another angle to gratitude, Dikshit says, is to think about how the pandemic has changed your life for the better. “What are things that could’ve never happened if it weren’t for the pandemic? Identify and remind yourself about them daily,” he says.
Celebrate small wins: Create joy in your life by finding happiness in small things; give yourself a pat on the back if you made good food, rather than thinking about earning a million today.
Engage in joyful activities: Do something for 20 minutes a day which gives you joy — dance, music or poetry, for example. Additionally, it can be beneficial to have a goal to adapt and be resilient to the new environment.
Dikshit also advises being objective ie looking at the real data related to the virus. Of course, you need to take the vaccine but instead of panicking and getting anxious, focus on your health. “Building immunity doesn’t mean going to the gym with a fancy trainer lifting the barbells for you . That’s not immunity. That’s aesthetics. You can just walk a couple of miles a day or eat the right foods,” he says.
At a time when social media also plays a huge role in our lives, Dikshit suggests arguing with yourself instead of people on the Internet. “Your head may be predisposed to melancholia and you can go down a rabbit hole with your thoughts. So, argue with your stupidity,” he states.