Friday, February 03, 2023 | Rajab 11, 1444 H
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Reframing what happiness means

Time flies fast these days. The hours go so quickly that before you know it, you just woke up, went to work, and the day is already ending.

In the same manner, even the corona pandemic is passing by as if it is being 'fast forwarded'. Just when we thought we've cured one variant, a new strain emerges on another day.

On top of this, another surprise is coming right at our doorsteps. The talk of another epidemic developing in some parts of the world has begun to dominate headlines making many people relive the misery and loneliness they've to contend with in the past years.

Perhaps amid these events, there is an opportunity to think more about other subjects like happiness!

However, that doesn’t mean happiness is just about getting every little detail of life right. Each of us must also bear in mind some great truth from the science of happiness that can transcend circumstances and time, where I will guide us through all the events of our lives, from the trivial to the gross.

Have you ever wondered about this — that perhaps the biggest mistake people make about happiness is assuming that it will happen naturally if we follow our instincts, if it’s okay, do it! This is somewhat realistic, as humans desire many worldly rewards, such as money, power, pleasure, and admiration.

Perhaps what is more important here, is to be aware that happiness remains your responsibility as an individual above all else. One must realize that sometimes, we need to limit our worldly appetite and follow what brings truly lasting happiness, such as faith and contemplation of God’s prominent and clear blessings in everything around us and family relationships, true friendship and purposeful work.

On the other hand, we always notice that we live in a culture of finding shortcuts to achieve goals that take time. We see, for example, that the Internet is full of – if you can call it that – happiness tricks, which are supposed to enhance your happiness in surprising ways, with little effort. Indeed, you can use small, easy actions to quickly change your emotional state, such as turning off notifications on your phone, which I highly recommend. But let me be frank here and say that to withstand the changes of happiness, you need habits, not tricks. And by habits, I don’t mean mindless routine. Rather, I mean conscious daily practices to strengthen your relationships and reveal meaning in your life!

So the happiest people have a life centred on love: from family, friends and others through their work too and for the most part, it is the divine mercy that undoubtedly surrounds us. Moreover, what scientifically confirms this is, looking at that research on people who end up happy (and I say healthy) as they get older, which showed that the most important part of life to raise, is a series of stable and long-term love relationships.

In the end, without a doubt, we do not forget one of the most important principles of happiness, which is gratitude, which greatly improves happiness. Indeed, in this spirit, I thank you for reading my previous articles on happiness. With love and appreciation, I dedicate these meanings – and many more to come – to you and wish you more happiness in the continuing journey of your life.


Dr. Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.

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