RANDOM THOUGHTS: Tranquility and Happiness - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan

Tranquility and Happiness
Dr. A.Q. Khan


In this hectic life that we lead, everyone is busy in some way or another. In our daily lives we either seek wealth or peace of mind and heart and happiness. Those who have meager resources are primarily worried about money and those having sufficient funds at their disposal usually worry at about how to get more. Both are in a spin and short on happiness. Many books, articles and suggestions have been published on how to achieve happiness. Some universities even run courses (psychiatry/philosophy/psychology) to teach students lessons and techniques on how to be happy. One such course is being run as an elective by Prof. Ben Shahar (Positive Psychology) at Harvard. The course is so popular that about 1,400 undergraduate students take it every semester and 20% of all graduates students do too. According to Prof. Shahar, the course, which focuses on happiness, self-esteem and motivation, gives students the tools to succeed and face life with more joy. This “Happiness Guru” highlights the following 14 key tips for improving the quality of personal status and contributing towards a positive life.
1. Thankfulness. Thank God for everything you have. Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. Focus on the good things!
2. Physical activity. Experts say exercising helps improve mood. 30 minutes of exercise is the best antidote against sadness and stress.
3. Breakfast. Some people miss breakfast for lack of time or in order not to get fat. Studies show that breakfast gives you energy needed to help you think and perform your activities successfully. It also helps to stabilize glucose levels.
4. Be assertive. Ask what you want and say what you think. Being assertive helps improve your self-esteem. Being left unheard and remaining silent creates sadness and a feeling hopelessness. (Assertiveness is not the same as being rash and thoughtless to others).
5. Spend money on experiences. A study found that 75% of people felt happier when they invested their money in travel, courses and classes while only 25% said they felt happier when buying things.
6. Face challenges. Studies show that the more you postpone something, the more anxiety and tension you generate. Write short weekly lists of tasks and complete them but keep these lists realistic otherwise non-achievement will lead to more stress.
7. Surround yourself with nice memories, phrases and photos of loved ones – on your fridge, computer and desk and your room. Fill your life with beautiful memories.
8. Always greet and be nice to other people. Research shows that just smiling changes the mood for both parties.
9. Wear comfortable shoes. If your feet hurt, you become moody, says Dr. Kenith Wapner, President of the American Orthopedics Association.
10. Take care of your posture. Walk straight with shoulders slightly pulled back. Good posture leads to a more positive attitude.
11. Listen to music. It is proven that listening to music will encourage you to sing, which makes life happier and more relaxed.
12. What you eat impacts your mood. Do not skip meals; eat lightly every 3 to 4 hours to keep glucose levels stable. Avoid excessive white flour and sugar. Eat a healthy and varied diet which includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
13. Take care of yourself. 70% of people have reported that they feel happier when they think they look good. Dress how it pleases you, not according to what others think, but within the norms of propriety.
14. Fervently believe in God. With him nothing is impossible.

The above tips are more or less what the Quran teaches us. In Surah Rahman (55) the Almighty points out the innumerable favours granted to human beings and then asks: “Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?” He, the most Gracious, then goes on to tell us about His creation – men and women, how we learnt to speak, about the sun and the moon, trees, herbs, fruits, rain, sweet smelling plants, life-giving rivers, food crops, the seas, etc. The Quran further emphasizes that: “Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction (happiness) in the remembrance of Allah; for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction” (13:28). In 2: 152-153, the Almighty reminds us: “Then do you remember me, I will remember you. Be grateful to me and reject not faith.” “O you who believe, seek help (satisfaction, happiness) with patient perseverance and prayer, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.”

Furthermore, it should be noted that positive thinking and optimism are also very important in being satisfied, content and happy. Maulana Rumi has advised always to thank the Almighty for any and all favours. Money is not the only favour to be thankful for. Good health, intelligence, wisdom, beauty, children, sincere friends, a pleasant attitude and good character are all favours and blessings from the Almighty to be grateful for and to be happy about.

One big advantage of believing in the Creator is that, whenever in distress, there is something solid to hold onto, someone to pray to and seek His favour and to give us hope. Those who do not believe in a higher being have nothing to hold on to, nobody to ask for relief to their problems and nobody to ask for guidance and help and to remain near them. For me personally, I achieve tranquility and peace by listening to the rhythmic citation of the Quran (with translation for better understanding). I can close my eyes, simply listen to the recitation, forget my troubles and feel relaxed. It works wonders.

Posted on Mar 06, 18 | 5:28 am