My Happiness, Stephanie Dashnay

On a beautiful afternoon on Haad Rin Beach, I had very interesting conversation with a new friend about happiness. It made me realize not everyone has found happiness, even in Phangan. But I wasn’t always this happy. It took some deep soul searching and, very difficult decisions to get there.

Happiness means different things for different people and will be constantly evolving with you as you grow. Once you found your happiness, everything comes easy, everything flows and timing is always right.

Here’s what I do to reach my state of happiness everyday:

  • Make yourself a priority. Each day, do one thing for you and only you. It can be something small like wear your favorite outfit, being creative, listening to music, writing. Its up to you
  • Be active. Walk, dance, run do yoga, swim, do whatever you enjoy but move your body
  • Recognize the good and the bad in your life;
  • Bad – Keep at distance what drains your energy. It could be a thing, event, person, situation, friendship or even family member. Recognize that it may not be what you need at this point in your life and make small changes.
  • Good – But more importantly, take notice where/when/who make you light up, feel alive and bring you instant happiness. Acknowledge it and make a point to have it regularly in your life.
  • Be honest, open and frank with yourself and others. Stop the games, speak from your heart. Talk about your feelings, talked about shit you haven’t told anyone. You will feel lighter and free.
  • Have regular communication with people that make you feel like “home”. Yes it might be your mom/family but it might be your best friend, your boss, your neighbor, the fruit stand lady. Whoever that is for you, keep them close.
  • Find a way to give back and help others. It can be in time, energy, friendship, love, in actual work, in conversation, in supporting an event. Happiness is often found in making others happy
  • Go back to nature. Get some sun, hike somewhere, go swimming, boating, look at the stars, smell the flowers, dance with butterflies, go bare feet on the grass, earth, sand.
  • Say yes to new things. Go with the flow. Experience life and also be the one creating opportunities for others
  • Tune into yourself and listen. When you are down, sad or a bit off. Find a way to figure why. It could meditation, sport, being creative/artistic or through music but have a word with yourself and make steps towards a happier you.
  • Be thankful and grateful. I say this in each yoga class. The moment you are thankful and grateful for what you have, you will instantly happy and less incline to seek outside validation and materialistic things.

There’s no perfect recipe to happiness. Take this with a grain of salt. There must a 100 more ways to find happiness but these are mine.

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