What makes you cheerful, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic? UAE residents share secrets and techniques to a joyful life


Picture Credit score: Seyyed Dela Llaha


  • UAE residents share their secrets and techniques to a cheerful life regardless of the troubles and pains induced by the pandemic
  • Know the newest takeaways on a brand new research on happiness and well-being finished by Harvard
  • The research has been operating for greater than 80 years

Dubai: Have you ever seen you could truly inform if somebody is smiling behind these masks that all of us put on in public? It seems happiness is only a smile away — you can’t masks it.

Research present a few of the keys to happiness: sleep/relaxation, every day meditation, gratitude/gratefulness, wholesome relationships and serving to others. It’s that straightforward. And that’s in line with a Harvard research, now operating for almost 80 years. The research kicked off in 1938, in the course of the Nice Melancholy, a very unhealthy time. Throughout occasions of disaster, the research says, you will need to have an “angle of gratitude”.

What’s the very best angle?

But, that is the place it will get a little bit sophisticated. Optimistic psychology analysis reveals that gratitude is strongly and constantly correlated with higher happiness. Gratitude — the standard of being grateful, or a readiness to point out appreciation for and to return kindness — is a reasonable approach to really feel genuinely joyful.

Why is gratitude the very best angle? As a result of it helps us really feel extra constructive feelings, relish good experiences, enhance well being, cope with adversity and construct sturdy relationships, in line with the research. Right here’s what residents of the UAE need to say about discovering their very own happiness after a life in a 12 months marked by masks.

Monique Elizabeth Wolmarans, South African, PR government in Dubai

Regardless of the pandemic, I’m joyful that I’m surrounded by my household and that expertise has allowed me to remain in contact with family and friends overseas. I do have a ‘Thank You’ record. I’m grateful for my household, the roof over my head, the mattress that I sleep in, the meals I eat, the automobile I drive and my canine and cats.

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Vinita Hirani, 33, Indian, advertising and PR Supervisor, at Danube Group

Discovering an equilibrium in life between work and household offers me a thrill that phrases can not clarify and makes me the happiest. I work and attempt day-after-day to make my goal as a person useful to each single individual I meet or work together with. So be it my work or household, it’s my objective to not solely be joyful myself however move on this infectious emotion to everybody round me.

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Anna Khan, Pakistani, style stylist, make-up artist and influencer

What makes me joyful? Actually, the 12 months 2020 has modified the entire definition of “happiness” for me. It’s purely self-created. I attempt to search happiness inside me. I now permit myself to be proud of little moments on the every day foundation — like watering crops, placing crimson lipstick on, carrying my “energy swimsuit” even when I’ve no plans to step out. Celebrating small moments and being grateful brings true pleasure. Strive it for your self!

Having mentioned that, I’m a agency believer in making a acutely aware effort of caring for each thoughts and physique. No, I don’t imply a bowl of ice-cream. Although, sure, that additionally works. However I meant, long-term influence which may be achieved by bodily actions. Lifting weights, operating and coaching retains me wholesome, joyful and energetic. I discovered my love in the direction of an energetic way of life about seven years in the past. It’s all value it, guys! It retains me wholesome, joyful and motivated in each attainable manner.

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The one manner and probably the surest approach to discovering happiness is discovering the obstacles that are available in between you as an individual and your happiness.

Typically when persons are depressed, they placed on a pretend smile simply to point out they’re good. That all the things is OK. They don’t need others to know their emotional upheavals and that they’re a weak individual.

There’s an emotional dissonance. This can be a much more harmful state of affairs. Faking happiness leaves an individual feeling good just for a short time.

Within the long-term, your true happiness comes from coping with your stress or the rationale in your unhappiness. Discover a answer to the issue. Then true happiness and contentment will come.

For instance, somebody with much less confidence who just isn’t joyful assembly new folks might pretend happiness for some time throughout a celebration. Nevertheless it’s just for that a lot time. The true happiness would come from (realizing) why the individual is feeling low. If one thing can inspire the individual to really feel joyful and really accomplish it, then that’s the actual factor.

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Zarqa Sami, 29, Indian, enterprise proprietor in Dubai

Altering careers has made me happiest. I wished to do one thing that saved me busy however fulfilled and so I’m making ready to launch my very own natural skincare model and my very personal dessert retailer. That is giving me a way of accomplishment which makes me so joyful. In actual fact, You caught me in considered one of my happiest moments. It is my household — husband, mother and father, sister and her household and youngsters — deliver me immense pleasure. Simply being round them makes me really feel so good.

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Nancy Yu, 43, Filipina, a cabin crew

My child boy brings me nice pleasure. Earlier than, it was my job or looking for garments that made me joyful. However right this moment, after I sleep at night time and see my little boy subsequent to me, it makes me joyful, content material. My husband and my kids are my supply of happiness. I additionally love my job. In occasions like these, having a job is nice. So I’m grateful and so joyful to have it.

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Dima Habbouchi, 42, Lebanese, government assistant

My kids Jana (15) Adam (13) and Hania (11) deliver me a fantastic pleasure. Serving to (my kids) of their every day lives, shaping their character, setting targets, realising their goals — these are issues that make me joyful.

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Fiza Shah, 32, an Indian expat a contract make-up artist

Having a peaceable life, one with no problems and stress brings me the best satisfaction. I don’t take a look at work as one thing that offers me most happiness. I like what I do. However above all, simply having a peaceable life is essential in my life. The following factor that makes so joyful is husband and our six-year-old son. I really feel grateful to have them in my life. They create a smile to my face on a regular basis.

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Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, British, Founder and CEO, TishTash

I’ve discovered top-of-the-line methods to be joyful even in difficult occasions is to unfold a little bit pleasure or kindness myself. Even when issues are usually not going nicely and I don’t really feel so nice personally, I’ve discovered lots of consolation doing one thing good for somebody who wanted it or sending an sudden deal with or shock to brighten somebody’s day. Including happiness and cheer to somebody’s day leaves a beautiful heat and fuzzy feeling and when you’ve got the ability to make even a small distinction in another person’s life – why not? I typically surprise if all of us did this and unfold extra kindness, what a special world it might be.

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10 ways to happiness
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10 pathways to happiness

1. Begin every day with gratitude

Depend your blessings. Even when it seems like unhealthy issues are occurring. You’ll be able to even make an inventory of what you’re grateful for. This will truly change your stage of happiness. Every morning, whenever you get up, take time (or have a psychological record) of all of the issues for which you’re feeling grateful for. And earlier than you go to mattress, you may hold a gratitude journal. For those who write down 3 to five issues that you simply felt grateful for that day and why — use your 5 senses to think about these items vividly — this can rewire your mind, enabling it to tug all that goodness.  

2. Assist others

A Chinese language proverb states: “If you wish to be joyful for an hour, take a nap…If you wish to be joyful for a 12 months, get married. If you wish to be joyful for all times, assist somebody.” Do you give part of your revenue to your favorite charity? Do you volunteer your time to assist somebody? As a substitute of spending cash on your self, you’ll really feel happier giving to others. It’s counterintuitive — denying your self — and focussing on another person. Nevertheless it’s been confirmed that giving means that you can obtain extra in return, greater than the great hormones you get from the act of giving part of your self. While you give, you’re sending a message to the Universe that you already know all the things’s going to be alright.

A research printed in 2010 states: “Individuals skilled happier moods after they gave more cash away — however provided that that they had a selection about how a lot to offer.” One report that philanthropy in America is valued about $300 billion a 12 months. That features the vaccines now being distributed to much less developed nations. That’s lots of goodness to go round.

3. Snigger (it’s higher than cash)

Ever heard concerning the saying “Laughter is the very best drugs?” Intentionally discover one thing that can make you snicker. Spend time every day laughing. Attempt to discover joyful issues to snicker about. This helps you get an internal steadiness, a counterpoint to the poisonous experiences or encounters you will have (particularly on social media). Do your self a favour by laughing and releasing joyful hormones — oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones carry us up, as we share experiences with others. Even simply making your self smile will put you in a greater place. Laughter releases these hormones which helps promote social bonding. Strive getting along with buddies (even when nearly) for an excellent dose of laughter. Comfortable hormones make social connections extra pure, simpler.

4. Foster good relationships with household, buddies

Comfortable folks don’t spend massive quantities of time alone. By spending time with folks you want and love, you forge supportive relationships that assist folks really feel higher throughout occasions of stress. While you bond with others, even by means of “shared grief” — about life’s ups and downs — they develop into your help community and assist deliver extra of the issues that make folks joyful.

5. Retreat, have a “me time”

Whereas it’s essential to bond with household and buddies, a “me time” can be vital for steadiness. An appointment with your self, to domesticate self-care, discover peace and quiet inside, goes a good distance in recharging your internal batteries. Go on a type of retreat. Meditate. Take a while away, to be alone. Specialists say this can assist do wonders in your temper and outlook. Utilise your “me time” to do issues that offer you an internal kick — your favorite interest, train, or plain and easy rest. Take heed to your favorite songs, do crocheting, origami, and so forth. Simply do it, even when it means simply siting within the solar (additionally good approach to get pure Vitamin D).

6. Train

No person — however no one — can do it for you. You’ll be able to’t pay anybody, regardless of how wealthy you’re, to place your individual muscle tissues to good use. Avoiding train (or discovering 1,001 causes to not do it) is partaking in self-sabotage. It creates lots of issues, together with muscle atrophy. Analysis reveals {that a} good train helps you physique really feel good in additional methods than one: there’s bodily exertion, a daily launch of feel-good hormones and higher life satisfaction total. The excellent news: it simply takes as little as half-hour to achieve the superb advantages of train.

7. Volunteer your 3T’s

While you give your time, expertise, treasure — your focus shifts out of your little world to a a lot larger world. It adjustments your perspective. Maybe your little issues are nothing in comparison with the a lot harder life others could also be going by means of. An act of compassion, lifting one other individual’s burden, helps you forge a “shared grief”, a standard expertise, which ends up in deeper relationships. Such experiences assist orient your thoughts to a a lot larger goal, hold you engaged, enhance self-confidence as you start to really feel higher about your self and your home on this world.

6. Do what you like, don’t settle

Keep in mind Apple founder Steve Jobs’ phrases: “You’ve bought to search out what you like. Your work goes to fill a big a part of your life, and the one approach to be really glad is to do what you imagine is nice work. And the one approach to do nice work is to like what you do. For those who haven’t discovered it but, hold trying. Don’t settle. As with all issues of the center, you’ll know whenever you discover it. And, like several nice relationship, it simply will get higher and higher because the years roll on. So hold trying till you discover it. Don’t settle…”

9. Don’t deliver up the previous again — like a damaged report

Errors are a part of our DNA. A father or mother who expects a toddler to by no means get skinned knees and skid marks whereas taking part in open air (even indoors) is asking for the not possible. All of us undergo the pains of rising up, and the pains of rising outdated. To concentrate on the pains alone, and by no means on the thrill, can be myopic. Attempt to keep away from making massive errors. Right here’s the factor: no one forces you to concentrate on the negatives of life. No person forces you to focus solely the constructive. However you could have the selection. Select the issues that make you cheerful, with out resorting to self hurt. Forgive your self, too, as nicely others. All of us make errors. The purpose is to rise up and transfer on.

10. Clear up, relaxation, clear up, relaxation — repeat

In case your area is overrun with litter, too many trinkets sitting in entrance of you, begin tackling one small activity at a time. On the finish of a month, you’d have full with an enormous de-cluttering drive. When drained, sleep. Don’t drive your self to do not possible duties and deprive your mind of badly wanted recharge time. Sleep deprivation is a type of torture. night time of sleep offers your muscle tissues and mind to sort out every day duties in a extra calm, alert manner.

Picture Credit score: Gulf Information / Jay Hilotin


Throughout the Nice Melancholy, scientists started monitoring the well being of 268 Harvard sophomores in what was referred to as “Harvard Research of Grownup Improvement”. The research began in 1938. It was designed as a “longitudinal” research — by means of which they hoped to disclose clues to main wholesome and joyful lives.

The researchers bought greater than they wished.

The analysis continues to be on-going — nonetheless following the surviving males for almost 80 years. It’s develop into one of many world’s longest research of grownup life. However sufficient knowledge on the themes’ bodily and psychological well being have been been gathered to glean some preliminary conclusions.

Of the unique 268 recruited as a part of the Grant Research, solely 19 are nonetheless alive, all of their mid-90s, in line with the newest Harvard bulletin.

Among the many unique recruits have been eventual President John F. Kennedy and longtime Washington Publish editor Ben Bradlee. (Girls weren’t within the unique research as a result of the Faculty was nonetheless all male then.)

Through the years, researchers have studied the individuals’ well being trajectories and their broader lives, together with their triumphs and failures in careers and marriage, and the discovering have produced startling classes, and never just for the researchers.

“The shocking discovering is that {our relationships} and the way joyful we’re in {our relationships} has a robust affect on our well being,” mentioned Robert Waldinger, director of the research, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts Normal Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical Faculty. “Taking good care of your physique is essential, however tending to your relationships is a type of self-care too. That, I feel, is the revelation.”


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