As I write this post about happiness and optimism, the world and all of us are experiencing the pain and anger of the mosque attacks in New Zealand. It may seem pointless to ponder over optimism when contemplating how terrorist attacks and racism have plunged the world into a dark place. I got support from the American experimental psychologist and author Steven Pinker in this regard. In his book Enlightenment Now, he tells how the world is getting better than before and humanity is living in the best period of the world. He argues that the world has become better than in the past, with many examples such as the increase in the quality of life and average human lifespan, the development of environmental awareness (environmental actions of students continuing in important capitals while writing these lines are pleasing events), and the awareness of violence and discrimination against women with the #metoo movement. .
Pinker explains the secret to being an optimist: “We are bombarded with news every day. Bad news is always more popular than good news. I suggest you look at the internet or print media only once a day. Many people today pursue a leisurely life. It will make you happy to know that you are useful and that you are doing something good for humanity. I recommend you to work in non-governmental organizations.”
“THIS IS A PROCESS AND A PERMANENT SITUATION”
The author of the book Happiness Club, personal development specialist and professional coach Müge Çevik (@mugecevik_) offers suggestions for being happy. It also organizes workshops.
“Happiness is in my definition, once learned, the place where one meets life does not change much, even though it has ups and downs. It is the acceptance, without exception, of the existence of good as well as bad, sadness as well as joy in life. A level of consciousness and perspective.
Although it has been widely marketed as a goal lately, happiness is neither a goal nor a criterion of success. It is about how developed and deepened your consciousness of happiness is. If we define consciousness as a ladder, it is about which step of the ladder you stand on, to which one you can carry yourself. As such, it is both a process and a permanent condition.
To be happy, you can:
1. Noticing and working on negative feelings and thoughts. Finding and clearing the spot where we learned them first.
2. Preferring balance instead of extremes, hosting everything functionally and selectively in life.
3. Finding a meaning beyond bodily pleasures and developing a parallel life purpose.
4. Developing satisfying and nurturing social and work relationships and adding the power of these relationships to our lives.
Putting on make-up is a morale boosting action, a color and happiness therapy. Let’s remember how good cancer patients feel with make-up applications. The “Look Good, Feel Good” program, supported by the American Cancer Society, distributes hope and happiness to cancer patients with the beauty courses it organizes. Returning to our topic, this season, oranges, blues, yellows and greens are on our faces with their brightest and most luminous hues. Colorfully painted eyes resemble a work of pop art.
GAMZE TOPUZ / ACTOR
“I define happiness as not having doubts. I feel better when I don’t doubt the things I’ve been through. The state of feeling good is happiness.
I am happy to know that my daughter is healthy. The time we spend with him is very precious to me. Apart from that, as an actor, I am also happy when I overcome performance-based characters in a good scenario and succeed. In order to be happy through acting, I continue with workshops and acting trainings. Recently, I started to study philosophy. I am very happy to witness that philosophy makes acting and my life easier. I may have exaggerated a bit, but I started workshops to become a drama instructor. I have been working on this training for about five months. I am very happy while researching the games we played there, the improvisations and the subject of the thesis we will give.”
YOGA CAMPS IN NATURE
You can rest your soul by participating in various yoga camps that take place in nature, amateur or professional.
@dreamyogaevents takes them to Göbeklitepe between April 11-14 and Sapanca to Zeliş’in Farm between April 20-23. Apart from visiting the touristic routes, you can meditate in the garden of Sumatar ruins and historical Harran houses. In Zeliş’in Farm, where you will be intertwined with nature, besides contacting the soil, planting and growing plants, yin yoga, silence exercises and meditation await you by the lake and in the highlands.
ELİFCAN ONGURLAR / ACTOR
“Since I chose acting as my profession, I look for optimism even in the evil spirit I play. When the triad of reason, logic and emotion that makes a human human come together -which is in the individual’s own hands- happiness comes by itself; There is no need to seek and strive. Happiness for me is doing my job in the best way possible. If I get a lot of praise or criticism when interpreting any role, it makes me happy. If we balance praise and blame within ourselves, we can actually see what occurs in our brains and is reflected as a smile on our face as beautiful… For example, I received an award in a movie I acted in. Isn’t man happy? Of course I was. However, when I think about my feelings while giving the award; this pleasure was an increase in my sense of responsibility for me. That is the responsibility of happiness. Optimism; or the irresponsibility of happiness. The balance between these actually makes the player, maybe even the human being alive!”
Article: Selin Milosyan
Extracted from the April issue of ELLE 2019.