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Neera: This is #HowiHappy

Name: Neera Sriskandarajah |

Age: 29 |

Hometown: Montreal, Canada |

Ethnicity: Sri Lankan / Canadian |

Occupation: PhD



What is 'happiness' for you?

Happiness is a state of being where I have a mix of three important things. It starts first and foremost with being around people I love. Another big part is being content with myself (which is not always the easiest).The third part is education. There’s so much I don’t know and I love learning, reading a great book, being exposed to and trying new things.


What is your current creative outlet / how do you express yourself?

I have sketched and painted ever since I could remember. I love getting lost in the beauty of the world and envisioning things more positively with the bright colours of my brush strokes.


What is something you’ve been curious about lately that you want to explore more?

I’ve been really curious about learning the traditions and history of different countries around the world. I’m a foodie too! So, I’m also trying to explore cooking with new flavours.


Photos courtesy of Instagram @neers07 


What is something only your friends know about you?

I really love to sing!


Who are you grateful for?

I’m grateful for many people in my life. If I had to pick, I would say my mom. Being an only child, she has been my mom, my sister, and my best friend all in one at different points in my life.

1. She’s the strongest person I know

2. She has supported me through every decision I’ve made even if she didn’t agree with me, and

3. Her laughter. (No explanation needed). 😃

Photo courtesy of Instagram @neers07


What was the last thing that made you laugh so hard that you nearly, or actually(!), fell to the floor?

My sweet husband imitating our favourite Italian comedian speaking with the “accento perfetto.”


Which cultural and/or social movement is closest to your heart?

Self-love! I’m by no means great at it but I admire it so much and I try to bring it to my life every day.


What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far in your life?

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt in my life is that I am the leader of my own happiness.

[ Say it louder for the people at the back, please ! 😉 ]


How would your friends describe you?

A caring listener.



Photo courtesy of Instagram @neers07


What is something you’ve never told anyone about yourself? (It’s a tough one, we know!)

I’m pretty honest and my eyes tell ALL! There's nothing I haven't told anyone about myself. Something most people don’t know is that I love to belly dance.


What was the biggest low that you've faced in your life so far? How did you overcome it? What did you learn about yourself in the process?

When I found out someone I idolized for the longest time wasn’t really who I thought they were, I was really disappointed for a long time. I still feel a little low thinking about it. But I learned to look at the experience differently as I am paving my own path and it’ll be fine-tuned perfectly to me. I try not to compare myself to anyone anymore.


What's your favourite colour? :-)

RED! ❤️


What daily practices do you do that make you happy?

1. Enjoying a meal with hubby
2. Talking to my mom on the phone
3. Eating a piece of chocolate
4. Going to my spin class or practicing yoga
5. A super frothy cappuccino
6. Looking out at Mount-Royal from work


Photo courtesy of Instagram @neers07


What barrier(s), if any, keep you from being your happiest, most fulfilled self?

I tend to second-guess myself a lot. When good things happen I often wonder if I’m just lucky and not really deserving.


Dipping into the future now for a reflective exercise! At the end of your life, what would your obituary read about your human experience? She was... She did... She learnt... She...?

She loved people.

She cared for everyone.

She laughed and smiled even if she wasn’t always happy so she could bring others joy.

She travelled and learned so much about the world.


What are you scared of? What do you fear?

Deep water and getting stung by insects!


Who is your life guru(s)?

All women in science! They help me believe in myself and believe that what I do matters for both the progress of science and society.


Why do you feel connected to

I feel connected to Happy Tears because it makes me smile. Like I said before, I find beauty in bright colours when I paint. Equally seeing the bright colours of Happy Tears brings me a little more joy and a little more positivity in my day. The wellness quotes and insights are always a plus!


When was the last time you shed a 'happy tear'?

When I was standing in a crowd of supporters walking in “Light the Night” an initiative to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Hearing all the survivors’ stories and the impact people can make on each others lives made me happy and emotional at the same time.


Is there anything else you want to share?!

Thank you for starting Happy Tears and giving us all a bright light to follow. ❤️

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your initiative! These questions were at first really hard to answer and took a lot of reflection!


Thank YOU, Neera!

Drop a question, comment or just show our friend Neera some love below!

Ready to share your #HowIHappy story? Take our Happy Survey now!

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