You Can Be Happier
Be happy every day—why not? Happiness doesn't just happen to you—you can proactively create it. You have more control over how you feel than you may realize. Mindfulness helps you understand this.
For example, when you practice observing your thoughts and feelings, you realize that they change frequently. With more mindfulness, instead of reacting to every emotion, you can choose your response. Take this situation: Someone suddenly cuts you off in traffic! After your initial startle reaction, instead of getting angry, take a deep breath, accept that you have no idea why that person did that and let it go. That's right. Exhale deeply. You will feel happier and be healthier in the long run.
The following are 9 scientifically validated ways to create more happiness.
9 Proven Tips to Boost Happiness:
1. Let it go. Avoid rumination. Let thoughts and feelings you don't need slide off your shoulders, like water off a duck's back.
2. Single-task. Avoid multi-tasking. Over-stimulation dilutes your ability to savor what you’re doing. Do one thing at a time. Focus—get it done.
3. Celebrate accomplishments. Appreciate the satisfaction of getting a task done. Treat yourself. Or, share your joy. Go out to dinner or meet a friend for coffee to acknowledge your achievement and celebrate.
4. Prioritize. Spend more time on preferred activities. Limit less satisfying tasks to essentials that you finish efficiently.
5. Underdose. Refrain from going overboard when you plan activities. Too much of a good thing is too much. Overstimulation reduces pleasure. For example, enjoy dinner out and fully savor it, rather than planning a string of hurried events that feels pressured.
6. Share the moment. Do activities you enjoy with people you like.
7. Set goals. Give yourself goals—and then work to complete them. Avoid the sameness of everyday life. Punctuate your week with goals and accomplishments. Happiness is increased when you reach for and achieve objectives.
8. Cherish good memories. Spend time recalling and relishing happy moments. For example, frame photographs of a happy experience. Play slideshows on your screensaver. Make musical playlists that recall fun times and listen to it in the background.
9. Enjoy planning. Plan fun future activities. Enjoy the preparation. Look forward to the good times that you will enjoy. Research interesting facts. Plan what you'll wear, organize meal reservations or pack a picnic lunch or dinner. Add a little romance. Envision all the pleasures ahead.
The bottom line about boosting happiness is that less is more. Commit to happiness and create your joy. Practice these techniques to boost your daily contentment.
To learn how to apply these tips to your next vacation or weekend outing, try the exercise in the video below. These simple ideas from 'happiness science' will help you to optimize joy from your experience. Go to 6:30 in the video to only experience the Guided Visualization exercise.
If making time for boosting happiness and improving relationships, is one of your goals, use the Goal Setting for Success Workbook to help you visualize achieving this. Download your free copy here.
Join me in comments to share which tips you use to boost happiness. If these tips helped you please LIKE below and SHARE with a friend.
Research findings that support these points are discussed more fully in Harvard Medical School's Special Health Report "Positive Psychology" (September 2011), available at www.health.harvard.edu.