It’s Friday. The most loved day of the week. It’s also the perfect time to bust a few myths about how to feel happiness. There is a lot of talk about happiness these days. Particularly because so many people are unhappy, unfulfilled, and disgruntled about the state of things around them.
This tendency to “look outside” ourselves is a key factor in the lack of happiness in many people’s lives.
At the root of this tendency is the belief that happiness is a destination. The belief is that we can “put our nose to the grindstone” and after a lot of hard work be rewarded with this nirvana-like state called “happiness”. We see and hear about this every day. People say:
“Once I make/do/get/accomplish ________, I will be happy!”
Distilled down to their essence, these statements claim that achieving success is the precursor to happiness. The interesting thing is that social scientific research on happiness overwhelmingly points to the opposite being true.
If people aren’t happy, that won’t change when they reach a certain destination.
Being happy in your current situation is much more likely to lead to successful outcomes. This applies to careers, relationships, and many other areas of life. I can already hear you saying ”yeah, it’s easy for you to say, but how do I be happy when life sucks and is so stressful?”
It’s true, there is a lot going on in all of our lives…and some of it can downright suck! This is another myth about happiness. That we must be happy all the time.
Life is a constant series of ups and downs. That’s completely normal and expected. In fact, without the low times, we wouldn’t appreciate the high times.
The challenge is that sometimes the lows get too low and last too long. Our goal with increasing happiness should be to shift the average level of happiness higher while minimizing dramatic swings and to better understand the process of creating happiness in ourselves. This gives us greater control over our own situation and the happiness of others.
Back to how you can positively transform your happiness average. Here are 5 simple strategies that are completely free, take almost no time, and are highly effective at boosting happiness.
Before you write them off as “been there, done that”, I encourage you to think about how much you’ve really applied these tips, and your intention when doing them.
Be Grateful (Gratitude)
We ALL have things to be grateful for in life. Identifying, recognizing, and appreciating these things is a skill that improves with practice. Write down 3 things each day you are grateful for. Switch it up each day.
Write it Down (Journaling)
In fact, start a journal. Write your gratitude statements, but also write about your hopes, dreams, goals, emotions, and thoughts each day. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Even answering these 3 things in a single sentence each can be helpful (What was the highlight of my day? What did I accomplish/learn today? What is the #1 thing I will accomplish tomorrow?)
Pretty simple. It’s just a matter of doing it!
Move Well (Exercise)
Movement is a fundamental part of life. Simply moving your body regularly throughout the day is one of the best ways to boost mood, happiness, and energy while preparing your body for more of what life has to offer.
With our Movement Foundations Course, you will learn how to perform foundational movements correctly to maximize the benefits of your workouts and daily activities.
In my book and previous posts, I’ve described the Movement Spectrum. Following this is one of the keys to a healthy, happy life. At the foundational level is my “Mobility minute” done at the start and end of each day.
Whatever you want to call it, taking time for silence, inward reflection, and focus is a great way to relax, de-stress, and connect with your body, mind, thoughts, and purpose. Few people take the time to sit in silence without distractions, yet research shows that even as little as 5 minutes per day can improve mood and happiness levels.
Not sure where or how to start? Sit in silence for 5-10 minutes and focus on your breathing. When your mind starts to wander (it will), just bring it back to your breathing. Pretty simple in concept, but a bit tougher in practice.
Drop Kindness Bombs
These are the only kind of bombs that should be dropped! Spread kindness, joy, and gratitude everywhere you go. The great news is that it will make you and the other person/people happier in the process.
This is a small part of the happiness ripple effect. One happy person can “infect” those around them with happiness which when perpetuated can cause a happiness epidemic in families, groups of friends, companies, and communities.
YOU are in control of your own thoughts and actions, so use some of that control to spread happiness, even when you may not be feeling happy yourself. In fact, that’s the BEST time to do it!
Hopefully, that helps. Start today by practicing these 5 simple tips and you will notice your happiness quotient increase substantially!
I’ve written about this because people are so focussed on “getting fit and losing weight”, but doing those things is extremely difficult when you are miserable, stressed, and down on life.
Taking these small actions to improve your own mindset will dramatically alter your ability to accomplish goals in every area of life.
Our mindset is the filter through which we see the world. In this workshop, you will learn strategies that will support you in cultivating a mindset that creates opportunities and success in your life.