7 ways to find happiness

So happiness is important. Some people will answer the question “what is the one thing you want most in your life” with happiness as their answer. If it has been scientifically proven that happiness improves the chance of success, shouldn’t we know how to improve our own happiness? Here are 7 ways to find happiness:

1. Find something to look forward to 

This is something I think we naturally do. The anticipation of this upcoming event can actually light up the pleasure centres in your brain as much as the activity itself. I used to prefer not to plan things and just go with the flow as this seems much easier. However, I always try to have something coming up that I’m looking forward to. It may be a holiday but if that’s too far away maybe an evening out with friends or a trip to the cinema for a new movie.

2. Meditate

Neuroscientists have found out that monks that have spent years meditating actually grow their left prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for happiness). It doesn’t have to be years or a long time to see some of these benefits though. If you’ve never meditated before try to just do 1 minute in the morning (I use the Kaizen principle and always start small) and watch your breath go in and out. If your mind drifts, bring the attention back to your breath and notice how you feel afterwards. Once you turn this into a habit or want to try it for a bit longer I’d recommend the headspace app (you only get 10 days for free but it pretty much teaches the main things you need to know)

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3. Conscious acts of kindness

The important thing here is the conscious part. If you do something good in the day and then think about it in hindsight as an act of kindness it doesn’t have the same impact as actually going out of your way to do something nice for someone (or something!) Since the last post about paying for the person behind you in the queue for a coffee (click here to read more), someone in front of us in the queue has actually brought us an ice cream when we were out for one of our treats! (talk about the law of attraction- it genuinely made us feel so happy)

4. Positive surroundings

Do you ever get annoyed at work colleagues that have pictures up of their family around you? Well, it is actually probably doing wonders for their ability to function at work! If you’re at a computer a lot, it’s easy to make the most of screensavers/ desktop pictures that improve the environment. If it’s a nice day outside always try to get out in it for at least 20 minutes as a study showed this not only improves your mood but also your working memory and thinking.

5. Exercise

Everyone should know this one yet it’s still something that is often put off. I often think that when I’m running or using the gym a lot I’d feel more tired due to DOMS (delayed onset of muscle fatigue) but there are physiological and psychological benefits to exercising! With exercise, I find I have more energy throughout the day and it doesn’t have to be really strenuous or long to see these benefits. Studies show that it’s not only a short-term benefit but a long-lasting one!

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6. Spend Money (on experiences, not stuff!)

I think this links nicely with “find something to look forward to”. If you spend your money on something coming up it’s a double bonus (plus it always feels like it’s free at the time if you bought it before!) Another study revealed that when given $20 to spend on either themselves or somebody else, the group that were “forced” to spend it on somebody else were much happier at the end of the day.

7. Use a signature strength

When we use one of our skills we get a “hit” of positivity. So if you need a quick boost try using a talent that you haven’t used for a while. Find out what your signature strengths may be by filling out this quiz (I found it was actually quite accurate) www.viacharacter.org One of mine that was high up on the list is gratitude. So I know that if I just write something down that I feel grateful for I will instantly get a positivity hit. I have written at least 3 things down each morning for the last few years (I don’t think I have ever written the same thing down twice, which shows how lucky I am that I have so much to be grateful for)

These are ideas from Shawn Achor’s book “The Happiness Advantage”. However, it’s important to remember that it is only ourselves that can impact our own happiness. Nobody else can change how happy we are… I’ll let the Fresh Prince put it more eloquently than I’d be able to:

 

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41 thoughts on “7 ways to find happiness

  1. Love this post! I am going to bookmark it just for the reminders. I love the idea of paying for someone’s coffee! Right now fresh strawberries are in season here in Lancaster County, PA. I am going out and buying some boxes for some friends. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Very nice article, we should all pursue happiness, I think the one on spending money on experiences and not stuff is one more people should do. I see so many people buying stuff on credit and then regretting it later when the bills just keep coming after they get bored with the stuff.
    Gratitude is another one I like and practice in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi, very positive and inspiring post! It’s true that exercise helps you to feel better not only physically, but also mentally. I walk with my dog over 2 miles about 5 times per week, and it helps me to clear my mind and relieves stress….And my dog gets his exercise too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I recommend adopting a dog. It makes one feel good because you’re offering a loving home and to a shelter dog. Adopting a dog is the best thing that I ever done. My dog is the joy in my life….true happiness!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for replying me. This reply means alot to me.

        Such an awesome way of replying someone.
        Thanks. Again.

        You welcome dear friend.

        You can also check on my blog for the recent post and say your own views and contribution on it.
        I did a good post about “”” LET IT GO”””

        Happy weekend

        #PATRICKSTORIES
        Peace ✌and Love ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Mike, just got round to reading this post from awhile ago. I also practice the “three good things” habit – I have an old school calendar and before I let my day take over, I write down three things I’m grateful for. Your blog will be on my list today. Thanks for writing!
    Joan Senio
    kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com
    @joansenio1
    what.i.have.learned.so.far@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Joan. That’s great that you also do this I think it’s such a great habit to be in. It also helps me search for positive things each day which also helps!

      Really appreciate you taking the time to read this post

      Mike

      Like

    1. Great question! It’s something that I don’t think we focus on enough. If asked what you do you want from life people will often say happiness or similar. However with our day to day lives we stay “busy” and forget about this simple question

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s it! A lot of our time is spent on doing things we think we should do. Not things we need to do or want to do (such as going to work in a job we hate)

        Thanks for your thoughts

        Mike

        Like

  5. Pingback: Financial gurus inspiring me this month… and a few who aren’t so much – Millennial Money Struggles… and other stuff

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