The ideas come from the book “How of Happiness” by University of California Happiness researcher and professor of psychology, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. The great thing about these strategies is that they are scientifically proven to work.
Somehow, we believe that improving our circumstances – getting more money, better grades, new spouse, relationship etc will make us happy but that’s not the case. Our circumstances only account 10% of our total happiness. The remaining 90% of our happiness is distributed between initial set point and the actions we take in order to become happy.
So here are the 5 actions we can take today to become happier:
Practicing gratitude is one of the most power happiness strategies – and also one of the easiest. All you need to do is keep a daily journal where you write down what you are grateful for and why you are grateful for it. It is crucial to write down why you are grateful for something because only then do you feel the emotional impact of gratitude. Another simple way to practice gratitude is to express it to someone else!
Meditation has lately been hailed as the wonder drug for our minds and there is plenty of scientific reason to back up that claim now. Meditation has been proven by research to improve our overall level of mental well-being even physical well-being. It defeats anxiety, it defeats depression and increases our overall levels of happiness. Even 5 minutes of meditation on a daily basis can give you a huge boost in your overall sense of happiness. I have been meditating for 20 years now – and I have put together a simple guided Meditation Audio for you which you can download right here.
3. Physical Exercise
Physical Exercise is one of the most under-rated mental well-being tools. When we exercise our brain releases endorphins which are our feel-good hormone. The brain also releases what is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which acts as a reset switch for our overall mental system. It is very common for people to feel a mental high after any kind of physical workout. This is why Go-ku is never down and always up and fighting.
4. Social Connections
Social connections are extremely important for our happiness. We need to nurture our connections in order to get the most out of them. The amazing thing about social connections is that when we help others – it actually helps us feel better. The more we give – the more we get.
5. Having a Purpose, Mission, and Goals
When we have a purpose and mission in life – we are able to find a lot more joy, fulfillment, and happiness in our activities. Goals stretch us, but they also make us happier in the long term. In fact – not having any goals or mission can be dangerous to your health. There’s been research that’s been done and it shows that for every extra year that people retire early, their life expectancy goes down by two months. So for the standard retirement age of 65, when someone takes retirement at 64, their life expectancy has gone down by 2 months. For someone who has taken retirement at 63, their life expectancy has gone down by 4 months. So having a purpose in life, having a mission in life and going after it, is really important for our mental well-being as much as it is important for our overall well-being.
Hello there! I am the founder of 2000books.com - a book summary portal for people who want to develop themselves and become better human beings. I love to read a lot about mental toughness, productivity, social skills and confidence and I summarize what I learn from those books on our youtube channel and podcast. I am an avid meditator, salsa dancer, rock climber and a Physicist and Engineer from my past life :)