What makes us feel good? 10 habit ways designed to bring you authentic happiness
Most of us believe that happiness happens when an extraordinary event occurs in our lives and we often tend to expect such events to come to us. On the contrary, it is our main responsibility to create new habits which should fulfill ourselves and make us feel happy. The positive psychology urges us to adopt a proactive approach in order to create our own happiness, discover and consolidate what already works rather than fix what doesn’t work. Although habits take time to form, you will find out, with effort and self-discipline, that happiness is not impossible if you use the following strategies.
1. Redefine happiness
Happiness requires different things for different people – it is a complete positive experience. What makes you happy is different what makes another person happy. Take a pen and a sheet of paper and make a list of as many examples of positive emotions as possible. Your lines should not be complete sentences; you can simply write ideas. keywords that capture happiness in a new light. Make sure that your list will contain additional positive emotions or new colors in the spectrum of happiness and remember that happiness is a phenomenon of infinite richness. By extending the definition of happiness, you can increase your chances of living a whole range of positive emotions, thus succeeding in being happy more often.
2. Don’t limit your potential
The potential that each of us possesses is often restricted by our own limits. Discovering your own potential is the first step towards alleviating its limits. Do you like to write in your spare time? Perhaps it is time to participate in a literary competition or writeto a group of writers. Have you attended a marathon of 5 kilometers? Maybe it’s time to try a longer course. Acting outside of your comfort zone and and you will find yourself the opportunity to overcome your self-imposed limits.
3. Use “must” less often
A lot of unhappy people continue to do what they do even if they know that this is the cause of their unhappiness. Most of these behaviors usually come from one simple word: “must”. Each of us has responsibilities which we should respect and, in fact, a large part of our happiness comes from the commitments that we have to family, work and community. At the same time, we all get to deal with a multitude of “must do it” tasks which often exhaust us. Even since childhood we got used to this “must”: You must make your room in order. You mustn’t run through the house. Often these are not our own rules, and are imposed from the outside. Make a list of all these “must” tasks you have to accomplish in your life. Think about when you started to consider an activity as something that should be done and who encouraged this. Then you should cut your list anything that doesn’t make any sense for you. Try to create new patterns that fit better in your life and your current goals.
4. Give yourself one” happy hour”
No need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy yourself. Make a list of activities that induce happiness for you and try to plan these activities into your schedule more often in the range of 60 minutes. Make sure you treat them with the same importance that you treat a meeting with your boss or a meeting with your most important client. Even in the busiest periods, make sure you will take the time to spend in a quiet and relaxing place on your own.
5. Make small changes in your life
The best way to make massive changes and significant life changes is planning several small, but frequent changes. Accordingly, for those of you who like mathematical algorithms, the following equation best illustrates this idea:
(Small changes) X (frequently made) = BIG CHANGE!
In other words, you should not change your life overnight if you make small positive changes regularly, you will eventually enjoy significant benefits that will change your life.
6. Do it today!
Avoidance is a common way of dealing with issues. Avoidance means not dealing with something that bothers you, and, more precisely, denying the reality of a situation. This approach works quite well in the short term, but only in the short term. When we have unresolved issues, we live an emotional unrest, which can be significantly stressful, so if something is wrong or bothering you, do something about it. Once you get involved, you will certainly live positive emotions such as happiness, pride and satisfaction.
7. Discover your strengths
Everyone has their own unique flaws and they make our life so interesting and rich. Just accept yourself for who you are and all others for what they are and look for the positive aspects inside yourself and in the others.
In order to find out your strengths, ask yourself some questions:
• What motivates you?
• When do you feel most that you are alive?
• When do you feel most to be really yourself?
• What new abilities do you learn easily?
• What do you look forward to?
• What specific thing from the past makes you nostalgic?
Leave aside modesty at least for a few minutes and write down all the things you appreciate most about you, your relationships and your work. Get involved in activities that show off your strengths and avoid underestimating you for your weaknesses!
8. Practice gratitude exercises
If you want to see only the bright side of life , you should simply consolidate the positive moments you have lived. One way to do this is to practice gratitude every night before going to bed, or every morning when you wake up and start the day. For example:
• Write down a list of 3-5 things in your life that you are grateful for and take your time to reflect on them.
• Meditate on the things of this world which deserve to be appreciated.
• Write down a list of the top 5 people in your life. Then, for each one from the list, write five things for which you feel grateful to that person. Finally, you have 25 things that you can be grateful and if you step back and reflect on this list, you will feel happier.
• Write down a list with all the different aspects of your workplace or your home or other duties for which you feel grateful. This is a particularly useful exercise, since many people tend to focus solely on the negative aspects of their job or other life contexts.
9. Create a reward system
Reward yourself when you practice strategies or things that you know that they are good for your mood and health. In other words, praise yourself! Write with conviction that you did a good thing.
Rewards should be tangible, but also adapted to the level and importance of your efforts and achievements. Taking into account this, buy yourself something special when you accomplish something significant, plan a special activity (such as buying a ticket to the preferred theater) when you have mastered a skill or have successfully completed a task which has brought you happiness.
10. Remember to be happy
People simply forget to practice the things that they discovered that they make them happy and even forget why happiness itself is so important in their lives. So do not forget to put into practice strategies that bring you happiness, you can start using reminders, like when you want to make sure you don’t forget other important things.
Timothy J. Sharp, 100 ways to happiness. A guide for busy people