It takes courage to be happy. It's not hard to be a whining pile of flesh, who moans to get others attention.
In today's twitter world, people think they can and should have everything, and they are not willing to work for it. It should come easy, or it's value drops.
Yet, anything really worthwhile- friendships, meaningful work, volunteer opportunities, kids- all take time, effort and work to cultivate.
New possessions and objects make us temporarily happy and yet our happiness overall will flatline. In this time starved, distracted world, we need simple tried and true things that really create happiness, some these are listed below:
Choose Optimism and Gratitude. No matter how much you have, be grateful for it. Spend time appreciating your home, your children, your work and your friendships. These relationships will flourish and grow.
Spend time with people you love( or even just like). Studies on happiness show, the more connected relationships you have, the more fulfilled you are. In fact, the more you spend time with others ( versus being alone), the more happy you will be.
Smile. Now your brain is instantly thinking, I think we are happy. Eventually, your body will catch up. The more routinely you smile, the happier you will be because smiling releases endorphins that make you happy.
Slow Down: Today, people want have more with less effort, and they are constantly in motion. This causes a hightened, constant stress level that drives more and more stress. Stop this vicious cycle by taking time to slow down and breathe.
Strive to be a Healthy Eater and Exercise Often. Diet and exercise maintain good health, without your health, your quality of life will slowly decline.
Ted talk guest speaker, Frank Hollingsworth, suggests happiness declines when our mind wanders.
However, if a wandering mind is so popular, it must be useful.
The ability to think about something other then what you are doing- allows you to plan, reason, even control your moods. If what you are doing isn't interesting, you can always enter into an alternative world that's more entertaining.
However, it depends on what your mind is wandering on. If your thoughts are wrapped up in placing blame, angry memories, or plotting for revenge, happiness will decline.
Positive, optimistic thoughts have the potential to boost someone up, release endorphins and give you energy.
Mind wondering is often a cause of unhappiness, not a consequence. Because most of the time when our mind wanders it thinks about agendas, dilemmas and conflict.
Most people are happier when you are in the moment and not thinking about something else.
Periodically notice when your attention strays, and gently pull it back to the moment.
Laughing immediately releases endorphins, creates a mind- body connection, and puts you in the present moment. This instantly decreases stress and boosts happiness!
Today, we have so many choices. Everything from electronics, toothpaste, cars, houses, healthcare and more- we have a plethora of options to wade through before we can make a decision.
Every day we wake up we have so many more decisions than we ever did before, as a result of all the choices we have.
According to TED Talk speaker Barry Schwartz, most people believe we should maximize individual freedom. The way to maximize freedom is to maximize choice.
Extensive choice has several negative effects:
It paralyzes decision making. With so many options to choose from, people find themselves confused and end up delaying decision making.
We end up less happy with any decision we do make. It becomes too easy to imagine that we could have chosen something better. The more options we have, the easier it is to regret the choices we make.
Escalated expectations result from having so many options. When you have only one variety, you have no other choice and nothing to compare to. When you have 100 varieties, you expect the one you chose to be marvelous and when it isn't, you're disappointed.
With all of these options, we do better and we end up feeling worse.
Schwartz's humorous motivational speech suggested, the key to happiness is lowering your expectations. With realistic expectations, it allows us to truly enjoy the decisions we make and the life we create. Instead of questioning our choices and neglecting the happiness in front of us.