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7 Happiness Hacks To Stay Positive and Be Happy People
Learn How to Become Your Own Happiness Guru With These 7 Happiness Hacks & Skyrocket How You Feel On the Daily
"Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." Denis Waitley
But good golly Miss Molly, when stuff hits the fan for the fourth time in one day, kids are going CRaZEe, and it's too hot to think, the thought of living every minute like that feels about as possible as nailing jelly to a wall.
Luckily for us, happiness is a muscle we can take for a workout whenever we choose and feel the good-feel effects straight away. Here are 7 happiness hacks to lift you out of feeling funky and build upon each day.
Happiness Hack #1: Decide that HAPPY is how you want to feel.
It's that simple. DECIDE.
First, get clear on how you want to feel. Then go do, have, and experience stuff that has you feeling what you desire to feel.
For example, I know how good going for a swim at the end of a hot sticky day makes me feel. It's bliss! But sometimes I'll hem and haw wondering if I've got enough time or procrastinate thinking, but I've just washed my hair. Seriously.
More than ever, life's too short not to go do more of the stuff that makes us happy.
And the bonus to this is that feelings are magnetic.
By choosing to focus on the feelings that you want to feel, you're going to draw to you the things and experiences that match those feelings, and in turn, a life you love living!
Happiness Hack #2: Practice Gratitude
There's a reason why this is at the top of all Happiness gurus lists. And perhaps 2020 is the year that truly shows us why it's so important.
I love what one of my favourite writers, Eric Barker, said recently:
"You don't know what you've got until it's gone" might be a cliché, but it's also some 8th Degree Black Belt psychology right there. This morning you read the 600th article about ICU respirators -- instead of being on one.
Psychology has validated what Grandma told us about happiness; count your blessings."
Now the world is reopening, how good does it feel to do some of the stuff you were deprived of during lockdown?
Like Eric, I want to know what do you appreciate more now that you've been living through a pandemic and dealt with quarantine? What are you going to cherish a bit more now that it can't be taken for granted?
Finish this sentence: "I realised I am so lucky to have..."
And take a moment to breathe that in and smile.
Happiness Hack #3: Ask Yourself These Happiness-Making Ninja Questions
Remember that falling into a funk happens to the chirpiest of happy-ness gurus too. The only difference is they have a trick or 2 for turning themselves around. Fast.
Knowing the right questions to ask gives you the power to point yourself back toward happiness and joy, stat. And they go something like this:
- What's the best feeling thought that I can find right now?
- What's working in my life?
- What's happening right now, that feels good?
- What do I remember that felt good before, that I can do again now?
Work through a couple of these and see how quickly you find relief and how fast you're jumping back on the feel-good train.
Happiness Hack #4: Leverage the Power of Small Wins
Ever notice how fast we are to punish ourselves for not doing well and soooo slow to celebrate ourselves achieving something?
While not celebrating might not seem a big deal in the moment, continuing to do so over time decreases our motivation. It diminishes our sparkle and makes it that much harder to achieve our long-term goals.
Accomplishment, no matter how small, activates the reward centre of our brains. When this pathway is opened, key chemicals are released that give us a feeling of achievement and pride.
In particular, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released, which energizes us and gives us feel-good vibes.
This chemical lets us not only get that sweet feeling of reward but also to move further toward what triggered its release in the first place.
Ok, so celebrating the small stuff can feel a little cheesy or even pointless sometimes. You might be thinking, "What's the point of celebrating something like completing one meditation session, one single workout session, or making one green drink?"
Here's the point: You're not celebrating because you've achieved something huge. You're celebrating because you're successfully changing your habits.
You're celebrating who you're becoming, reinforcing your good behaviour, and developing an addiction to doing more of that. And that's the stuff that has the power to light us up for days.
It's the significant, life-changing achievements that come from our daily, small actions in the right direction.
So make sure you celebrate your small wins - it makes you feel good and keeps you going on the path that will have you achieving your big goals too!
Happiness Hack #5: Create More Anticipation In Your Life
Anticipation: that feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen, is not only a powerful way to savour and boost your mood. It's also a quick way to get yourself happy in the now.
While surprises are amazing, it's the anticipation of something that gets me excited and lights me up no matter how long I have to wait. You too?
Anticipation is also a 2 for the price of 1 deal. You end up getting the fantastic thing you're waiting for, AND you get happy anticipating that thing.
So if you're looking for a happiness hack to pull off today, start anticipating! Put something on your calendar that makes you excited.
Who have you missed the most during this time in quarantine? And what are you going to do about it going forward?
A Stanford Professor by the name of Jennifer Aakershe said something interesting about how we'll often make a mistake in planning our lives. Even when we know what and who brings us joy, we don't dedicate enough time to those projects and people:
"If you ask people to list the projects that energize (vs. deplete) them, and what people energize (vs. deplete them), and then monitor how they actually spend their time, you find a large percentage know what projects and people energize them, but do not, in fact, spend much time on those projects and with those people."
Hmmm. Don't be one of those people. Go grab that calendar and schedule something with someone who makes your soul smile. And when it's on that calendar, you're far more likely to go do it!
Happiness Hack #6: We Are What We Eat and How We Move
As a health and mindset coach who's about to turn 50, and tried lots of different lifestyle tweaks over the years, I wanted to share with you the basics of what bring me to my happy place:
- Starting off the day with lemon or lime water and then a green smoothie later in the morning
- Being mostly vegetarian but enjoying fish and seafood here and there
- Feasting with my eyes, as well as my fork – If a plate of food looks and feels special, it feels like I absorb more of its goodness
- Eating s-l-o-w-l-y and with thanks
- Getting my sweat on 3-4 times a week, but for no more than 20-30mins at a time.
- Epsom Salt baths… ok, so the last time I took one was months ago, but when I make it a weekly thing!
- Getting to sleep each night by 10:30pm
Pro-tip: When you find your own version that works for you, stick to it. Consistency is bliss.
Happiness Hack #7: Use Your Words With Intention
The way we speak to ourselves and about ourselves makes a big difference in the way we feel. Here are 3 ways to use your words to create happier days for yourself:
1. Set a positive password
We all spend a lot of time logging in and out of email and websites. Use it to your advantage by making your password a positive suggestion. Here's a couple to get you started: "IKickButt", "LifeIsBeautiful", or my current favourite "IAmThePrize".
2. Keep inspirational quotes on hand
An easy way to start your day in the right frame of mind is to look through a Pinterest Board you've created or a List in your cell phone of quotes that speak to you and make you feel good.
3. Change up your vocabulary
Decide to let go of specific phrases and words that don't serve you well or help you reach your goals.
Omit phrases like "have to, need to, and should" and replace them with "want to".
Taking statements like "I don't know how" or "I can't do that," and adding a "yet" to the end also works like gangbusters!
Incredible how that little three-letter word changes a statement from being defeating to affirming!
What you focus on matters. Not only in what it creates in your life but in how your existence affects the world and will be reflected back to you. Happy people draw more goodness to them.
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