“Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family. It should be denied to no one and available to all.”
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
There is plenty of research to suggest that happier people live healthier lives.
We can actually wire our brains for happiness by focusing our attention on positive experiences and emotions, says neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of ‘Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence’.
Cultivating happiness and a greater sense of well-being isn’t as challenging as we think it is. In fact, it only needs to take a few moments each day.
Here are just a few ways to achieve more happiness:
Money Can Buy Happiness…sort of
Treat yourself to a cheap and cheerful floral bouquet or a delicate little house plant. I always have fresh flowers in the house. It provides an instant pick me up. Practice meraki by getting lost in how you select your flowers by taking in the different fragrances and how you arrange them when you bring them home. Sometimes beauty can be found in the simplest of things such as appreciating nature.
Don’t beat yourself up
Often we berate ourselves and tend to put others happiness above our own. Celebrate each of your successes, no matter how small they may be. Take a moment to give yourself kudos at the end of the day for something that you’ve done particularly well. When something hasn’t gone completely as planned, instead focusing on should’ves and could’ves, allow your temporary shortfall be a lesson to be applied in the future.
Clear the clutter
Reclaim your inner peace by organizing the space around you. If you need a little help ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ has some great suggestions for organization. Buy a decorative box to place loose items or bills in. Buy a scrapbook and assemble all of the recipes you’ve clipped from magazines. Donate clothes that you haven’t worn in a year to your local thrift store.
Spend 5 Minutes Meditating
You do not need to be an expert at meditating in order to reap tremendous results. Meditation is essentially practicing the lost art of mindfulness and being present. In addition to increasing happiness, ‘some research on meditation has indicated that it may have other health benefits, including improved metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and more.’ according to Zen Habits.
There are now even an abundance of guided meditation apps which allow you to meditate wherever you are whether it’s on the subway in the morning, your lunch break or before you hit the sheets.
I like the “OMG I Can Meditate” app.
Just act happy
Don’t feel happy? Rule #1 is faking it until you feel it. Engage in sincere conversations with co-workers or complete strangers with a smile. Even a fake smile can give you a much needed mood booster.
Let today be the day that you finally put yourself and your happiness first.
What do you do to live happier every day?
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