Over my years of practicing and helping people, I have come to realize that at the root of every call for help is a deep desire to be happy. You do not need to be diagnosed with “depression” to want to feel happier.
The reality is, most people don’t know how to be happy. Some define happiness as having more money… a nicer car… a new relationship…more children…..a career change etc. Although these may contribute to happiness, they may not be the true solution. Unfortunately, as a culture, we have been taught from a young age a model for happiness that is completely backwards.
It looks like this…
GREAT WORK —————– BIG SUCCESS——————–HAPPINESS!
You see, we have been programmed to believe that we have to “achieve” something in order to be happy. Most research today is actually proving that those who end up “achieving” are actually not that happy. Why? Because once one goal is achieved, another goal is set and until that goal is realized, happiness is put on hold. It becomes a never-ending search for happiness. Why not reverse the model? BE HAPPY FIRST! Watch your success soar!
So what can you do to be happy today? Adopted from the book, The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha, there are 7 proven activities that make all people happier. It is an instant happiness that requires “no achieving.” I would like to share them with you so you can get on the happiness train!
Thank goodness the weather is warming up! Research shows that going outside for a walk for 30 minutes 3 times weekly improves happiness. Movement releases endorphins that make you feel good. Be sure to leave your cell phone at home.
The 20 Minute Replay
Writing for twenty minutes about a positive experience dramatically improves happiness. This is because you are actually reliving the experience and remembering what you like about people and the world.
Random Acts of Kindness
Carrying out 5 random acts of kindness a week dramatically improves your happiness. Buy a stranger coffee. Write a kind letter to a friend or bake cookies for your neighbor.
A Complete Unplug
The richest, happiest and most productive people are able to disengage periodically and seek renewal. Unplug your phone after dinner. Leave your phone at home on vacation.
This is when you are completely absorbed with what you are doing. It means you are being challenged and demonstrating skill at the same time. Your whole being is involved and you are using your skills to the utmost. This is usually a passion you have. What is yours? Get in the flow….
2 Minute Meditation
Brain scans showed that meditation can “permanently rewire” your brain to raise levels of happiness. After meditating for a period of time, brain scans showed that parts of the brain associated with compassion and self-awareness grew while parts associated with stress shrank. Awesome! Get meditating!
Get a journal and start noticing all the things that you are grateful for. This is sure to make you happier.
There you have it! Which ones are you going to try this week? Let me know how it goes. Would love to hear from you!
“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.
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Dr. Jennifer Cisternino
Naturopath, Spiritual Teacher