“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and the end of human existence.”
As a happiness maven, I agree with this sentiment whole heatedly.
Who doesn’t want to be happy and who doesn’t want the same thing for their loved ones?
I’ve spoken with many parents over the years, and when I ask them what they want most for their children, happiness is by far the most frequently given response.
Aristotle was a philosopher. He understood the importance of being happy for physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Today this idea isn’t just a philosophical notion. There’s scientific evidence to support it.
The benefits of being happy include having an improved immune system, stronger heart, and greater resilience to stress. There are even studies that show it can help reduce pain. That’s just a few of the physical benefits. There’s so much more.
With the knowledge that happiness is beneficial enough to be a game changer in your life, how do you go about becoming happier. That may seem like a daunting prospect.
You don’t have to turn your life upside down on day one of your decision. My suggestion is to begin with what I call, The Happiness Triad. Focus your attention on the following trio of happiness boosters.
Stopping at the end of the day to ponder some of the things you’re grateful for is a good practice, but you can enhance the benefits of gratitude by consciously noticing your feelings of thankfulness as they appear.
If you enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, take a minute to notice how the first sip tastes rather than gulping it down unconsciously. Silently thank your tastebuds for being so astute, the circumstances that mean you’re able to make or buy your morning beverage, and anything else that comes to mind. Try to feel that gratitude deep in your body.
Set an intention to notice at least three things you’re thankful for as soon as they happen. This encourages you to live in the moment. If you realize at the end of the day that you’ve forgotten to do this, don’t despair. Take time to think back on your day, but don’t give up trying to shift into in the moment thankfulness.
Set an intention again the next day to notice good things as they happen. This is about creating a habit of awareness.
You may not like everything in your life, but don’t agonize over things you can’t change.
There are many things you can’t control. Accept this fact with compassion and shift your focus away from the areas of your life that you not only don’t like, but also can’t change. Take the time to discern what is and what isn’t within your control.
Accept past decisions that cause shame or regret with as much grace as you can muster. Remind yourself that they seemed like a good idea at the time, even if they turned out differently than you’d hoped. Few people set out to purposely make a bad decision.
Develop the attitude of a life-long learner and view your world through the eyes of curiosity. Learning opportunities are frequently hidden in the guise of challenge and wrong decisions. You learn more from your mistakes than when things work out easily.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new, often. Start consciously looking for new experiences. Be grateful for all the growth opportunities that come your way and get in the habit of saying yes to them rather than letting fear stop you.
These aren’t the only happiness boosting activities you can add into your life, but this triad is a good place to start.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.