Habits That Will Grow Your Happiness. How would you like to make happiness a daily habit rather than allowing it to happen by chance? Many of us associate happiness with an external event, but this does not have to be the case. The 32 techniques outlined below will return power to you.
They will provide you with the ability to choose happiness whenever and wherever you want. The best thing is that they are all validated by the expertise of psychologists, neuroscientists, or professionals in the field of human potential development. Every method has been tried, tested, and shown to provide the desired outcomes.
So, are you ready to incorporate joy into your daily routine and make happiness a habit? Happiness is a cyclical phenomenon. Pleasant people have happy routines, which makes them even happier. Here’s a list of practices that are likely to increase your happiness. Here are 32 surprising ways that you, too, can nurture happiness as a habit and live the life you’ve always desired: a joyful and tranquil one.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon
1. Appreciate the present moment
Take a look around you and notice one thing that you frequently take for granted. Bring it to your conscious attention and awareness. Try to use all of your senses. Take note of the happy feelings and associations that accompany it. Hold this awareness for around 15-20 seconds to allow it to fully sink in.
2. Develop a nonjudgmental awareness of yourself and others
Most individuals, including you, are trying their best with the resources they have at the time. Nobody wakes up thinking, “I think I’m going to screw up my life today.” Allow yourself, as well as others, a break.
3. Develop realistic thinking
You don’t have to be a believer in the power of positive thinking. Sometimes a fair dose of scepticism is necessary. However, try to think in a balanced manner: Supporting instance, what is the evidence for (insert troubling belief or idea)? What are the consequences? How probable is it to occur? What coping strategies do you have in place in case the worst happens?
4. Make contact with people
We are innately sociable beings with a strong need to belong. In times of stress, having social support serves as a buffer. Connecting with others can also help you put challenges into context; others can provide you with important feedback.
5. Be proactive in resolving conflicts
Treat emotional problems as if they were temporary and resolvable. Utilize your assertiveness abilities. Recognize that you can be kind without being trampled on. Develop good self-care habits. Exercise regularly, eat healthily most of the time, get enough sleep, be kind to yourself, and establish healthy boundaries. Here’s a list of more than 80 self-care ideas. Make one today.
6. Self- and other-forgiveness
Self- and other-forgiveness is linked to good mental health and well-being. Resentment, rage, and shame sap one’s energies and can lead to anxiety, sadness, mood disorders, and other mental illnesses.
7. Express your gratitude and affection
Thank those in your life who have made a difference in your life. Send a greeting card. Make a letter. Pay a personal visit.
8. Concentrate on the positive
Make a list of three wonderful things that happen every day. Take photographs. Journal. Maintain scrapbooks (they don’t have to be elaborate). This aids in reorienting our minds to the fact that things are actually going rather smoothly. The expression “concentrate on the good” has been popularized by Rick Hanson, author of the book Hardwiring Happiness.
9. Act as if you’re on vacation
What makes vacation time more enjoyable than time spent at home? We are willing to try new things. We’re attempting new stuff. There are plenty of innovative and/or enjoyable activities we could do at home, but there is no rush. Make a point of visiting your own town as a tourist.
10. Make it up
According to research, when you smile (for example, by holding a pen long-ways in your lips), your brain receives signals that you are happy. If you don’t want to put a pen in your mouth, merely focus on gently raising the corners of your mouth. Consider how happy your eyes are.
11. Have a good time and laugh a lot
Laughter has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, protect against respiratory infections, improve memory and learning, improve alertness, and boost creativity. (Enjoy these laughter quotes.) Spend your money. Money can (somewhat) purchase happiness, but only if it is spent on the proper things, such as experiences or other people. Nobody has ever remarked on their deathbed, “I wish I’d bought more goods.”
12. Allow and Move Through Your Emotions
To nurture joy in your life, learn to allow and let go of your emotions. Consider your feelings and embrace them as equally significant. But don’t let your bad emotions get the best of you. After you’ve acknowledged them, work through them deliberately to set yourself free.
13. Make it simple
Too much stuff, activities, choices, in fact, too much of anything can induce stress and lower enjoyment. Here’s a nice website with some suggestions for simplifying your life.
14. Limit comparisons
Remember that we all have our ups and downs. Too frequently, we compare how we feel on the inside to how others appear on the outside.
15. Lead a genuine and meaningful life
Maintain your integrity and live in accordance with your values. Consider the question, “What do I want out of life?” What little measures can I take to help me get there?
16. Set preemptive attacks to cultivate happiness
Preemptive attacks are specific plans for when and where you will carry out a specific action. According to studies, when a person launches a preemptive strike in preparation for the desired action, they are more likely to carry it out. In Scotland, a group of older patients who utilized preemptive strikes while recovering from hip or knee surgery began walking twice as fast as those who did not.
Create detailed plans with extremely explicit instructions to your brain on when and where you want to engage in whatever behaviours offer you delight and move your life ahead. Set preemptive strikes for all of the habits you want to instil in your life, and you will reach your goals faster than you ever imagined.
17. Allow Perfectionism to Go
Having a clear vision of where you want to go in life might improve your chances of success and increase your sense of fulfilment. Setting realistic objectives and putting in the effort to attain them is a sign of healthy devotion. Perfectionism, on the other hand, stems from low self-esteem and worry. Unhappiness and discontent can result from the realization that you are not satisfied with yourself.
Perfectionism encourages you to establish unnecessarily high standards and expectations for yourself and others, sabotaging your prospects of happiness. If you want to be happy and content with your life, you must cultivate a development attitude. Adjust your expectations, create attainable goals, and recognize that everyone has imperfections.
A growth mentality will assist you in understanding that your abilities may be improved with effort and time. It will enable you to see barriers as opportunities for progress and to work on your personal development on a continuous basis.
18. Accept your negativity and cultivate pleasure
All humans are born with what psychologists refer to as “the negative bias.” It is an evolutionary construct that has kept our species alive. That is why we tend to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. Accepting that we have a negativity bias normalizes our unhappy moments.
The issue that most of us face isn’t just being negative; it’s the judgment we have of ourselves for being such. Many of us cling to large sticks with which we beat ourselves up for not being flawless. But now that you know humans are evolutionarily programmed to be negative, you can let go of that stick. This is not to mean that we will spend the rest of our lives in a funk. Many of the ways discussed below will help condition negativity out of our brains, but this understanding helps normalize those times when our minds wander toward the negative.
19. Use the power of gratitude to cultivate happiness
I used to despise visiting New York City. Crowded environments, large buildings, and busy streets all terrified me. It’s most likely a result of my time in Iraq. But I discovered a way to enjoy it. I practised appreciating everything and every one every time I went into the city. “Wow!” I thought to myself. It must have taken a lot of effort to develop these structures,” or “I sincerely admire everyone who planned, arranged, and built these streets.” By appreciating everything, I was able to transform things I disliked into things I enjoyed.
20. Cultivate happiness by focusing on joy
When you anchor a feeling, you can experience it whenever you choose. Look back into your history and recall a happy moment to help you anchor in delight. Feel the sensation of happiness and delight that you felt during that occurrence. Imagine a circle in front of you while you’re in that state.
21. Smiling can help you cultivate happiness
Since then, psychologist Robert Zajonc and a slew of other academics have demonstrated that the act of smiling produces the experience of happiness. Smiling is then more than just a byproduct of happiness; it is the cause of it as well. It’s even been proved to help with stress and sadness. So, the next time you feel down, just smile and force your mind to respond with happiness.
22. Increase your happiness by breathing appropriately
Long, steady breaths relax the nervous system and cause a physiological shift in the body. If you find yourself being hijacked by fear, tension, or anxiety, pause for four seconds, breathe in for four seconds, then breathe out for four seconds. You will find yourself immediately transitioning into a state of serenity, contentment, and enjoyment.
23. Cultivate happiness by daydreaming
The mind cannot tell the difference between something vividly imagined and something actual. Russian gymnasts discovered that the best degree of training was 25% physical and 75% mental in their pursuit of mastery. The majority of their Olympic preparation time was spent thinking about doing their performance and winning gold. Mental imagery is used by everyone from Russian gymnasts to Michael Phelps to personal development gurus like Jack Canfield to generate results in their life. If you want to be happier, go into your head and imagine yourself in a happy environment. Plant that sensation in your body and take action to close the gap between your internal and exterior realities.
24. Practice quiet to cultivate happiness
Meditation, according to Jack Canfield, the bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Success Principles, is the number one tactic responsible for his success. Science, too, verifies its effectiveness:
Dr Andrew Newberg scanned the brains of singing Sikhs, meditating Buddhists, and praying nuns for his study. He discovered that they had increased activity in brain areas related to focus and awareness. These are the areas of the brain that give us the ability to choose our own fate rather than being victims of external events.
Close your eyes, remove all distractions, and sit in stillness for 12 minutes every day. Slowly inhale and exhale. Concentrate your attention on your breathing. When your mind wanders, your breath serves as an anchor for it to return to. And it will, at least at first. But that’s fine. You will eventually be able to sit in silence with your mind.
Dr Newberg discovered that after just eight weeks of practising this meditation every day, a group of senior volunteers in his study showed noticeable changes in their brain activity as well as an improvement in memory.
25. Seek a divine sanctuary to cultivate happiness
We all have an intrinsic desire to feel safe and comfortable. We want to know that the world will not collapse around us. This is ingrained in us from the moment our parents take us into their arms. However, the globe is not always a safe and secure place. Evolutionary structures such as the negativity bias exacerbate the problem by instructing us to invent hazards even when none exist.
Have you ever envisioned the worst-case situation being far worse than it is? That’s the negative bias at work.
All we have to do to establish a safe area for us to return to, regardless of the situation of the world around us, is seeking refuge in our imaginations. Go to a location where you feel safe. Say out loud, “I seek refuge in…” Feel the comfort and security of that safe haven all over your body.
26. Make happiness a habit through exercising
Exercise is the number one factor contributing to Richard Branson’s productivity, according to him. And he is the owner of a multibillion-dollar empire. Pushing your body to its boundaries and beyond boosts your confidence and overall quality of life.
27. Cultivate happiness by surrounding yourself with joyful people
“You are the average of the five individuals you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn once stated.
Spend more time with happy individuals if you want to be happier. Emotions are contagious. Dr Oberman and Dr Ramachandran discovered that when we witness people performing specific behaviours, networks in our brain associated with those actions activate, even if we are sitting idle.
They are also triggered in reaction to the emotions of others. The neurons that cause these phenomena are known as “mirror neurons” by psychologists. That is, the more time you spend with individuals who live the life you want to live, the easier it will be to build that life. Your body and mind will automatically begin to mirror the individuals with whom you spend the most of your time.
28. Cultivate pleasure by removing negative words from your vocabulary
According to Tony Robbins, “you can instantly transform how you think, feel, and live by just changing your habitual vocabulary — the words you routinely use to describe the emotions in your life.” Tony Robbins Replace terms like depression in your vocabulary with ones like joy, and you will develop a habit of happiness.
29. Surprising Techniques for Making Happiness a Habit
In his research, neuroscientist Dr Lieberman observed that labelling an emotion lessens its impact. It reduces activity in the areas of the brain involved with emotion while increasing activity in the parts of the brain associated with focus and awareness. When you find yourself in a disempowered condition, identify the emotion to help you distance yourself from the situation. This allows you to be proactive about the feelings you select, rather than being a victim of external events and allowing them to define your emotions.
30. Enhance your happiness by giving fresh significance to your experiences
Every experience in life does not have an intrinsic purpose. Our experiences have meanings that we ascribe to them, and those meanings impact our quality of life. Even while imprisoned in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, psychiatrist Victor Frankl discovered an inspiring meaning in life. He states in his best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, “Everything may be stolen from a man except one thing: the last of human freedoms the ability to select one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, the ability to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankl is a psychiatrist.
We always have the ability to choose the meaning with which we link an experience and the impact it has on us. If you have an encounter that makes you feel disempowered, repeat the previous step by identifying the emotion you are feeling and then ask yourself what else you can make it signify. If you can’t think of a new meaning, spend some time in your circle of delight or go into the future to your dream lifestyle. From there, consider what more you can make this mean. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with.
31. Surprising Techniques for Making Happiness a Habit
Researchers discovered that when you recollect a memory, it alters. You’re remembering the last time you remembered that memory, not the memory itself. As a result, everything you are experiencing in the present instant of recall changes the structure of the memory.
Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive psychologist, has shown in her research that memories are easily corrupted and that it is remarkably easy to implant false memories. You have the ability to travel back in time and change bad memories by developing new neural pathways in your brain if you practice it enough.
Use some of the other ways outlined in this essay to put oneself in a cheerful state. Then, recollect the memory but modify its contents. Consider the possibility that anything other than what actually occurred. Continue repeating this while anchored in a really pleasant mindset, and you will essentially alter the memory into a happy one over time.
32. Make happiness a habit by pushing yourself.
After decades of research, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered in his best-selling book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, that what ultimately causes the most delight in humans is the condition of Flow. He says of this state,
“The best moments are usually when a person’s body or mind is pushed to its limits in a voluntary endeavour to achieve something tough and good.” Csikszentmihalyi Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Mihaly Csikszentmihaly What are the times in your life that you cherish the most today? Typically, the response falls into one of two categories: a relationship or a feat.
I am most proud of my experience in the Marine Corps, the mountains I have climbed, the enterprises I have created, and the one month I spent dragging a 190-pound sledge 350 miles over the world’s second-largest ice cap. All of those situations required me to push my mind and body to their utmost.
The more you push yourself and accomplish what you once thought was impossible, the more joy, freedom, and accomplishment you will feel in your life. How often do you experience genuine joy? Do you believe that happiness is a worthwhile goal? You can contribute your thoughts by leaving a comment in the space below.