Why is it so difficult to be happy? Most of us were taught from a young age that what will make us happy as we go through life is to work hard so we can get good grades in school, go to university, get a great job and make lots of money so we can have a nice house, car, kids, vacations etc.
According to Neil Pasricha, in his book, The Happiness Equation, we have it all wrong. Instead of the old “happiness equation”, Great Work ? Big Success ? Be Happy, Pasricha suggests we should be happy first: Be Happy ? Great Work ? Big Success.
Most of us have had the experience of being happy. And Pasricha explains that if we work on being happy first, we feel good, we want to go out and change the world, which leads to great work and ultimately big success.
I know what you’re thinking: easier said than done. But according to numerous happiness experts there are plenty of things we can do to help us “be happy first.” Here are a few to get you started:
Research shows that those who are physically active are happier than those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
And it takes as little as a half hour of brisk walking three times a week to make you feel noticeably happier.
Random Acts of Kindness
Being kind, generous and respectful to others makes you happier.
And practicing random acts of kindness, however small, has many benefits such increased self esteem and confidence, optimism and a sense of accomplishment.
Doing things for others also makes you appreciate what you have in your life.
Challenge yourself to do five random acts of kindness a week and see if you are happier.
This is not simply saying thank you for a gift or when someone does something for you.
Being grateful is appreciating your life as it is right now.
Research shows that those who practice gratitude on a daily basis are happier, more hopeful, forgiving, empathetic and less likely to be depressed, anxious or envious.
Much has been written on the merits of Daily Meditation
It helps reduce stress and anxiety, gives you a more positive outlook on life, promotes self-awareness, improves your attention span and memory, improves sleep, helps manage pain and gives you an overall sense of well-being.
Find a meditation practice that’s right for you and give it a try.
Make Time for Family and Friends
Spending time with family and friends and nurturing those connections will make you happier.
Some tips on how to strengthen and grow your relationships include making time to be together and enjoy each other’s company (no smart phones allowed), express feelings of appreciation and affection to others, show genuine interest and enthusiasm for the positive things that happen in your friends’ and family’s lives, solve problems as they come up and don’t forget to hug – a lot!
Commit to Your Goals and Dreams
Having goals and dreams is so important to your happiness because they give you a sense of purpose and control over your life.
Achieving your goals and dreams boosts your self-esteem, gives you the confidence to try other things and gives you a sense of self-satisfaction and joy.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Comment below which Happiness tip you want to focus on this week.