Tips for a Happier 2016 | 5 on Friday
I’ve got some tips for a happier 2016 coming you’re way.
Let’s face it – we all want to be happy. We want our friends to be happy. We want our kids to be happy (OK, those of us who have kids). We lament the times that we aren’t happy. People are paid big money to study happiness. Whole libraries have been written on the topic! Here is the biggest secret of all – although they call it the “pursuit of happiness”, happiness isn’t a pursuit – it is a CHOICE. Yep – we get to choose (sometimes multiple times a day, or even an hour) whether or not we are happy! It’s a fundamentally awesome benefit of being human – we have the opportunity to decide how we react to each and every bit of input into our lives! Sure, there are times when it seems the world is throwing every possible curve ball our way and we’d rather curl up in a ball and weep (or throw a rotten apple at someone) rather than “choose happy”… but with practice it get’s easier and easier to let go and lighten up.
Honestly, I’ve been studying this happiness thing for a while now (I’m a voracious reader and former research scientist – deadly combination) and it’s a pretty cool deal! So here are my quick tips for a happier 2016….come on, what can it hurt:
- Practice GRATITUDE! Start every day by writing down three things you are grateful for. It puts you in the right “head space” to jump start a good day.
- Practice RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. And be conscious of it when you are doing it.
- Eat well, exercise, and get some SLEEP. Studies have repeatedly shown that lack of sleep diminishes our capacity to think rationally, slows our metabolism, and really screws with our mood. 7 to8 hours, people! (I know that’s technically three things – but just call it “be healthy”)
- CONNECT with people – and I mean IN PERSON – not texting, not Instagram, not Facebook – real face-to-face connections. Spend time with those you care about!
- LOVE YOURSELF! No-one is perfect – no one!!!! But in our image driven, competitive society, too often we wallow in comparison, dwelling on our flaws – what we’re not rather than what we’ve got. Learning to accept ourselves, celebrating our imperfections, and being kinder to ourselves when things go wrong, increases our happy quotient!
Here are a few of my favorite books on the subject:
- The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor
- The Happiness Project, by Gretchin Rubin
- Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert
- Authentic Happiness, by Martin Seligman
- Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Now, go be happy – I dare you!!!!