Published by Taylor Financial Group
While managing our busy lives, the most important, and sometimes simplest of things, are easily forgotten. Unfortunately, an individual’s happiness is one of those simple things that is often overlooked. And now that Thanksgiving is behind us, most of us will move into our hectic Holiday planning.
However, this race from thing to thing is unfortunate. Indeed, study after study shows that one’s level of happiness is directly tied to their practice of gratitude. As Oprah Winfrey says, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.” So, we have boiled it down to three major actions we should consider when improving your level of happiness.
Your Hike to Happiness
Happiness and balance are two goals everyone can achieve. Happiness, a sense of well-being and self-esteem, occurs not by how much someone has in their bank account, but by their level of gratitude (although a good financial plan doesn’t hurt ?). Just remember there is an entire World out there that would give anything to trade places with you.
Happiness Matters Everywhere
We must continue to make the most out of each and every day in order to sustain our happiness. And it is amazing the amount of control we have over our happiness. So, how can we be “more happy?”
Here are some helpful tips…
- Express gratitude daily whether silently to yourself, in a journal or to those around you
- Focus on health through diet and exercise
- Plan positive experiences far in advance
- Meditate daily (I do!)
- Go for long walks outdoors for at least 20 minutes a day and simply, take a breath of fresh air
Most important is making the expression of gratitude a daily habit.
That can simply be a smile, allowing someone to go ahead of you in line, or writing in your journal at night about the three things that you are most thankful for.
The Hunt-Down for Happiness
Unfortunately, an individual’s level of happiness is almost always changing. This is due to the sole reason that problems can find another way to creep up on us. As a result, research may provide us with answers on how to solve the impairment of our own happiness. David Levari, a postdoctoral researcher in Psychology at Harvard University provides the following admonition: the brain doesn’t rest on its laurels. Instead, it searches for more trivial items (like driving home in traffic) that it can report as challenging and suspicious. When you do this, you don’t get the feeling of satisfaction from solving an issue, because the issues become never-ending. Levari suggests a coping mechanism for dealing with this tendency by the brain to make you feel stressed and anxious. He advises writing down a list of legitimate issues of concern. Once that list is exhausted, recognize the tendency of your brain to engage in ‘concept creep’ and stop.
In short, we must train our brains to be satisfied when solving problems. In order to do so, plans, agendas and guidelines are an absolute must. Utilizing these tools will put a stop to seemingly never-ending problems and will help us to recognize our progress and successes. Currently, most people believe that if they are successful they will be more happy. However, this is entirely wrong! When you achieve success, you immediately shift the goal posts further. Instead, happiness makes someone more successful. Our happiness can be a result of positive psychology: studying the positive side of things rather than focusing on the negative. Incorporating an attitude of gratitude in our lives can simply make all the difference!