We all have the right to be happy. Happiness is defined differently by each person. Some seem to be fulfilled all the time, despite their circumstances. Others may seem to never be happy, always striving for more. So, what is happiness and can we train ourselves to be happy?
Happiness can be defined as finding satisfaction, contentment, a feeling of joy, and a sense that your life is meaningful during all kinds of problems. Studies show that true happiness has nothing to do with comfort or possessions.
Adam Dorsay, Psy.D offers ways to train your brain to start achieving a sense and overall feeling of happiness in your life by adaptability.
- Stop remembering/focusing on the negative/bad things that happened to you and remember all the good. Practice humming or singing throughout the day and focusing on the present.
- Develop your empathy muscles by meditating and praying for others.
- Start acknowledging the small moments. Make them the new photobook of happy times on paper and in your brain.
- Train your thoughts to see the good in every life experience. Focus on your goals and learn from each time you feel you have had a stumbling block. Take criticism like a pro.
- Develop a happy outlook. Instead of dread or fear, find a reason to be excited and move toward a new experience with anticipation.
- Practice active gratitude. Be thankful for everything you have been blessed to have. Your friends, your food, your life.
- Determine your core values. Take time to assess what you truly believe in and remember this is who you are. Never stray from your own beliefs and values for someone else.
- Heal from past traumas. Seek out help if you are still held down emotionally by trained professionals.
Laurie Santos, a psychologist, has a handle on that info. A professor at Yale, she teaches a class called “Psychology and the Good Life,” which is said to be the most popular class ever offered there. Her new podcast, “The Happiness Lab“, digs deep into various aspects of the science of happiness, with entertaining insights from guests such as David Byrne and Michelle Kwan.
Familiar with the adage “happiness comes from within?” Seems that it does in that you have to try to be happy to be happy.
“I think it is fair to say that happiness comes with our behaviors and our mindsets — it doesn’t come from our circumstances nearly as much as we think,” Santos says. “But a lot of the behaviors and mindsets that improve well-being come from being other-oriented — from focusing on social connection and doing good things for others. So, we do need other people to be truly happy. In fact, loneliness is one of the worst things for both our happiness and our physical health.” According to a 2015 study, loneliness and social isolation can even place you at risk for early mortality.
“We can’t just listen to our intuitions, because our intuitions about what we need to do to be happier are wrong,” Santos says.
Among participants in one study, those whose values were the most materialistic rated their lives as the least satisfying. – Ryan and Dziurawiec 2001.
Happiness is a decision…only you can define what that means to you. Live your dreams, love others, and accept your past. Choose this day to be happy.
Ref. nbcnews/better/lifestyle.com, wikihow.com
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