Life like policing has it’s moments but overall it can be a challenging and stressful, dealing as it does for the greater part with people not exactly on their best behaviour.
All the more reason to look ahead and make a concerted effort to ensure a degree of balance in your life from the forces that play themselves out in our daily lives.
Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book ‘The How of Happiness’ offers readers more than a dozen everyday activities they can practice to become happier in the short and long term. Lyubomirsky compiled the list of activities after conducting and reviewing years of research about what distinguishes happy from unhappy people. Her research shows that our circumstances account for only ten percent of our perceived happiness. Fifty percent is the ‘set point’, which according to Ms Lyubomirsky is what we are born with – an inherited happiness closely connected to the happiness of our biological mother.
Forty percent of our happiness is a result of our intentionality. If living intentionally could increase our happiness by 10, 20, 30 or even 40% why don’t we?
It is actually rather difficult because living intentionally tests our priorities and challenges us to live them out.
Action for Happiness
Below are some keys for happier living. It is all about our priorities.
When we feel down, depressed or frustrated the best medicine is to take some time to reflect and realise which of our life priorities we have overlooked or forgotten. It is amazing how uplifting, energising and healing it is to make the choice to define our priorities for well-being and live them out.
1. Do more activities that truly engage you. At home and at work, seek out more challenging and absorbing experiences in which you “lose yourself,” experiencing what researchers call “flow.”
2. Savour life’s joys. Pay close attention to life’s momentary pleasures and wonders through thinking, writing, or drawing, or by
sharing them with others. Download instructions for the “three good things” exercise—a way to help you savour the good in your life.
3. Learn to forgive. Keep a journal or write a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment toward someone who has hurt or wronged you.
4. Practice acts of kindness. Do good things for others—whether friends or strangers, directly or anonymously, spontaneously or planned. Download instructions.
5. Nurture relationships. Pick a relationship in need of strengthening, and invest time and energy in healing, cultivating,
affirming, and enjoying it.
6. Cultivate optimism. Keep a journal in which you imagine and write about the best possible future for yourself, or practice looking at
the bright side of every situation.
7. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. Use strategies (such as distraction) to cut down on how often you dwell on your problems, and
guard against comparing yourself to others.
8. Develop strategies for coping. Practice ways to endure or surmount a recent stress, hardship, or trauma.
9. Count your blessings. Express gratitude for what you have—either privately, through contemplation or journaling, or to someone else—or
convey your appreciation to people whom you’ve never properly thanked.
10. Strengthen your spiritual connections. Religious and spiritual people are happier, perhaps because of the social connections they get through their community.
11. Commit to your goals. Pick one, two, or three significant goals that are meaningful to you, and devote time and effort to pursuing them.
12. Take care of your body. This could mean exercise, of course, but also getting out in the fresh air, smiling, or laughing.
Now go to http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/happycircle-ggsc.pdf
and download the Six Habits of Happiness Worth Cultivating poster and put it somewhere you see everyday