Where Are You on the Happiness Scale?
Can you choose to be happier? Psychology professor David T. Lykken believes we each have a “happiness set point.” Yet, other Psychologists who study happiness believe we can improve our state of emotions. Try focusing on gratitude and appreciation and creating the intention to be happier. Here are a few Best Mindset tips to help you expand your happiness.
Tip # 1: Choose Happier Thoughts
Choose to make happiness a top goal. Author of The Happiness Hypothesis Jon Haidt teaches positive psychology and for homework, he assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester. Some of these include: being more forgiving or more grateful. They also learn to challenge negative thoughts.
Tip #2: Make a Gratitude List
In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness. I also keep a gratitude rock by my nightstand and before bed, I remind myself of 3 to 5 things that I’m grateful for.
Tip #3: Continue to Forgive
Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness claim holding a grudge can affect your health. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to practice forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, and add stress to your body.
Tip #4: Build Friendships
There’s nothing like a good laugh with dear friends, and this also promotes happiness. Author of The Pursuit of Happiness David G. Myers found one Australian study that showed people over 70, who had the strongest network of friends, lived the longest. Myers claims the “social ties that bind also provide support in difficult times.”
Tip #5: Find Meaningful Activities
People are seldom happier than when they’re in the “flow.” This is a state in which your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges your abilities. Psychology research has found watching TV produces some of the lowest levels of happiness. It turns out that to get more out of life, we need to put more into leisure time. Choose activities that you most enjoy doing. They’re good for your mental health and your happiness.
Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist. Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and families. Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com