3 Happiness-Boosting Behaviors
Exerting effort can get you far in many areas of life. Want to run a marathon? Train hard. Earn better grades? Study hard. Land a new promotion? Work hard.
To achieve goals, hard work and determination are often required. But what if the goal is to be happier? How much effort is required to live a more joyful life and to feel happier?
An initial Google search of “how to be happy” may give the impression that the answer to this question requires a great amount of effort. Countless websites and blogs are devoted to providing suggestions on how to obtain happiness. Many provide how-to lists that guarantee you’ll be happy after checking them off.
Thousands of books have been written on the subject, providing readers with a wide range of suggestions from changing mindsets to switching jobs. But who’s to say what makes one person happy will do the same for another? Must you read as many books as you can and try out all the suggested methods until you find the one that sticks?
Taking in the Good with the Bad
And what if your efforts to become happier aren’t always effective? (Which, by the way, is entirely normal and understanding). A problem that can arise when pursuing self-improvement is people often strive to feel positive emotions only and avoid negative ones at all costs. Even worse, they may find themselves riddled with immense guilt for feeling anything other than the happiness they so desperately are trying to achieve.
While happiness may look different for everyone, two concepts ring true for us all. One, happiness is best attained when you fully indulge in enjoyable experiences while also effectively coping with the more difficult ones. You automatically set yourself up for misery when you set unrealistic goals such as, “I will be happy 100 percent of the time” or “I refuse to feel any negative emotions.” Fully embracing the highs and lows that make up the human experience instead of running from or refusing to welcome any of the negative will lead to a happier, healthier existence.
Two, it is not enough to “think” yourself happy or to simply “read” yourself happy. Locking yourself in a room full of self-help books and articles simply won’t suffice. According to a 2014 article in Psychology Today, it is difficult to think yourself into a happier mood without first changing your behavior. In short, happiness requires action. The article goes on to explain that when you do something new or different, you boost feelings of happiness.
Behavior activation, a low-cost behavior therapy used to treat people suffering from depression and other mood disorders, is based on this idea that mood and behavior are related. It proposes that when you change your behavior, your mood changes. Practitioners often use a form of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps patients change …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra