“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” —Abraham Lincoln
There isn’t one right way to be happy. There isn’t a specific formula that everyone must follow to find true happiness. There isn’t a secret recipe….
Happiness is a choice. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are responsible for how happy we are. Research in the field of positive psychology continues to reinforce “Happiness is a choice” understanding. It is the basic of what is happiness.
But simply knowing that happiness is a choice is not enough. Fully experiencing it still requires a conscience decision to do so each day. How then might each of us begin to experience this joy?
Consider this list of some intentional actions to choose happiness today. Embrace one new action item… practice all of them… or simply use them as inspiration to discover your own.
Simply try. And Smile.
A little effort can go a long way in increasing happiness. Two small experimental studies, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that simply trying to be happier could actually elevate mood and well-being.
A smile is a wonderful beautifier. But more than that, studies indicate that making an emotion-filled face carries influence over the feelings processed by the brain.
Linger on those little, positive moments.
Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative.
According to Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, our brains are wired to scout for all that’s bad — as he puts it, the brain is like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive ones. This “negativity bias” causes the brain to react intensely to bad news, compared to how it responds to good news. But we can counter the brain’s negativity bias — which triggers us to form stronger bad memories than good ones — by appreciating and lingering on those tiny, positive moments.
Recently, I made a list containing Things that Make Me Happy, let start to do yours!
Find time alone in solitude. As our world increases in speed and noise, the ability to withdraw becomes even more essential. The secret to happiness could be as simple (and difficult) as becoming more mindful. Meditation — a practice that anyone can do, anywhere, so long as they’re willing to sit and try to silence the mind — is thought to be a happiness-booster. Start meditation and learn what is meditation.
Speak daily affirmation and motivation into your life.
Want to increase your brain’s capacity for happiness? Try meditating on compassion. Brain-scanning studies on French monk Matthieu Ricard found that when he was practicing loving-kindness meditation, his brain produced gamma waves never reported before in the neuroscience literature. Ricard has the largest capacity for happiness ever recorded, thanks to neuroplasticity.