Unleash your happiest personal and career life using these quick tips
Wondering how to have more fun? Maybe you are living in the past and missing opportunities in the present. The following secrets can help you come into the present and seize all the opportunities in your love and career lives.
Step 1: Come back to now.
Just like they say in yoga class, use your breath to come back to the moment. Do it when you’re home and at work.
Most psychotherapists these days are teaching mindfulness practice. All this means is using your breath and your senses to get into physical contact with the world around you. What do you feel, taste, smell, detect in your body, see, and hear, right now? If you are able to answer this question without referring to the past or present, you are in the moment.
If you can come back to now, and not live in the future or the past, you can take notice of all of the beautiful things around you. The tree outside. The breeze. The cat purring. Your partner’s body. Your boss smiling at you after you say something smart.
If your body is a clock, breathing is the second hand, tying you to the moment. Use your breath to empty your mind of all of its chatter, and then sense your surroundings. That leads us to step 2.
Step 2: List 5 things that make you grateful.
This technique has gained traction in the psychological literature. In my own research, I was able to demonstrate how people who say five things they’re grateful for each day can lower blood pressure, lose weight, and quit smoking easier than others.
Gratitude broadens-and-builds relationships too, according to positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson. In other words, it gains you more friends, and strengthens the friendships you have, when you say “thank you.” So don’t keep all that gratitude to yourself. Use it with your partner, your children, and your co-worker, and watch your happiness skyrocket. Gratitude actually gives back to the grateful person!
Step 3: Use your imagination at least once per day.
If you are able to return to the moment, without thinking of the past or the future, you may hit a huge realization: You can be a completely different person today than you were yesterday.
Nothing is holding you back from completely changing your behavior, your way of speaking, your interactions with your partner, or your dedication to your life’s work but you. You can change it all, right now, in this moment.
The healing art of Reiki teaches that you can make a total attitude shift “just for today.” As a matter of fact, its traditional ideals teach: “Just for today, do not anger. Do not worry and be filled with gratitude.”
Sound connected to the secrets above? Of course it is. In the moment (today) we can radically change, anytime we want. All you have to do to have a better life is stop worrying and angering by substituting worry and anger with gratitude.
Following a gratitude exercise, use the positive energy of the moment to create something new that you are going to do for yourself, and then do it. You will be surprised how far positive thinking paired with imagination will take you.
Step 4: Indulge!
Behavioral science teaches that to be radically happier, you need to have more good things in your life than bad things. The best thing you can do to have a better life, the science indicates, is have more “plusses” and so it is necessary to find out what constitutes “positive reinforcement” for you.
Is your indulgence
- A piece of dark chocolate?
- Romantic time with your partner?
- Getting a massage?
- Keeping an office tea time at 3 p.m.?
- Going for a nature walk before work?
- Snuggling with the pets?
- Going to a spin class?
- People watching at the mall?
Try to insert at least three indulgences into your day, and watch how quickly you feel happier.
5. Do right by others.
Despite what the media may have us believe about how people are motivated, the human species is incredibly strong because it is a pro-social species.
It is certainly not because of our bodies. Even our house pets have more sophisticated musculature and perception than we do.
What makes us strong is that we help each other out. And helping each other out strengthens the positive social-feedback loop, a social psychological construct best explained by this example.
I feel good about something I did for someone else. This, in turn, makes someone else feel good, and other people perceive me feeling good about myself. They respond to me both as a behaviorally positive person, and a person who feels good about himself. Success attracts success, and good attracts good. People are therefore more inclined to treat me well, and so on, ad infinitum.
In other words: Be positive. Be grateful. Be kind to others. People will return the favor to you. And you will have much more fun!