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.
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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.
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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!