3 Simple Tips to Become Happier
The title is pretty self explanitory so lets get into it!
1) Don’t focus on what you don’t have. It’s easy to focus on what you want and what you don’t have. Every single one of us can list off what is missing from our lives. We all want to be better looking, have better clothes, nicer cars, cooler apartments and houses, and to be admired and loved by those around us. These are all great things to have there is no question there, but placing those items as objects of your desire only makes you miserable. The problem with this thinking is that we obsess over what we don’t have and ignore what we already have. This means that as soon as you drop the money on a brand new car, the one you’ve wanted for years, you’ll eventually forget all about the happiness it brought you when you finally purchased it and instead direct your attention on that list of things you still don’t have.
“Sometimes we forget how lucky we really are and take the great things we have for granted.”
To correct this thinking, remind yourself of all of the things you currently have that you are grateful for. Perhaps it’s your amazing significant other, your loving family, or even the car you currently have. Sometimes we forget how lucky we really are and take the great things we have for granted.
2) Understand that your current feelings will pass. When we are anxious, stressed, or depressed it’s almost impossible to remember what feeling happy was like. It’s easy to be so wrapped up in your emotional distress that you forget that what you are currently facing will soon pass just like it has in the past. These are great times to talk to others about how you feel. It’s very therapeutic to at least talk to a friend or family member about how you feel when you’re upset and can’t get yourself out of a rut. Simply talking to someone can help you remember that these feelings are only temporary.
3) Fake it ’til you make it. This one sounds strange but hear me out. Our minds follow our actions. In a study to find out whether our posture could change our thinking and confidence participants were asked to sit slouched in low power poses or in high power poses with their arms spread over a table or their feet propped up on a desk. The high power poses took up a lot of space and exhibited signs of self confidence while the low power ones had the opposite effect. Studies found an increase in testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in those who performed the high power poses. Researchers took it a step further and had participants gamble with 50/50 odds. Those in the high power poses were 86% likely to risk their money as opposed to the low power posing participants at 60%.
The takeaway is that simply making yourself smile and standing tall with your shoulders back can actually train your brain to make you more confident and happy.