Good Habits: Habits That Will Make You Happier, Healthier And More Productive
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Plus, you get to boast to co-workers when they ask where you got the food. And for some brag-worthy recipes, check out these 52 lunches , or, for the lazy, these quick office snack ideas. Muse writer Kat Boogaard learned many valuable lessons after bravely eating lunch away from her desk. For one thing, taking a break is just good for you. But, she also realized the importance of practicing work-life balance all day, rather than just after work was over.
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TED Talks are like a mini-lecture. Similarly, podcasts are a great on-the-go news source. Not sure what chores I mean? What better way to improve your life than by learning all about your strengths and weaknesses and honing in on your best self. To get started, here are 14 free personality test you can take in the next half hour. How long has it been since you treated yourself to a relaxing massage or a manicure?
Well, maybe this is your week to do it. Or, a cool new lunch spot?
2. Scheduling is everything.
Have you followed through on any of them? Yet only one builds happiness: active and constructive. I am so proud of you.
I know how important that promotion was to you! Please relieve the event with me now. Where were you when your boss told you?
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What did he say? How did you react? We should go out and celebrate. Are you going to spend even fewer nights at home now? Are you going to buy yourself something nice? How did you buy that ticket? I never win anything. When someone tells you of a victory, celebrate with them. Respond with enthusiasm. Ask them to share the experience with you. Let them bask in the feelings of success. What did you talk about? The weather? The latest sports results?
1. Achieve Mindfulness
Your favorite music? Celebrity gossip news? Probably none of these things, right? We enjoy talking about stuff that matters to us. We like it when we get a chance to become vulnerable, raw, and personal. In other words, we are happiest when we engage in deep conversations, not shallow small talk. And research agrees. When scientists study the conversation habits of happy people, they find the exact same thing.
First, happier participants spent more time talking to others, unsurprising finding given the social basis of happiness.
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And third, the extent of substantive talk was positively associated with happiness. So, happy people are socially engaged with others, and this engagement entails matters of substance. Becoming happier means going beyond the small talk and engaging in deep conversations about subjects that truly matter to you as a person. Many people in our society equate happiness with materialistic success — a big mansion, fancy clothes, a fast sports car, a yacht, and so on.
I would argue, however, that the majority of people who possess such things are not necessarily happier than you or me. Because such possessions are a sign of materialism. And materialism is bad news. Sonja Lyubomirsky explains some of its negative effects in her book The Myths of Happiness :. A mountain of research has shown that materialism depletes happiness, threatens satisfaction with our relationships, harms the environment, renders us less friendly, likable, and empathetic, and makes us less likely to help others and contribute to our communities.
If you think about it in your own life, I am sure you would agree. Helping others feels great. Being kind, generous, helpful, and willing to give freely to others is one of the cornerstones of true happiness. A great example is volunteers. They provide help for no financial gain with the sole intention of benefitting less fortunate people. And guess what? Adam Grant shares a great study proving this observation in his book Give and Take :. One study of more than 2, Americans over age twenty-four showed that volunteering predicted increases in happiness, life satisfaction, and self-esteem — and decreases in depression — a year later.
And for adults over sixty-five, those who volunteered saw a drop in depression over an eight-year period. Other studies show that elderly adults who volunteer or give support to others actually live longer. If you want more happiness, start giving more. Give the gift of time, money, advice. Act more and more without having a hidden agenda. Remember, the mere act of giving and helping provides more than enough in return. Happy people are more grateful than unhappy people. The emotion of gratitude has consistently been one of the strongest happiness boosters known in scientific literature.
Take the following study for example. Participants were randomly split into three groups and told to write in a journal once a week for the upcoming ten weeks. The groups were asked to describe in a single sentence:.
31 Habits of Happy People - Backed by Science & Psychology
At the end of the ten weeks, participants in the gratitude condition reported feeling more optimistic about their future and better about their lives as a whole. They reported fewer health problems and even spent more time exercising than people in the other groups.
Most importantly, though, they were a full 25 percent happier than the other participants. Try out some gratitude journaling , write a gratitude letter , or find other ways to become more grateful. What a great metaphor, perfectly illustrating how our inability to forgive harms ourselves more than anybody else, including our wrong-doers.
If we want happiness, we need to learn to forgive ourselves and others, to let go of negative emotions of anger, hate, hostility, grief, vengeance, resentment, and so on.
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According to Christine Carter, a happiness expert and sociologist, forgiveness comes with many benefits such as increased happiness, better health, more empathy, and so on. In an article on the GreaterGood website , she sums it up like this:. Few people fully realize the huge impact the ability to forgive can have on their happiness… But important it is: forgiving people tend to be happier, healthier, and more empathetic.
Lopez, the leading researcher studying the science of hope. The essence of the science of hope can be summarized in a story Shane tells at the very beginning of the book. Through my work with John, I realized that how we think about the future—how we hope—determines how well we live our lives.
When he had clear hopes for the future, his life was good. When John had a sudden break with the future, he felt his life was not worth living. As John reconnected to a meaningful future, his life became good again, and he was excited about it. And his health mysteriously stabilized. The point is: When we are hopeful about the future, we feel excited, enthusiastic, motivated, and happy.
Another major difference between happier and less happy individuals is how they treat themselves during tough times. Unhappy people tend to be self-critical — they beat themselves up, blame themselves, and just generally put themselves down and make themselves feel like total losers. Happy people, on the other hand, tend to be self-compassionate — they comfort themselves, utilize self-care , reaffirm their values, and do their best to get back on track.
Self-compassion, on the contrary, comes with many health benefits such as more optimism, more positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, excitement, and interest, better relationships, more productivity, less anxiety, less depression, and generally higher emotional well-being. Kristin Neff, an expert in the science of self-compassion, sums it up nicely in her book Self-Compassion :.
The research that my colleagues and I have conducted over the past decade shows that self-compassion is a powerful way to achieve emotional well-being and contentment in our lives. By giving ourselves unconditional kindness and comfort while embracing the human experience, difficult as it is, we avoid destructive patterns of fear, negativity, and isolation.
At the same time, self-compassion fosters positive mind-states such as happiness and optimism. Becoming happier means learning to treat yourself with respect, love, care, warmth, compassion, and kindness — just like you would treat a good friend. Each one of us has certain distinct character strengths. Some people are particularly courageous, others are very honest, empathic, loyal, intelligent, optimistic, or integer.