12 Proven Ways to ⬆ Happiness
OK - so here we go, in no particular order - 12 simple, impactful tips (scientifically proven) to boost your happiness! What do you have to lose (other than some stress?!).
1. Pause for a moment of joy - We intuitively know that positive emotions feel good. Well, did you know that feeling good more often and having positive emotions increases your overall level of happiness? Not saying anything that’s particularly earth shattering https://www.linkedin.com/redir/general-malware-page?url=here%E2%80%A6%2eso if we KNOW these things make us happier, be more intentional about making room for this in your day – EVERYDAY!
Watch a video that makes you laugh, or simply makes you feel good. You know – heart smiling good.
Here’s mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Y-58Ju4311Y
2. Reconnect - What's the secret to a happy life? Many might say that money is a big part of the equation. But intrigued with discovering the secrets to a meaningful and happy life, a group of Harvard researchers launched a study in 1938. Then, they followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates - for 75 years.
The unique Harvard Grant Study collected data on the men’s lives through surveys and interviews. They looked at all aspects, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies and alcohol use. What they found may surprise you.
Perhaps one of the biggest revelations was that love really does matter when it comes to living a fulfilled life.
There are many other studies that have resulted in the same findings….but we don’t need to turn to science to know this to be true.
I remember when a friend of mine bought a new car. Her and her husband were ecstatic. They were in their early 20’s, it was their first new vehicle. They drove around beaming with pride for 5 minutes and then she instantly felt sad and dissatisfied. She told me that she right then, in that moment, realized because she had no one to share this experience – no close friends or family – the experience felt empty.
Try this – call that friend or family member that you’ve been putting off talking to, for whatever reason. Maybe you’ve been too busy, or life has just gotten away from you. Call them. Connect. You'll life their spirits and yours.
3. Get Your Groove On! - This one is fun AND easy.
a. Find your favourite tune 🎶; b. blast it 🔊; c. move your body 💃 🕺 (better yet, grab a colleague, friend or family member to dance along with you!)
The science behind this?
Movement: ⬇️ stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) ⬆️ endorphins (chemicals in the brain that are natural pain killers and mood elevators) So c’mon friends – get your groove on!
4. SMILE! - This one is super easy and oh so fun (although may be uncomfortable at first). Here it is (drum roll 🥁)
Share your SMILE 😊 with all who cross your path – it’s guaranteed to leave you AND the receiver feeling good!
When our smiling muscles contract, they fire a signal back to the brain 🧠 , stimulating our reward system, and further ⬆️ our level of happy hormones. - when our 🧠 feels happy, we 😀; when we 😀, our 🧠 feels happier. Now go have fun and spread your smile like confetti!!
5. The Power of Gratitude - Gratitude is such a powerful emotion, one that can make your life better in so many ways. It’s very difficult to feel sorry or down on yourself when you practice or feel gratitude.
⚛ Science Alert ⚛
Surprising benefits of practicing gratitude: • ⬆️ patience • ⬆️ your relationships • ⬆️ improves self-care • ⬆️ sleep 💤 (so count your blessings not sheep 🐑!) • Can help ease depression • Gives you happiness 😁 that lasts Have you ever tried it? I was resistant at first but once I started keeping a gratitude journal, things shifted for me. The more good I looked for, the more good I saw, and the happier I felt! So, every night before I got to bed, I write down 3 things I’m grateful for. Your challenge - write down us 3 things you're grateful for today and share it with someone (a friend, parent, spouse...ME!) If you who already do this, I challenge you to answer "why"...takes it so much deeper!
6. Connect with Your Purpose - I can hear my dad's voice now, "what are you talking about, purpose?!" But you see, he always seemed to have a focus and a job aligned with his passion in life. I don't think he ever considered it "his purpose", yet it was.
It was where his love for something (physics) intersected with what the world needs (nuclear power), his job (ran a nuclear power plant), and what he was good at (math and physics were his forte). My job never brought me that. Until I started my own business as an empowerment coach for women. It doesn't have to be a job that does this (although it helps considering how many hours of our life we spend at it). I LOVE this diagram (& even talk about it with my kids). It can provide insight if you're not "feeling it" in your career. Then you can either switch OR recognize you'll have to get that sense of purpose elsewhere. Either way is a win! The challenge - what's your purpose? Where do you find it? Or are you still searching? Give yourself 5 minutes to sit and think about it. Talk it over with someone who's close to you. And share! Life's too short to be mediocre my friend!
7. Flow 🚰.
We've all felt it before. Have you heard of this term though? It's referring to those moments where you forget to eat because you're so engrossed in what you're doing, those moments that you don't even notice the passage of time. You're so into what you're doing you're in a state that psychologists call flow. Wouldn’t it be great if you could live that kind of day more often?
You can! I've done it myself! I planned it out, but in short I quit corporate to pursue my purpose of coaching women - to help them design their next chapter in life.
💡 The best way to make that happen is to have clarity on what an ideal day looks like.
What does YOUR ideal day look like? I'd love to hear!
You're not sure? No problem...take a few minutes to discover your “ideal day”, or the elements of it. And please share - I'd love to hear.
HOW❔ This part's simple: a. Make a list of the things that make you happy; b. Make a list of what you do every day; c. Compare the lists; d. Change something - either your mindset or your situation - to align ideal with reality.
8. Buy Some Happy! - Life in this century fast-paced & consumer-oriented. Media surrounds us at all times enforcing the idea that happiness is a matter of buying the bigger house, driving the best car, wearing the trendiest clothes. We are inundated with BUY YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS. But the kick we get out of purchases wears off fast. Spending on experiences however, rather than THINGS creates lasting contentment (see this link for a brief article I wrote about this).
About 10 years ago for Christmas, my parents gifted me and my family a weekend getaway to an incredible indoor water park in Niagara Falls, Canada. At the time my twins were 2 and my eldest was 4. My 4 year-old STILL talks about it but I can guarantee you that he doesn’t remember a single other gift my parents have given him over the years (sorry mum and dad!). The fix?
Stop buying stuff and start buying experiences! Pardon the cliche, BUT LIFE'S TOO SHORT (yeah, I just said that) to waste money on stuff. (Unless it's shoes. Then buy the shoes...kidding...maybe 😜)
9. Achievement is a big part of happiness - This challenge is about getting your brag on. Let's be honest, most high-achieving women I know DON'T do this - not even close. In fact, women often shy away from sharing their accomplishments. I'm giving you permission to brag, my friend!
When you look back on the last year, what accomplishment you're most proud of? Something you created for yourself through attempting, engaging and/or trying something apart from what you already know how to do.
Get giddy, get happy, have fun! Enjoy the moment and what it provides for you. Don't compare to others, instead sink into your own feelings of pride for an accomplishment or job well done. Let it serve as fuel to do other hard things! The sense and feeling of achievement/accomplishment is within each of our grasps if not suppressed by unreasonable comparing or shrinking the experience.
10. Just Breathe! - Your breath is a powerful tool to regulate your emotions and experience more happiness in your life. What's the first thing you're encouraged to do when upset, stressed, or overwhelmed?
🌬 To take a deep breath.
⚛ SCIENCE ALERT ⚛
✅ deep breathing lowers your heart rate and your blood pressure.✅ soothes the physical symptoms of high emotion. ✅ creates a sensation of peace, calm, and happiness within the body and mind.
So when you feel yourself getting edgy at work today or next time you're in a line up in the store (and you're sweaty because you have your coat on and have a bunch of bags and packages in your arms)...try this...
Simply become aware of your breath
Take a breath (1-2-3-4)
When you breath, fill you entire belly and up through the chest while breathing in, and then relax the chest and belly when breathing out. Guaranteed to give you a quick happiness boost. Everytime.
11. Kindness - My mum taught me growing up that kindness is the most underrated quality. As I’ve grown up I’ve never forgotten that.
Try getting out of your own head (heck we all get stuck in there sometimes!) and be more intentional about living with a kind heart and engage in a random act of kindness.Once you start looking for opportunities to extend a kind hand and heart, you see more an more opportunities to do it.
⚛ Science alert ⚛
Kindness: Reduces stress, anxiety and depression, increases calmness, health and happiness in you and the other person, makes you feel more loving and loved, increases confidence, and it’s contagious! Those feel good hormones are released in others who witness it!
A little story: The other day, the woman in front of me in the grocery store couldn’t find her credit card. I told her I’d pay for it and should could e-transfer me when she got home. She was overcome with gratitude, me with joy, and something warm and fuzzy felt the cashier.
Some Random Acts of Kindness Ideas?
Leave money on a vending machine for someone.
Bake cookies for the elderly.
Serve at a homeless shelter.
Do a 5k for a good cause.
Help at a veterinarian office.
Pick up litter on the beach.
Let someone go in front of you in line.
Give a stranger a compliment.
The list is endless
Remember happiness and kindness is contagious and it all starts with YOU!
12. Do something for YOU (I know, gasp!) - We all know exercise is good for the body and its impact on overall happiness. I'm not going to include that in the challenge (but do it anyway!!). Today is about the #1 mindset shift I work with women on in my coaching business.
Are you ready?
self-care IS NOT selfish
So this challenge - do something that fills your bucket. For you. Not something from your "to do" list. Not holiday shopping or groceries or laundry. Something that makes your ❤️️ smile. And friend, if you don't know what to do, that's a sign how much you need to do this!
One of my fav things to do for me when I want/need a pick me up? To grab a speciality coffee from Starbucks and wander around the home decor area of Chapters/Indigo and their journal area too.
What are YOU going to do for YOU today? You can't help others from an empty cup, my friend.
That's it loves. The "12 Days of Christmas Happiness Holiday Challenge". The only connection to the holidays is the title! I launched this series at this time of year because people (especially mamas!) are particularly stressed out this time of year.
My next article, which I don't typically plan out in advance, is going to be about rocking 2019. Get ready folks. Things are about to get serious (and still fun!). I don't know about you, but I'm sick of beating around the bush. I'm sick of kickass moms settling for mediocrity. I'm ready to help 12 women who are ready to rise and evolve. Who are ready to dream and design a 2019 they are proud of. A 2019 they are passionate and excited about. More to come on that shortly!
With gratitude (sprinkled with badassery),