TODAY is International Happiness Day!
In 2012, the United Nations declared March 20 to be observed as the International Day of Happiness. Its aim is to recognize that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well-being of all people. All WiseTribers can take part!
While you’ll find hundreds of amazing things to do by connecting online (which I recommend below) and as a Happiness Coach I want to share eight happiness factors that are in your control. No matter what personality you were born with, or what your circumstances are, you can boost your feelings of happiness by taking charge of these eight:
- Despite what people say, optimism can be learned. It’s about perspective, how you choose to interpret and explain what you experience during the day. We’re continuously making choices about how we explain the world to ourselves. If something challenging occurs and you think, “Just my luck. Bad things always happen to me,” you are reducing your happiness. Increase your happiness simply by choosing to think, “Hmmm. There must be something good about this situation – what could it be?” Good news – evidence shows that optimists live seven to nine years longer!
- Consciously, willingly and deliberately take moments throughout the day to feel gratitude, and to express it to others. In business, I advise clients to start an “employee gratitude journal” where everyone is encouraged to write down something for which they’re grateful every day. You can keep your personal gratitude journal on your phone or at home to capture moments of appreciation during the day. You’ll be amazed at how powerful this inexpensive, quick and easy exercise is in creating a more positive life and work environment. Do it with your family and friends too.
- Letting go of ill will toward others and oneself, surrendering resentments and regrets, and making peace with the past clears the way for happiness to be felt more often and more deeply. Forgiveness is for giving you peace.
Improve your self-talk.
- It’s important to transform your self-talk from negative and punishing to positive and energizing. When you make a mistake and find yourself thinking, “You idiot,” you know it’s time to take a deep breath, and ask yourself a question like, “How can I use my smarts to make this better?” Positive self-talk diffuses stressful situations, and when the brain relaxes it is more creative and better at problem solving.
Get in the “Flow.”
- Is there any activity, interest or hobby you enjoy so much that you lose all track of time when you’re engaged in it? That state of being where you forget about everything else is called “flow.” Being in a state of flow actually increases your happiness. It’s when you feel like you are “one with the music.
Savoring is about being “in the moment.”
- The great thing about savoring is that you can do it before an activity by happily anticipating what’s to come, you can do it while you’re enjoying the activity, and you can savor your memories afterward. Savoring is a powerful tool! I practice my savoring activities with dark chocolate.
- Look at a stressful situation as if it were an actual photograph, and think about the dozens of ways you could reframe it. You can crop it, enlarge it, make it smaller. Whatever you do, you’re creating a different view and perspective of the same picture, which can help you to transform negative feelings and responses to a situation into positive, happier ones.
Build on Strengths.
- Research shows that enduring happiness comes from spending time in one’s strengths – having the opportunity to do the things one does well even better. Identify your strengths, then deliberately and creatively build on them. Evidence shows that over time, this skill works better at creating lasting happiness than antidepressants.
Be happy and enjoy the rewards! AND Enjoy International Day of Happiness!
More fun sites: http://www.dayofhappiness.net
JoAnna Brandi, WiseTriber
JoAnna Brandi is the author of “54 Ways to Stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World” as well as two books on Customer Retention and Loyalty. www.PositivityPractices.co
A graduate of Dr. Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness Coaching program, she’s President of JoAnna Brandi & Company, Inc. for 28 years. She spends her time in the corporate world helping clients activate the link between positivity and profitability through “Exquisite” Customer Care and Positive Leadership training and coaching. www.ReturnOnHappiness.com www.PositiveEnergizer.com