Things like happiness and joy can seem elusive and unattainable sometimes, especially given the times we are in, with economic hardships, scary health situations, wars, natural disasters, divorces and a lot more. However, it shouldn’t be. We should never give up on life while we’re still here. We can learn to make the most of it, and be truly happy while at it. This is not to say it is an easy feat, but it is one that we should embark on. The pursuit of happiness is a real thing, it is achievable, and it is most definitely worth it.
Interestingly, it is the seemingly “little” things that can bring about the most profound form of happiness.
Here are 3 things you can start to do today that can ultimately change your outlook on life and make you a happier person.
Practice Active Listening in Communication.
No thanks to mobile devices and the existence of the virtual world, people no longer listen with rapt attention anymore. Even when in meetings (physical or virtual) they are often typing away on their phones and browsing the internet. This act negates the purpose of listening and company. The main goal of active listening is to deepen your connection and communication and try to really get to the bottom of what they’re trying to tell you.
Interpersonal connections are paramount to your happiness, the same way body language is a huge component of active listening. They can tell when they don’t have you full attention, and this can impede communication. However, effectively and actively listening makes for better communication, which can leave you feeling incredibly happier.
Perform Random Acts of Kindness
This can be a very rewarding thing to do. The idea is to do a few nice things each day for other people, such as saying “thank you” to the grocery store clerk or checking in on a friend.
You may wonder how all this would make you feel better. Knowing this, gratitude is central to overall happiness. The more grateful you are, and the more you express it, the better your overall mood will be. Performing random acts of kindness is just one way to practice gratitude, but there are many ways to do so, from thanking a partner for supporting you, to telling a coworker how much you appreciate their support.
Envision Your Best Possible Self
Personal narratives, including how you think of the little things in your day-to-day life, as well as your stressors and triumphs, are huge factors in your overall happiness. The good news is, if your own narrative is currently less than sunny, it can be re-written. One good way to go about re-thinking your reality, is the “Best Possible Self” practice, developed by Laura King, Ph.D of the University of Missouri; it has been shown to cultivate happiness.
Take a few minutes to envision living your best life at some point in the future. Write down how you feel and act. What have you achieved? Where do you live? How do you feel about work, your relationships?
The exercise requires you to consider what you truly want in life and how you’ll feel when you accomplish your goals can help keep things in perspective during turbulent times. No one is ever 100 percent all the time, but having a sort of game plan can help keep your anxiety in check, lower stress responses, and make you feel more at peace.
Reference: Syndey Baker – Apartment therapy.