“Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.” John Lubbock
What is happiness? And what makes someone happy? The World Happiness Report and the happiest countries on earth have identified and encourage the regular practice of 5 specific “happy habits” or what I call “happy moves” to consistently enhance one’s happiness.
According to researchers, happy people: Live longer; Have lower Risk of heart disease; Have lower blood pressure; Are less stressed; Less likely to be sick; Sleep better; Have stronger relationships; Stronger sense of meaning and purpose in life; Have greater emotional wellbeing & are just, well, happier ☺
Consider the following “Happy Moves” to boost your own happiness- they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face:
1. Nurture Your Relationships: If there were one thing you can do to immediately boost your happiness-it would be to share your heart with the one’s you love. Actually, to be more accurate, “the one you love”. Researchers have uncovered it’s not the number of relationships that matters most rather it’s the quality and level of connectedness you experience in your relationships. Be intentional and select one individual, you care deeply about, and once a day compliment or say “thank you” for something you appreciate about them (such as their smile, compassion, sweetness, resilience, encouragement, hope, faith and or help). You’ll be amazed how much this simple “happy move” will increase your connection with the one you love this week.
2. Cultivate kindness and the spirit of giving: Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that caring for someone other than ourselves creates a happier and more positive environment. From preventing cancer and heart disease to building self-esteem, overwhelming evidence proves generosity is good for your physical health and your happiness level. People find a new purpose and value by seeing their actions help others, and they tend to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
3. Schedule Sacred Moments-Invest in Your Spiritual Engagement and Meaning: Many studies indicate a close link between happiness and our spiritual lives So, this week, intentionally focus on practicing a “sacred moment” during your day. Take a few minutes to pray, journal, read a devotional and or listen to a favorite set of worship songs.
4. Look on the bright side- build optimism and gratitude into your life: Optimistic and grateful people have been shown to demonstrate more positive attitudes, a greater sense of belonging, greater ability to handle stressful situations and a significantly higher level of happiness. Optimism and gratitude have also been associated with greater immune functioning, prevention of chronic disease, improved self-esteem and greater life satisfaction and much more. So this week, pick three great things you are thankful for and post them on your Facebook page or in a journal.
5. Move to boost your mood: One of the greatest learning’s, I think I’ve ever had, related to exercise is when I heard the phrase, “motion-dramatically impacts emotion”. We know exercise releases endorphins that have been proven to make us feel better. The simple act of moving is not only good for your body-it’s also good for your “smile”. This week, get on the move, go for that walk, do some squats in your office, or better yet, try to do something that brings a smile to your face! You’ll be happy you did!