Looking to boost your happiness?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
Here are 10 science backed activities you can do to increase your happiness.
1. Be grateful
Research shows that gratitude is very much associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive, increase their health and wellbeing, cope with adversity, and develop strong relationships. A good practice is at the end of each day get into a habit of thinking of five different things you were grateful for during that day.
2. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice focused on anchoring our mental attention and physical sensation in the present moment, being aware of our thoughts and feelings and fully accepting them without judging them. You allow your thoughts to be there but you are not hooked by them. Observe them and even be curious about them. The more you observe your thoughts the more you see that is all they are just thoughts. They are not you.
Take a few minutes each day to practise mindfulness. Whenever you are lost in ruminating about the past or worrying about the future accept that it is internal chatter and bring yourself to the present.
3. Be your own best friend
Treating ourselves kindly, with more understanding and encouragement is known as self-compassion. There has been a great deal of research about this over recent years. Self-compassion involves acknowledging your own suffering and treating yourself with caring and kindness. It is about being you own best friend.
When we are able to love ourselves unconditionally for who we are, accept ourselves fully with all our foibles, we are then in a position to care for our fellow beings.
Next time you notice your inner critic judging you harshly, try and step back and be kind and caring to yourself. It works!
4. Clarify your core values
Your values describe how you want to behave as a person and act in all situations throughout your life. They are how you want to treat yourself and others.
Values are in essence how you are true to yourself. They define your individual personality and make you feel authentic and engaged in life. Values describe the principles you want to live by, the qualities and character strengths you want to cultivate. Think of some examples of when you have used these core values in your actions.
5. Describe your future life
Write a letter to yourself in the future describing your ideal life and the best possible person you can be. The future may be 1, 2 or even 5 years. Describe in detail what your life is like, what goals and intentions you have brought to fruition and how you feel and what you see around you. Imagine you have achieved your life goals. Take time to reflect and dream.
6. Set goals
Write down one or two goals you want to achieve that is consistent with your life values and your vision of your ideal life in the future. Put together an action plan on how to achieve these goals. Write down an action against each goal you can do this week to progress towards your goals.
7. Commit to learning something new
Look back at your letter to the future and goals you have set. What is one thing you can commit to learning, that will help you achieve your goals? It could be something really small. Do some research on how you can learn this. There are so many online courses on the internet and some are free.
8. Savour experiences
Reflect or reminisce each day on two pleasurable experiences you have recently had or in the past. Take time to do this. It may be small but it has to be something that gave you pleasure.
9. Follow your heart
Whatever it is that sparks joy in your life do as often as you can. It could equate to having a purpose or it could even be anything small that gives you energy and not drains you.
10. Nurture a growth mindset
Research shows circumstances actually account for a very small part of your happiness. It is the way you look at your life and what happens in it, ie your mindset, that determines your happiness. Learn more about developing a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. A person with a growth mindset views them as challenges and opportunities to learn from their experiences. The saying, failure is the best teacher, applies well here.
If you want to know more about these tips on how you can boost your happiness then check out My Life Journal course, a 5-week online course teaching you skills in coaching yourself to a more fulfilling life.
Following the self-coaching model in my Life Journal will help you develop a greater understanding of yourself, your core values, strengths and passions and, above all, your purpose in life.
The Life Journal course will support you in developing a compelling vision for your life and set inspiring but achievable goals. You will develop and implement a Personal Action Plan with specific actions for each week. You will also learn an effective tool for monitoring your progress towards your goals.
By setting goals to enhance your life circumstances and your inner wellbeing and then taking effective action which includes cultivating positive habits, you will learn to make deep and lasting changes in your life. You will truly enhance your overall quality of life.