Cheat Sheet to Happiness


If you know someone who would eye-roll upon hearing the subject of happiness or if you are this person, I strongly and 100% believe you will benefit from reading this post and choosing one 2-minute habit to act on daily.

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I’m a default pessimist, well was, some days I have to work on it more than others. But now I know my struggles with negative thinking can and will come to an end- very soon. I’ve already transitioned myself into being a mostly positive person with going through my illness, writing, and learning about myself and growing. But most importantly, I’ve dabbled into meditation , exercise, and gratitude practices.

Before I scare you away, I want to emphasize that I’ve been *dabbling* in these things- what if I were to downsize and commit to consistency? Imagine me, an unwavering default optimist :). I’ve already gotten a taste of the outcome of these habits this year, and it is happiness!

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I’ve caught myself thinking, “Woah, I’m happy? I’m not complaining, but this feels weird (because I’m not used to it) yet really, really good. I hope it doesn’t stop.” And yes my thoughts have sub-thoughts.

I hope you believe me here. I have struggled with over-thinking, social anxiety, and depressed times where I can’t get myself to do anything I like, and these 2-minute habits have helped me NOT be those things!

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Not to keep you waiting, here is YOUR cheat sheet to happiness :). Write down what you will do daily for the next 21 days. I’m starring the things I’ve dabbled in and will continue to do as a 2-minute(+) daily habit.

-Say three new things your grateful for around the ‘dinner table.’*

-Journal about a positive experience for two minutes a day. It stamps the memory as meaningful and our brains can’t tell the difference between meaning and experience, so we double it. (This one sounds super relaxing before bedtime. Maybe I’ll try it out this month to signal my bedtime ritual- write at 9pm, read, do yoga, & sleep dreamingly.)

-Two minutes of quieting down and listening to your breath.*

-Write a two minute positive email, text, letter, etc. praising or thanking one person you know. (This one takes a lot of courage. I’ll try it in February.)

Bonus: 15 minutes of fun exercise a day helps with depression. (Hot topic, I know. When is gentle, fun exercise ever not helpful though?)

What really matters is SOCIAL CONNECTION. It is as predictive of how long you live as obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking. These habits will make you want to invest in other people, the community, and ways to make our external world better.

And my favorite line from the video that this scientific information comes from is :

“We fight so hard against the negative that we forget to tell people how powerful a 2-minute positive habit can be within their lives.”

Our happiness journey begins now and once we find a way to be happy now, our creativity will triple, our intelligence will drive us, our productivity will improve, we will get noticed at work, and we will increase our chances to live longer.

 

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