The beginning of March, the beginning of Spring, thoughts of lovely weather, flowers blooming, fresh air and relaxing walks in the park, gratefulness and love for the flowers and spring seasonal gifts I received & offered at home & at work („Martisor„). This is how my day seems to be, after a series of rather rough and demotivating days. As i was contemplating on how the smallest things and tiny thoughts could have the power to make positive changes in my vibe, if i’d truly let them in, i remembered reading, last year, about one of the coolest Happiness global initiatives: the Action for happiness movement, which currently has more than 23 thousand members around the world.
One of the founders of the movement is the British economist Richard Layard, who thinks that, despite the amazing technical and material progress in the last 50 years, people did not become happier. According to him, we need new approach to the understanding of happiness in order to create a positive change in the social welfare and “instill” a fundamentally new way of life. One of the mottos of the movement is “care more about the welfare of others, rather than about things you can get from others”.
Where I’m getting to is in fact, the simple and easy to follow 10 Rules of Happiness this team has created, based on the latest research in this area. The distinguishing feature of these rules is that they do not consider important such criterion as financial gain or material incomes of any kind, and are built mainly around concepts such as socialization, relationships with other people, involvement in community groups, optimism and emotional stability, reinforcing the idea that we are, at the end of the day, social beings and our happiness comes mainly from our own actions and interactions.
„Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”.
– Dalai Lama
Everyone’s path to happiness is different, of course. But these 10 Keys to Happier Living consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell „GREAT DREAM” 🙂 You can Read more on their website.
1. Doing things for others
Caring about others is fundamental to our happiness. Helping other people is not only good for them; it’s good for us too. It makes us happier and can help to improve our health. Giving also creates stronger connections between people and helps to build a happier society for everyone. It’s not all about money – we can also give our time, ideas and energy. So if you want to feel good, do good.
2. Really connecting with people
Our relationships with other people are the most important thing for our happiness. People with strong relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Our close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self-worth. Our broader social networks bring a sense of belonging. So it’s vital that we take action to strengthen our relationships and make new connections.
3. Taking care of your body
Our body and mind are connected. Being active makes us happier as well as healthier. It instantly improves our mood and can even lift us out of depression. We don’t all have to run marathons – there are simple things we can do to be more active each day. We can also boost our wellbeing by spending time outdoors, eating healthily, unplugging from technology and getting enough sleep.
4. Noticing the world around
Have you ever felt there must be more to life? Good news – there is. And it’s right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice. Learning to be more mindful and aware does wonders for our wellbeing, whether it’s on our walk to work, in the way we eat or in our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
5. Keep learning
Learning affects our wellbeing in lots of positive ways. It exposes us to new ideas and helps us stay curious and engaged. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment and helps boost our self-confidence and resilience. There are many ways to learn new things throughout our lives, not just through formal qualifications. We can share a skill with friends, join a club, learn to sing, play a new sport and so much more.
6. Having goals to look forward to
Feeling good about the future is really important for our happiness. We all need goals to motivate us and these have to be challenging enough to excite us, but also achievable. If we try to attempt the impossible, this creates unnecessary stress. Choosing meaningful but realistic goals gives our lives direction and brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when we achieve them.
7. Finding ways to bounce back
All of us have times of stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives. How we respond to these events has a big impact on our wellbeing. We often cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to what happens. In practice it’s not always easy, but one of the most exciting findings from recent research is that resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned.
8. Taking a positive approach
Positive emotions – like joy, gratitude, contentment, inspiration and pride – don’t just feel good when we experience them. They also help us perform better, broaden our perception, increase our resilience and improve our physical health. So although we need to be realistic about life’s ups and downs, it helps to focus on the good aspects of any situation – the glass half full rather than the glass half empty.
9. Being comfortable with who you are
Nobody’s perfect. But so often we compare a negative view of ourselves with an unrealistic view of other people. Dwelling on our flaws – what we’re not rather than what we’ve got – makes it much harder to be happy. Learning to accept ourselves, warts and all, and being kinder to ourselves when things go wrong increases our enjoyment of life, our resilience and our wellbeing. It also helps us accept others as they are.
10. Being part of something bigger
People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They also experience less stress, anxiety and depression. But where do we find meaning and purpose? It might come from doing a job that makes a difference, our religious or spiritual beliefs, or our family. The answers vary for each of us but they all involve being connected to something bigger than ourselves.
And for those in search of a more graphic perspective on Happiness, here’s probably the longest and happiest infographic about this topic, brought to us by Happify.com.
There is some science in happiness, you see. Essentially, research has proven there are key actions that sucessfully guide us on our happy road. 10 of them are the ones summarized above by. And following, there’s a graphic story on how to understand, act and interact in ways that make us be good, feel good and do good. I just made a list of things i’ll do today, to boost my happy & meaningful journey through life!