Being happy means you make others happy and the world a happier place. Being happy also means you think better, work better and feel better. Happy?
Shawn Achor spoke at TED and summed up his advice under the following 5 headings.
1. Gratitude - Be thankful for what you have everyday.
Maybe you can buy a Gratitude Journal or use the Notes app on your phone. Write down 3 things that you genuinely feel thankful for everyday. If you're finding that hard just start with where you are. ie If you're in the bath… be thankful for 1, Hot water 2, Time to relax 3, A comfortable to home to live in.
2. Journal - Write down your thoughts, experiences and feelings.
Processing mental ramblings creates space and clarifies underlying issues that might need some attention. Expressing feelings on paper stops them from going round in circles in your mind. The Artists Way is one way of doing this. Spending time reliving positive moments also reinforces your experience - it's amazing how often we remember the problems of the day and not the highlights or enjoyable moments. You might like this book -365 Journal Writing Ideas or this app for iPhone and Mac - Day One.
3. Exercise - Keep on moving.
Walk (mindfully), swim, cycle, run, skate… Buy an app or gadget to count your steps and inspire you to move more. This one is meant to be really good - Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker & Sleep Wristband. There is also a more affordable app for iPhone and Android called Moves. So park the car as far away from where you want to go to and walk a bit more. Or try just 7 minutes a day of this high intensity practice. Alternatively you're always welcome at one of my yoga classes ;-)
4. Meditate, meditate, meditate.
Sorry to bang on about this one but it's just the best way to feel so much better about life. It can feel weird how just sitting still for 15 mins can have such an effect but I assure you it does. Try this simple guided meditation here. If you still need convincing see the 100 reasons to meditate here. Let me know if you're interested in my Mindfulness Made Easy course.
5. It's cool to be kind.
Random acts of kindness or just simply helping someone in need not only help someone else but also make you happier too. This article from the BBC will give you more food for kindness.
And don't forget to watch the TED talk below that inspired this post from Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work