We all strive for happiness, often by looking for it in a wide variety of places, perceiving it as a state that we can arrive at. But happiness is a journey, not a destination. It is not a place that you can reach for good. The good news is that we can develop our own happiness plan, by consciously exercising some positive habits. So here they are, five, psychologically proven habits that will help you to live a happier and more fulfilled life:
1. Express Gratitude – happiness really starts from counting your blessings. Psychological studies over the years have consistently shown that an ongoing practice of gratitude brings surprising life improvements. Yes, gratitude, just like any other skill requires practice. So start consciously reminding yourself things that you can be grateful for, you may chose to write a gratitude journal or simply verbalise the feeling of gratitude on regular basis.
2. Forgive – being able to forgive and let go will empower you. And it applies to both, forgiving others and yourself. By doing so you will remove a heavy and a painful load off your back. Forgiveness, however difficult, will set you free so you can lave the trap of endless revenge and experience more joy and connection in your life.
3. Turn jealousy into motivation – the feeling of jealousy is often associated with negativity. However, if we chose to look at jealousy from another perspective we can turn it into a healthy tool. When approached in a constructive way jealousy can help us to fulfill our wants, needs and goals. Move from a jealousy mode into a ‘student’ mode to be inspired and learn from the success of others.
4. Smile more – research shows that our emotions are reinforced by our responding facial expressions. In simple words, smiling more will make you feel happier. Recent study by University of Cardiff discovered that people who have botox injections, are happier on average than people who can frown. Smiling is very powerful, it helps us to crate a much happier environment around us as people respond to it and gravitate towards happy, stimulating individuals.
5. Embrace your inner child and learn something new – children are curious and always ready to learn something new. Try to let go of your inner perfectionist and embrace new skills. Remember, it’s ok not getting it right the first time around.