Better Days = Better Life
According to research, 40% of our happiness relies on our thought patterns and behaviors, 10% our circumstances and 50% our genes. If we focus on the 40% in our control, we may also be able to shift our perspective on our circumstances, making it 50% in our hands to make better days. And better days = better life.
Sonja Lyubominsky, The How of Happiness offers ten ways to boost happiness.
- Practice gratitude – list three things that you are grateful for each day (three of mine are in the photo);
- Be kind – assume the best in others and show empathy. You never know what someone is going through and you can be that beacon of light that pulls them through;
- Practice optimism – stop the spiral of complaining, comparing and criticizing and fill that space with imagination, play and positivity. Flip worst-case scenario thinking to best-case scenario;
- Avoid rumination – let it go. When thoughts bounce in your head like a pinball machine, stop and ground yourself in the present. The past is done, move on.
- Physical exercise – training for a marathon which turned into a virtual marathon kept me focused this year. You don’t need to run a marathon. Getting out every day into nature and moving your bones is good for your soul;
- Meditation – I’ve tried meditation on and off over the years and it wasn’t until I downloaded the Insight Timer app that it stuck – 80 consecutive days and counting. Download it – 5-10 minutes in the morning and meditative music to fall asleep to will shift your very foundation;
- Religious/spiritual observance – I strive for deep faith and meaning beyond myself. It’s the anchor, the rock that has held my hand through life and particularly valuable this year. No preaching, just fact – God’s holding all of us, let Him;
- Forgive others – we free ourselves when we forgive others. Let it go and live your life;
- Pursue goals – set goals and develop the steps to get there. The world needs you to bloom and give away your gifts and talents;
- Savor – stop the monkey mind and be fully present in this moment and allow joy to soak in. Each of us can find things to be grateful for. Gratitude shifts our energy and attention and lifts our spirit.
You find what you are looking for so look for light, joy and laughter, available to all of us if we choose to partake.