Mental Wealth Express

7 ways to pursue happiness

Chasing the dark clouds away and countering those lousy feelings isn’t all that easy. Whether we are grieving the death of a loved ones, lost a job, or feeling rejected, we all have moments where we feel stuck, when all hope seems lost. When we are filled with these doubts, we eventually act according to our thoughts and feelings. We get suck into our own sense of defeat, trying to look for happiness.

But what is happiness? Happiness is commonly connected to life satisfaction that involves positive emotions. However, one person’s happiness does not mean the same for the other. Just like one stressor could be perceive as a setback by Roger could be seen as moments of opportunity for James. As tragic as it sounds, all of us seek for happiness, but only a few appreciate it. Just like playing cash tornado, the others strive to grab as much happiness in the box, not knowing that the more they grab, the existing ones are slipping away from their hands.

So how do we find happiness and keep em? In this article, we have compiled 7 effective ways to get your box of happiness tornado running endlessly. So fire up your engine today!

1) Everyday Is Thanks Giving Day

We all have things to be grateful for, even the smallest of things such as having oxygen to breathe or water to keep our body hydrated. Research consistently finds that people who contemplate what they’re grateful for experienced improved mood, motivation, physical well being, and social functioning. So start giving thanks to all that is around you, whether to the cook who prepares your food or the tree that is providing you shade. The next time someone holds the door for you, don’t be afraid to express your gratitude with a verbal “thank you”, or if you are too shy, then give him or her a nice warm smile. Most importantly, replace your list of negative thoughts with people or things you can be grateful for. Here are 7 scientific proven benefits of gratitude by Psychotherapist, Amy Morin.

2) CUT: Combat Unhelpful Thoughts

We have been told to think positively and avoid negative thoughts. This piece of advice is so common like telling someone that he/she will find the right person after a relationship break-up. As much as both statements are valid, we can’t just get rid of all the negative images that are playing in our mind. Our negative thoughts happen so automatically, it is like the knee-jerk response when the doctor knocks your knee with the mallet. Although we are not able to remove this ‘negative-thought reflexes’ entirely, we can control it by being more aware of it. Once we can identify and label our negative thoughts, we can think of helpful statements to challenge and replace it. So start by identifying your negative thoughts here.

3) STOP: Be Mindful And Not Mind Full

4) Connect, Not Compare

Yes, connect and NOT compare. Often times, we tend to engage in social comparison, where we compare our looks, accomplishments, popularity and amount of ‘likes’ on Facebook with our counterparts. This becomes a never-ending race as we constantly seek to be better than the best. Although social comparison does have its usefulness in driving us to do better, it is almost always fueled by our own sense of insecurity and could be discouraging. Instead of setting other’s achievement as our benchmark, we can compare ourselves by thinking about where we are today and where we were in the past. Find out what you can do to avoid unhealthy social comparison here.

5) So Get Connected!

According to Dr. Robert Waldinger, a Professor at Harvard University, who conducted the Harvard Study of Adult Development for 75 years (known to be one of the longest study of adult life that’s ever been done), he found that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Yes, this means that that person who has more friends than you on Facebook is not necessarily happier than you! (refer to social comparison). Instead, happiness relies on the quality of the relationship, not quantity. So whip out your phone and start looking through your phone book! If this were your last day on earth, whom would you call?

6) Stop Ruminating

Just like attending to our negative thoughts, we engage the ruminating process, where we repeatedly dwell into our problems without any possible outcome. If you find yourself thinking about the past (whether about a situation that happened 5 minutes or 5 years ago) and asking questions like “what if’s”, and “why”, then you would have probably ‘ruminated’ before. When we ruminate, we marinate our problems with all types of depressive ingredients with a pinch of anxiety to add to the taste (or maybe anger to spice it up). However, when we ruminate, we invest a lot of our energy on processing unhelpful thoughts, which in turn maintains our negative emotions. Here are a few ways to get someone out of your head and stop ruminating. ​

7) Stay Healthy

If there is one technique you should prioritize here, then this would probably be the one! When you consistently adopt a healthy lifestyle, you are preparing your body and mind to battle against various illnesses. Not only your immune system improves, you will also increase your tolerance towards stress (which is the potential cause of various mental disorders). So start adopting a healthy lifestyle through balance diet, adequate sleep quality, physical exercise and relaxation activities. More importantly is to avoid prolonged and excessive stress by learning coping skills to manage your stress level. This is what you can do to improve your lifestyle. ​

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