Based on my own weight loss journey, I truly believe that finding internal happiness is key to sustainable weight loss. When I was deep in my weight struggles: obsessing over diet and exercise, constantly beating myself up, and severely lacking in self-confidence, I was far from happy.
When I started to focus on having a healthy mind rather than a skinny body I slowly started to rebuild my self-esteem and happiness. This simple shift in focus had such a tremendous impact on my life. It is so amazing that you have the power to pull yourself out of the worst situations, all you need are the right tips, tricks, and strategies like the ones you will discover below.
The How of Happiness
Today I want to tell you about a book I started reading called, The How of Happiness, written by social psychologist and researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD. In this book she describes several strategies and interesting studies that we can use to live happier lives. Below are 3 simple science based strategies you can use to start living a happier life today that are mentioned in Dr. Lyubomirsky’s book.
3 Strategies to Start Living a Happier Life Today
#1 Have strong personal relationships.
Having strong personal relationships is one of the biggest factors when it comes to happiness. This is a big one because unhappy people tend to isolate themselves from their friends and family. In order to get the most happiness from this tactic you must put effort into cultivating your relationships.
When you are with the people who mean most to you purposefully act with love and caring and say thank you often. Share yourself, your time, and your ideas freely. Give them affirmations, compliments, and gratitude. Doing this is what increases the amount of “feel good” chemicals that get released in your brain.
#2 Commit to a goal.
Sticking to and completing small goals can enhance your happiness. She actually says, “Find a happy person and you will find a project.” The one caveat to this happiness strategy is that the goal cannot be based on something external like fitting into a size 6, making money, or boosting your ego.
Instead choose a goal that you have a passion for and then dedicate yourself to it. Good options are planting a garden, volunteering, or connecting with friends a specific number of times per week. Your happiness levels will increase with every intrinsically focused goal you complete.
#3 Use your body more.
Dr. Lyubomirsky found that using your body more through exercising, smiling, laughing, and meditating provides significant mood enhancement. All of these things also increase physical energy and mental clarity. She even goes as far as to say that if these “body movers” are done daily they can lead to long-term happiness.
Your Happiness To-Do List
- Make a list of 3 relationships you can purposefully nurture this week. Send them a card (maybe even the paper kind? Gasp!), flowers, or simply give them a phone call.
- List 3 small goals you can set for yourself for this week or month. Some ideas are walking for 15 minutes after dinner 3 days a week. Planting an herbs garden. Cleaning out your pantry.
- Post sticky notes around your desk, on your bathroom mirror and in your car to remind you to laugh and smile more. Even forced smiles and laughter will help elevate your mood. More ideas are- watch comedies, make one of your goals for #2 movement related, and schedule quiet time to meditate and focus on the present moment.
I guarantee you that if you do these 3 super simple things today you will be happier by this time next week. Try it and see for yourself!
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Hope you have a great day!