Happiness is more than just doing fun things. It is about doing meaningful things.
— Maxime Legace
Are you truly happy relationally, personally or professionally?
Odds are, you aren’t happy either.
If you feel unhappy in any of the three areas mentioned above, I want to share with you 5 proven strategies that will help you increase your happiness and elevate your life in 2020.
These 5 strategies will help generate a deeper sense of purpose, meaning, and connection which in turn will produce increased happiness.
1. Train Gratitude
The world would be so much happier if we made gratitude a soft skill.
So many people say “be grateful each day” but with anxiety, stress, hyper scheduling and constant demands being thrown at us, it is no wonder we are not happy.
I have learned that being grateful is great — when it works. But what about the days when you can’t seem to find anything to be grateful for?
These are the days that you need to dig down deep to train your gratitude muscle. You must force yourself to find ways to be grateful and things to be grateful for.
It is about intentionally stopping to listen to your thoughts by sifting through the negative ones, which then lead you toward your thoughts of gratitude that are likely buried somewhere between all the demands of your day.
Practice training your gratitude muscle daily and you will find that you are happier and less anxious.
2. Practice Self Compassion
Self-compassion is the mother of self-love.
This concept has been coming up in my life a lot recently so I wanted to share it with you. Self-compassion is a powerful tool to exponentially increase your happiness.
When was the last time you told yourself you looked beautiful?
That you looked healthy?
When did you last look at yourself in the mirror and truly love who you were as a person?
And what about the really bad days?
The days when you feel fat, when you feel unfit and when you feel ugly and lazy regardless of what anyone tries to tell you.
Think about the narrative for one second…Would you ever speak to your best friend and say, “Hey, Timmy you are fat, ugly and lazy.”?
If you would not speak to others like this, you should not accept this language for yourself either. We are what we tolerate. 2020 is the year you stop telling yourself that this is tolerable.
Practice self-compassion daily and watch your happiness and overall results in life grow exponentially.
3. Correct Posture
Everything starts and ends with the energy we generate from our feet.
So many of us have a very negative posture. Our heads are down most of the day between checking emails and checking our phones.
We do not live with an engaging posture that speaks confidence, health, and overall happiness. Instead, due to life just getting to us and the copious amount of notifications causing us to look at our feet or our crotch, we have developed poor posture.
Don’t believe me?
Jump on your local transit system and watch for two things:
1. How the people around you sit/stand
2. How those same people walk
Our posture as a society is poor and research shows that poor posture leads to lowered emotional health and poorer moods.
Change your posture and change your unhappy life.
Change your unhappy life and you will increase your wellness, health and overall happiness.
It is that simple.
4. Disconnect From Screen(s)
A screen will never solve all your problems.
It is pretty dire when it becomes not enough to just have to disconnect from one screen, but that is the reality of this decade.
On average, Americans spend as much as 12 hours a day on some sort of screen and additionally research shows that multiple screen usage has increased from a decade ago.
We have come so far virtually and in such a short period of time that we haven’t had the time to figure out the mechanisms we need put in place to be able to disconnect from screens.
Our screen reliance is at an all-time high.
We used to escape the “real world” with something on a screen like going to see a movie. Now we have to escape the screen to be in the real world.
Our phones may have advanced many things, but they cannot replace true happiness that can be found in the real world around you. If you want to increase your happiness, disconnect virtually to find happiness daily.
5. Find Community
At the heart of a strong society is the arts, music and community.
I belong to a free fitness community that vows to “Just Show Up” every Wednesday morning regardless of the cold winter months in Canada. The biggest thing that drives this group is not the actual exercise that the group does, it is the people who show up to it and the community that it has become because of those people. We start our workouts with a lot of “hello’s” and “good mornings” and finish each workout with hugs and high fives. Groups like these are catching momentum across the globe because of their ability to connect humans to other humans. When you find a community like this, it will increase your happiness and decrease your anxiety, stress, feelings of isolation and it will increase your overall self-confidence, sense of belonging, purpose, and meaning.
The incredible thing about the 5 proven strategies here is that they are all within your control and they all add to your meaning. They are not external, rather internal strategies that will increase your happiness in 2020.
Master your internal happiness strategies and you will live life on your terms.
Live life on your own terms and you will continue to foster purpose, meaning, and connection.
Foster purpose, meaning, and connection daily and you will increase your happiness.
Previously Published on Medium