It’s the ultimate dream that we strive for but most of us die without reaching. So, today, backed with all the studies I could find, I present you four tips on how to find trues happiness or at least be a happier person than who you are today.
“You must be optimistic to be happy.” This is what every self-help guru will tell you.
Tony Robbins believes happiness is measured by how confident you are of winning, Richard Wiseman says lucky people are super-optimistic, and Shawn Achor’s studies suggest that happiness brings success, not the other way around.
They are right. But there’s one problem:
What if you fail???
What if after you spent your mornings and evenings visualizing and saying affirmations like crazy, and fail at whatever?
What if you think you’ll get the job and you lose it?
What if you say I’ll never get sick, but you lose a limb or get cancer?
This can lead to a severe case of identity crises…. Unless you see things the way the pros do it. Here’s how:
“Michael Jordan made a decision at some point in his life that he would maintain unwavering faith, despite the fact that he might miss. (And although Michael Jordan missed 26 game-winning shots in his career, his faith that he would make every single one never wavered.) That’s the first decision that the world’s elite make, and it’s yours for the making, too.” Writes Hal Elrod in The Miracle Morning for Writers.
Happy people, or at least those who reach their full potential, don’t allow doubt to cripple them down or ruin their mood. They understand that they must apply faith to see results. So, they induce the faith anyway. They win more by being insanely certain than by being strictly realistic because they have a simple rule that says:
Think you’ll win every time, and you’ll win most of the time —which is enough to make you a legend at whichever you’re doing.
Tip #2: Invest in better relationships
“One person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only his friends, but his friends’ friends, and his friends’ friends’ friends. The effect lasts for up to one year. ”Says this 2008 Harvard Study.
Happiness is contagious which is why you should pick the right type of friends that push you as high as possible on the happiness food chain. According to Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without, your list of close friends should include at least one in each of the following categories:
The Mind Opener:
An innovative friend who embraces new ideas and opportunities. This is someone who challenges you to think differently and change your life around.
Some sort of party animal. Someone who can throw a bachelor party, take you out when you’re down and can make you laugh.
The Builder (Monica Geller):
“Builders push you toward the finish line. They continually invest in your development and genuinely want you to succeed — even if it means they have to go out on a limb for you.” Says Rath
I call this type, “Monica Geller.” These are type-A friends. Someone who’d beat up the wuss inside you and knock on your door at 5 in the morning for a morning jog.
Tip #3: Get a hand over mind-wandering
MEDITATE… For the love of everything that is good.
One of meditation’s many benefits is that it increases your emotional resilience and self-awareness even better than social support sessions, according to studies.
Read the following lines from a 2011 study by Yale:
“Experienced meditators seem to be able to switch off areas of the brain associated with daydreaming as well as psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, according to a new brain imaging study by Yale researchers.”
Less daydreaming, according to the same study, has been associated with increased happiness levels.
In 2011, the Seattle Seahawks asked the famous sports psychologist, Dr. Mike Gervais, to lead a daily, pre-training meditation session to help the players quiet their inner critic and visualize success. Two years later, they won their first ever Super Bowl.
“A happy player is a better player,’’says Pete Carroll, the Seahawks legendary coach who also arranged weekly yoga sessions for their ability to improve his players’ cognition and emotional well-being.
Tip #4: Become a master reframer
While working on a way to come up with quick, witty replies when girls tease me, I came across the famous NLP technique called Reframing. In its core, reframing is nothing but trying to see a phrase/problem from a new perspective. For example, if a friend says, “My boss gives me a lot of work,” you say something like, “Maybe he sees some potential in you.”
I practiced this technique thousands of times and not only it made me a lot funnier around the ladies, I became more of a positive thinker when it came to challenges. Reframing simply made me happier. It can do the same for you, and I’ve got an expert to proof for it. Here’s one:
“The best way to counteract self-criticism, therefore, is to understand it, have compassion for it, and then replace it with a kinder response… Reframe the observations made by your inner critic in a kind, friendly, positive way.”Writes Kristin Neff in her bestseller, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.
Reframing works well when you’re stressed, pissed off or sad because it shows you a second perspective and helps stay away from helplessness which is one huge sign of depression.