What Is It Going To Take To Make You Happy?
Have you ever taken a few minutes just to focus on what is really needed to make you happy?
It’s easy to think of happiness as a result, but happiness is also a fuel.
The best way to be more productive is to just be happier.
Happy people accomplish more.
They are more pleasant to be around too.
I’ve interspersed some science-based ways to be happier but maybe it is time for you to really assess what it will take for YOU to be happy. Please write in your needs at the blank numbers and please let me know anything I should have included.
- Exercise every day, even 8 minutes might be enough. We know it prevents or helps heal depression, it helps us relax, it improves memory and thinking and much more. However, recent research from the Cleveland Clinic has shown over huge groups of subjects, both male and female, that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease
- Improve your sleep right now, as good sleep is critical for mental and physical health.
- Have a large support system and continue to nurture and grow it all throughout your life. You will need it many times. Turn casual friends and acquaintances into closer friends since social time is vital even for introverts. Interestingly, not staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top 5 regrets of people at the end of their lives. The Terman study from the Longevity Project found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives and can make you happier right now.
- Spend time in nature, get outside and get some natural vitamin D daily, if possible.
- Pay some rent for the space you take up on this earth. We have to help others to feel happy. Research shows it takes about 100 hours a year for the effect to be greatest for you instead of just those you help. Scientists report that doing a single act of kindness produces the most dependable immediate increase in happiness and well-being.
- Smile at others, hold doors, acknowledge others and you will reduce pain, improve your mood, think better and immediately be happier. We clinicians often encourage the “facial feedback hypothesis” = smile to reduce stress in a distressing situation. Even if you force a smile for a moment it can lift your mood slightly which can enable making better responses and choices.
- Meditate to rewire your brain to be happy. It can also improve attention, concentration, thinking clearly and wisely, lower blood pressure and increase compassion to name a very few of the benefits. There are so many different types of meditation, both short and long, that anyone can discover a style they like.
- Be grateful and write what it is you are grateful for every day – and change up what you list.
What did you discover that you needed?
I left 5 spaces blank for you to fill in. Was that enough?
What changes would you like to make?
Providing in-office therapy, support, counseling and coaching for individuals and couples on a variety of issues (depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, grief and loss, addiction, self-esteem, work-related issues, and more). Online therapy also available. Based in Sausalito, Marin County, CA right off 101 w/ample parking.
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Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
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