27 Jul Happiness awards each and every day!
Happiness awards for each day
I recently read about a strategy for increasing happiness each and every day. Quite simply, it begins with choosing a theme for the day such as gratitude or hope or love. Once chosen, the challenge is to focus on this theme as much as possible and to designate happiness awards for each and every example of this theme.
For example, if you chose an appreciation of beauty as your theme you might keep a close eye out for any examples of beauty throughout the day. Every time you see a flower, or a smiling face, or a painting or photograph on someone’s wall you can use this as a reminder that happiness can be found any where and every where.
Alternatively, if you chose curiosity as your theme you could, at regular intervals, select objects you observe or issues you stumble across and make a note to find out more about them, explore how they work, who discovered them or to what purpose are they frequently put.
Other themes might be relationships, love, friendship, hope for the future, healthy living, optimism, and food (but don”t forget, of course, that this list could be almost endless so the options are effectively infinite). Accordingly, you could be on the alert for evidence of supportiveness, compassion, kindness and empathy, acts of inspiration, opportunities for incidental activity etcetera.
To be perfectly frank, it doesn”t really matter what the theme of the day is but what does matter is actively and overtly looking out for positive and motivating ideas and actions and then more so, providing yourself and others with some sort of happiness award in recognition. This award could be as simple as a metaphorical “pat on the back” or an internal “good on me”; or it could be something more substantial and, possibly, even more tangible such as sending someone a thank you card or making a phone call to express appreciation and gratitude.
Imagine if we all did something like this every day. Imagine if we did something like this with our children and partners (i.e. actively look for something positive in them). Imagine if we applied this within our schools; and our workplaces; and even within our large institutions such as government and hospitals.
I”m not suggesting we ignore the very real problems and challenges that exist; but what I am suggesting, and what we know from the positive psychology research is effective and would boost our personal and communal happiness levels, is also spending at least some of our energy and time focusing on and rewarding what’s going right and what we”re doing well (rather than constantly just focusing on what’s going wrong). A family and a school and a business and a world in which we provided more reward for things such as hope and beauty, positivity and generosity, would surely be a better family, school, business and world.