07 Aug You don’t have to be “conventional” to enjoy happiness!
We love some of the writing from Dumb Little Man and we thought you too, might like this…
6 Unconventional but Scientific ways to be the happiest person on earth!
There isn't a single human being who doesn't want it, and for many, it is the primary pursuit in life.
Conventional wisdom tells us that we need a good job, a great family life, and 11.5 months of vacation time to be happy. But we're going to focus on some lesser known factors of happiness that anyone can apply immediately. We'll even meet "the happiest man in the world" and hear his secret of happiness!
These six pieces of advice will increase your happiness if followed, which is a good enough reward itself, but I'll add that happiness leads to better health just for fun.
1. Throw your negative thoughts into the trash (literally)
What happens when we treat our thoughts as material objects?
This study found: "When participants physically discarded a representation of their thoughts, they mentally discarded them as well, using them less in forming judgments than did participants who retained a representation of their thoughts."
It seems like we can throw away our negative thoughts and be happy forever, but the fact is, as researcher Richard Petty says, "they are not really gone – you can regenerate them, but the representations of those thoughts are gone, at least temporarily, and it seems to make it easier to not think about them."
For negative thoughts, writing them onto a piece of paper and then throwing it away appears to thwart their negative power, though it may only be short term. With repetition, one could possibly gain longer term benefits by "practicing" discarding negative thoughts.
Important lesson: If you have pervasive negative thoughts, write them down on a piece of paper, and physically throw them away, or burn them! This strategy can be employed as a quick way to clear your head of negativity.
2. Use your imagination
A just-released study found that the human imagination is powerful to a scary and exciting degree.
"'This is the first set of experiments to definitively establish that the sensory signals generated by one's imagination are strong enough to change one's real-world perception of a different sensory modality,' says Professor Henrik Ehrsson, the principle investigator behind the study."
Wow! Your imagination is so powerful that it can alter what you see and hear in the physical world. I submit, then, that it easily has the power to change your mindset to a happier state. Here is one experience I had with the power of imagination, and honestly, I was amazed when it worked.
One day I was feeling (extra) lazy, lounging in bed. I couldn't get motivated to do anything worthwhile. Do you know what I did then? There's no way you'll ever guess…
I imagined a tiger, as vividly as I could. I could see him running towards me with great speed; his big cat eyes looking at me like I was a tuna steak. Then I visualized the rest of the scenario – if I didn't get up very soon, he would attack me, but if I did get up, I would avoid him and save my life! It jumpstarted my entire system – I was up and moving (and laughing at myself) within seconds.
If you spend all of your time thinking realistically, not only will life be a little bit boring, but you'll miss out on your brain's most enjoyable and powerful tool – imagination!
Important lesson: Remember childhood, before you were trained to be "responsible?" Exercising your imagination muscle will generate creative ideas, motivate you, and make you happier if you use it well. Happiness is a perspective, and using your imagination is an effective way to alter your perspective to your liking. Or at the very least, it can get you out of bed. (Tiger alarm clock patent pending) 😉
3. Stop buying possessions, start buying experiences
I admit that I'm biased as a minimalist, but it's hard to deny hard data – experiences have been shown to make us happier than material possessions. The linked study from Cornell says, "Consumers spend more time thinking about material purchases they didn't choose than they spend when they buy an experience."
…keep reading the remainder of this article HERE