08 Dec Is this the ultimate happiness plan?
We've provided you with many different strategies and tips and ways to achieve more happiness over the years but this author claims to have come up with the ultimate happiness plan.
And she may well be right…
by Andrea F Polard from Psychology Today
“Don’t tell me what happiness is,” a dear friend advised me as gently as she could, “Tell me what I need to do.” After some moments of righteous indignation—after all, I am a serious writer—I decided that breaking things down into doable steps is indeed helpful and that I can and will deliver, right on time for the holidays. Consider my ten steps to be ten gifts, more than you got for Hanukkah and less than you should get for Christmas. I even tell you, when to open your gifts, which is why they constitute a plan, the ultimate happiness plan that is, sanctioned by science, common sense, and Eastern wisdom. So, let the unraveling begin:
BEFORE GETTING OUT OF BED:
1) Say “Good morning”
Just as you wake up, greet the day in three ways:
Say “Good morning” to life as a package full of good and bad things. Say it with an open heart. Accepting life on a fundamental level brings inner strength and peace, a spiritual attitude that carries you for the new day.
Say “Good morning” to yourself. Greet yourself with kindness Self-compassion is enormously important for your well-being. Don’t be so judgmental, but understanding, attentive, and motivating. Be your own best friend.
Say “Good morning” to others you imagine, others you know and others you don’t know. Set the tone for GIVING throughout the day, giving smiles, an open, listening heart, a gift to the poor. Saying “Good morning” will turn into “Good day” and “Good night.” Plant the seed of kindness before the mind gets busy.
2) Scan the Day for the Positive
It is easy to look for the negative as we primarily want to avoid harm. This is known as the negative bias of the brain (1). After greeting the day, steer your attention to something good for which you can be grateful, such as the fact that you are still breathing, able to smell the flowers, smile, and give.
3) Form Your Intention to Be Happy
There is a great Harvard study showing that people who are asked to do their best trying to be happy while listening to jovial music feel way happier than those who are merely asked to listen to jovial music (2). Making up your mind is a powerful pointer.
4) Make a Commitment
Our mind needs a gentle push in the right direction as otherwise, our intentions will remain intentions and you know what road they might pave…. My personal commitment goes like this,
“I pledge myself to the cause of happiness. I will make happiness a priority, and I will put my mind to achieving it. I accept the invitation to the celebration of life.”
Our happiness depends on our willingness to commit ourselves sincerely to it.
AFTER GETTING OUT OF BED:
It’s breakfast time. Who doesn’t know that sugar, salt, and fats are to be avoided and fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins are to be consumed mindfully? Instead of doing it for your looks though, do it for your health and happiness. Our body dislikes big abrupt changes. By changing just one or two little things, you can gently start a ripple effect (3)…
…keep reading the full and original happiness plan, all the way through to what to do up to and after going to bed – HERE