Follow these 7 steps every evening for more happiness!

Follow these 7 steps every evening for more happiness!

By Eric Barker

Everybody talks about morning rituals to get the day started right. (Even I have.) But ending the day right can be even more important. Why?

Because your mind ain’t perfect when it comes to happiness. It cheats.

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, has shown that your brain really remembers only two things about an event:

  • The emotional peak

  • The end

Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues have shown that what we remember about the pleasurable quality of our past experiences is almost entirely determined by two things: how the experiences felt when they were at their peak (best or worst), and how they felt when they ended. This “peak-end” rule of Kahneman’s is what we use to summarize the experience, and then we rely on that summary later to remind ourselves of how the experience felt.

If your brain is gonna cheat, you should cheat back. Let’s game the system. If you structure your days so that the peak is awesome and the ending is awesome you’ll fool your imperfect noggin into a happier life.

How? I am so very happy you asked. Let’s get to it…

1) Have a “Shutdown Ritual”

Workday is over. But your mind is still going and going and going. You gotta get your brain out of “work mode” to relax.

A simple ritual can help. Have a consistent little routine that let’s your overactive brain know “we’re done.”

From Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World:

…support your commitment to shutting down with a strict shutdown ritual that you use at the end of the workday to maximize the probability that you succeed. In more detail, this ritual should ensure that every incomplete task, goal, or project has been reviewed and that for each you have confirmed that either (1) you have a plan you trust for its completion, or (2) it’s captured in a place where it will be revisited when the time is right.

Bestselling author Dan Pink gives similar advice:

Establish a closing ritual. Know when to stop working. Try to end each work day the same way, too. Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.

Research shows writing down what you need to do the next day relieves anxiety and helps you enjoy your evening.

Now you’re out of “work mode.” You want to get happy, right? Wouldn’t it be great if every day was a Saturday? Impossible?

Wrong, dear reader…

…keep reading HERE for the full article and much more on how to develop a nighttime ritual for more happiness!