4 proven ways to live a happier life

4 proven ways to live a happier life

via Eric Baker

Sometimes just being happy is hard enough. Figuring out how to have a happy life can seem downright overwhelming.

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman (the Big Kahuna of happiness research) says that there are four types of happy lives.

That’s right — not only do we have a blueprint for what makes a happy life, you even get four choices. That doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. As you move down the list, the lives get better — but more challenging. The first three all have big strengths — and big weaknesses.

And then there’s #4 (music swells): The Full Life. It’s got it all — but, of course, it’s the trickiest to achieve.

Ready for a happy life that works for you? Let’s break the 4 down, see which blueprint suits your needs, and find out what life is like for the happiest people on the planet.

Alrighty, so what’s behind door #1?

Happy Life #1: “The Pleasant Life”

The goal is life as one long vacation. You want as many positive feelings and bodily pleasures as you can. Tasty food, good beer, smiles, massages, and laughs. No regrets, no worries, and a head full of positive thoughts.

From Authentic Happiness:

The pleasant life: a life that successfully pursues the positive emotions about the present, past and future.

So let’s say this is your ideal life. How do you get there? Researchers call it “Pleasant activity training” but I call it “things that feel good, do them more often.”

Yes, it sounds stupidly simple but don’t gloss over it, internet skimmer. Research shows that often you don’t actually do what you enjoy the most — you do what is easiest. You might love going to the beach, but TV is quicker. If you want The Pleasant Life, make more time for the things that give you the most pleasure.

And for Pete’s sake, schedule pleasurable things. If awful stuff like dental appointments get a spot on your calendar, so should awesome things. (I enjoy seeing my friends. So I don’t “see’em when I see’em” I have lunch with them every Friday at 1PM, like clockwork. And “Burger Night” is every Monday at 5PM. Dinner with Jason and Lisa is every Sunday night. Nick and I go for a walk and discuss interesting things every Tuesday night. I’m sure you’re fascinated by my social schedule, but the point is, with a little planning, you can make fun the default.)

Now as enjoyable as The Pleasant Life sounds, it’s the least happy of the four. Why?

If you’ve ever stared at the ceiling at 2AM and said, “What am I doing with my life?”, well, The Pleasant Life can’t help you with that. All it can offer you is yet another funny YouTube video of a dog on a skateboard.

(To learn the 4 rituals that neuroscience says will make you happy, click here.)

Alright, so The Pleasant Life is very pleasant… but not much more. Maybe that works for you, maybe not. So what’s a happy life that’s more engaging — and exciting?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE