How To Be Happier
I was ALWAYS laughing as a kid
But this laughter got less as I got older...
When did the laughter get less?
When I became an "adult"?
When I got a job?
When I got a mortgage?
A kid laughs 300-400 times a day
When did we start taking life (and ourselves!) so seriously
One of my core values is FUN
And to be honest this year hasn't had much FUN in it (A house move, a country move, a new school, death of a best friend....)
So this is where I struggle....
I need laughter in my life
I need fun.....
And we all do
That's why I left my stuffy corporate job and started my own business
That's why Richard Branson is one of my all time idols
He looks like he has fun pretty much most of every day!
And he's worth over £4 billion pounds
So how do you have more fun?
I am a Positive Psychologist which is the science of well-being.
We promote happiness!
We help people become happier
Lots of ways......
BUT I have a go to technique that I use....
It's called PERMA.....
So how can this help you?
I'll break it down...
P - Positive Emotion
For us to experience well-being our lives need to have positive emotions.
Emotions such as peace, gratitude, pleasure, hope, curiosity and love fall into this.
I've already said that even I'm not happy all of the time!
But I do feel happy A LOT of the time.
I do this by knowing what I'm grateful for.
Gratitude Journalling is a simple technique - it's writing 3 things that you are grateful for each day.
TASK - Write down 3 things you're grateful for
Think about what are the things that you love? What brings you joy? Is it people, your hobbies, your job?
They don't have to all be big things, they could be that amazing cup of coffee you had this morning!
Find ways to bring positive emotions and enjoyment into your daily life and not to keep waiting for a point in the future....
E - Engagement
When we fully engage in a task or in a situation we can experience a state of flow which is known to be good for well-being.
Have you ever done something where you've completely lost track of time, or not noticed if you're hungry or thirsty? This is when you're in flow. You're completely immersed in a situation.
The more of this type of engagement we experience, the more likely we are to have improved well-being.
You can increase your engagement by minimising any distractions and improving your focus which can help you go into a state of flow.
Task: Look at your favourite hobby or physical activity - do you make enough time for this? If not then schedule this in just like you would a meeting. Make it a non-negotiable
Make sure you devote plenty of time to activities that make you feel engaged as this will increase your flow and your well-being
We're social creatures (even the introverts amongst us!) and establishing relationships are fundamental to our well-being.
Happiness comes in part from meaningful, positive relationships with others.
Do you have positive relationships in your life?
Family, friends, neighbours, teams you might be part of or work colleagues?
Task: Make a commitment to spend significant time with a friend or family member on a regular basis
Relationships take effort but they are strengthened over time when we make an effort to connect with people.
If your relationships aren't positive then think about how important it is to keep that relationship going?
M - Meaning
This may be religion to you or community or humanity as a whole.
It's understanding that there is a bigger cause to serve than yourself.
What's your purpose is a question that's asked a lot.
If you don't know the answer it doesn't mean you're less of a person.
Certain activities such as spending time with our family, volunteering for a charity or performing acts of kindness can improve our meaning in life.
TASK: Complete 1 random act of kindness today. This might be leaving a coin in the trolley at the supermarket, this might be giving money or time to a charity or this might be paying for a drink for someone in your local coffee shop
You will find a huge amount of satisfaction by helping others and giving your life a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
A - Achievement
This is striving to better ourselves in some way.
Whether this is mastering a skill, achieving a goal that you set for yourself or winning an accolade, accomplishment is an important part of contributing to our happiness and our ability to flourish in life.
However its very easy to take this part of the PERMA model too far.
Achievement is highly valued in the west and you could feel the pressure to be the best at something, earn a certain amount a month or get up early everyday (5am club anyone!?) - not for me by the way!
This can stress us out or burn us out which will end up lowering our happiness
Having a balance here is super important
TASK: Use the wheel of life tool (Google it) to map out what areas of your life that you should be focusing your efforts on first.
By using this technique it will help you focus on the areas of your life you can get the most satisfaction from which will increase your happiness and well-being
Remember that happiness and well-being is looking at the PERMA model as a whole. If you feel that you spend more time on one element more than others, it may be worth pulling back and focusing on other elements more
P.S. Come join my Balance Junkies Facebook Group to help you flourish
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