Personal development legend Jim Rohn stated: “happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present”. In a world where we are constantly seeking things to make us happier, improve our success, and overall live a better life, how do we “design our own happiness”?
I first wanted to take a moment and explore the benefits of living a happier life. According to CNN, happiness is less about your financial status, and more about the freedom to make choices, building relationships, and overall well being. From my research, I found that things such as stress management, lower rates of depression, and improved physical and mental well-being are experienced with a happier and more positive mindset. However, with so many apps for our phone, programs sent to our email, books to read, and quizzes to take on facebook; it can be difficult to find the right tools to start making positive changes towards a more positive outlook on life.
Here are three, tried and true, actionable items that you can start implementing into your daily life starting now to improve your mindset, enhance your positivity, and increase your happiness.
1. Be Mindful- Psychology Today described mindfulness as: “paying attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgment”. To work towards becoming more mindful, start by sitting in silence and meditating for 5 minutes every morning before you start your day. The Miracle Morning is a great resource to help you establish a morning routine which then allows you be more mindful and centered as you go about your day.
2. Sleep- A study completed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that “higher sleep regularity was significantly related to higher morning and evening happiness, healthiness and calmness during the week” and that “regular sleep is associated with improved well-being.” The question is, are you sleeping enough and is your quality of sleep adequate? To find the answer to this question, ask yourself: how many hours of sleep do I usually get? Do I hit the “snooze” button multiple times every morning and have to drag myself out of bed? what is my sleep environment like? Are there many bright lights, is the room hot, do I have to use sleep aids? If any of these questions have you considering an overhaul of your night time routine.
3. Smile – Body language has a way of forcing us into a happier and more positive mindset even if deep down we don’t actually feel happy or positive. This idea of “fake it until you make it” is actually right! By smiling at the cashier at Starbucks, standing tall and walking with confidence instead of showing your insecurities, and speaking up when you have something to say even if your voice shakes all triggers the same part of your brain that allows you to feel more confident. If you engage in negative self-talk, our bodies will reflect that; however if we spread ourselves out, our minds react in order to make us feel more powerful. Simple body language such as standing tall, or smiling, can lead to increased assertiveness, confidence, and overall feeling of happiness.
A positive mindset and a happy life are truly yours for the taking and by setting up habits and using tools such as confident body language, improving your sleep, and being mindful of your daily routine, you are allowing yourself to fully invest and take advantage of all that life has to offer. You are worthy of living a happy life so take some time to invest in yourself and as Jim Rohn so eloquently puts it, “if you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”