Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happiness Habits!

Not for the first time, the 'topic of the moment' seems to be happiness! Of all the people discussing it recently, Arianna Huffington offered a particularly succinct view of the main qualities that constitute happiness (on a news program the other day) as including; “.... our capacity to tap into our own wisdom and make good decisions.” She pointed out how many of today’s leaders are clearly unable to do this (:-) fueled as they are by sleep deprivation, exhaustion and burnout; "Then they make terrible decisions!
I couldn’t agree more – I see it all the time, don’t you?

How can we have the wonder, joy and human connection so vital for happiness when we are burnt out and our brains are frazzled?
So what to do about it? What can we each do individually to prevent burn-out and become happier? Someone asked me today for a check-list, (of which I have several - as my clients know well :-)  However, today I’d like to offer a great list of six habits developed by Researchers at UC Berkeley. 

1. Pay Attention - Be Mindful: When we are mindful our immune systems become stronger and we are less likely to be anxious or aggressive.

2. Give Thanks: Regular expressions of gratitude promote optimism, improved health, and greater satisfaction with life.

3. Keep Friends Close: Social connections are key to happiness; make time for those closest to you.

4. Drop Grudges: When we forgive those who have wronged us, we feel better about ourselves, experience more positive emotions, and feel closer to others.

5. Practice Kindness: Being kind to others makes us feel good. Altruistic acts light up the same pleasure centres in the brain as food and sex!

6. Get Moving!: Regular exercise increases self-esteem, reduces anxiety and stress, and may well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all!