Happiness is one of the most sought after and illusive human emotions on the planet. So much so, that over the past several decades, the quest for happiness has become a much studied and observed phenomenon. Researchers have become increasingly interested in the subject of happiness and it`s effects on human performance relationships, success, well being and health.
For most of the 20th century, happiness was largely viewed as denial or delusion according to LIVE HAPPY magazine, and psychologists spent the majority of their time healing sick minds, not bettering healthy ones.
It wasnt until the early part of 2000 that things began to change and today there is a growing number of psychologists that are focusing on humanitys strengths and in moving people up the Happiness continuum, instead of on its weaknesses. There has also been evidence that suggests that happier, more optimistic people live longer, and that we have more control than we think on the state of our own happiness.
What does all this mean?
It means that even if there are circumstances we cant control, the ones we can, can have a profound effect on the level of our personal happiness if we follow a few key steps.
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage is one of the world's leading experts on happiness. His TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 4 million views, and he suggests that by raising our positivity in the present, we can raise our intelligence, creativity and energy levels.
Here are his 5 top tips to creating your own Happiness Advantage....
1. GRATITUDE- write down 3 things that you are grateful for everyday
2. JOURNALLING- Write about 1 positive experience you have had in the past 24 hrs
3. EXERCISE-move your body everyday for at least 15 minutes.
4. MEDITATION- 2 minutes of focused time on breath to centre and focus our mind.
5. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS- Doing 3 conscious acts of kindness or gratitude.
To view his TED TALK...go HERE
Shawn suggests that if we do these small tasks daily for 21 days , that we can actually re-wire ourselves for more happiness.
And as a happiness junkie, I believe that it is possible.
A few years ago, I read a wonderful book by Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project and she also suggests that happiness is not necessarily the pursuit of something we do not already posses, but instead the journey of how to identify what brings us joy, satisfaction and engagement AND to weed out what causes us guilt, anger and boredom...in an attempt to create more happiness within the texture of our already defined life.
The Twelve Commandments of Happiness... are what Gretchen believes are the common threads of being that define our happiness and override all of the other principals in our lives. And as an advocate for happiness in my own life, I decided to give it a try...
Here are my 12 Commandments:
1. Be Marnie ( this is permission to BE me as I am...no harm...no foul)
2. You are not responsible for other peoples happiness
3. Say what you need to say
4. Live out loud.
5. Be grateful everyday.
6. Make your own life happen.
7. Ask for what you truly need.
8. Take responsibility
9. Lighten up.
10. Surround yourself with positive people. ( ideally who like you)
11. Nourish your mind, body and soul daily.
13. Be the Spout. ( Let Spirit be the water...)
Because I am always a little outside the box, I decided to do a bakers dozen...but when I first wrote the commandments out, they felt ...well... rather radical for me. But there is something liberating about putting intentions and resolutions down on paper that really frees you...almost like youve been given express permission to go for it.
And maybe even kick a little ass...
And if in fact, being happy depends on our levels of positivity, and optimism, maybe THIS will get your creative happy juices flowing...
The Optimists Creed by Christian D. Larsen
I PROMISE MYSELF...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
To talk Health, Happiness, and Prosperity to everyone I meet.
To make all my friends feel like there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.
To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world...not in loud word, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
So why not give it a try? In the comments below, I would love to hear what YOUR 12 commandments of happiness are...and as an added bonus, Ive added a powerful AUDIO of the poem for your listening pleasure.
Heres to nourishing your Happiness...in whatever form you find it!
With Love and Light,
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