How To Feel Happy – Learn how to get lasting fulfillment and happiness in life without succumbing to common pitfalls that only lead to disappointment.
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Full Video Transcript Here:
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org. We are going to talk about how to feel happy. This is going to be a practical, quick self-help segment where I tell you, in about eight or 10 points, what you really need to know to get sustainable happiness in your life.
The challenge is that most of us do not really understand what it takes to be happy — not on a deep level, at least. Most of us are out chasing the wrong things. Happiness is a counterintuitive concept.
So, let’s get into it. I’m going to give you some key points. By doing a lot of research, I’ve discovered these points. I think you’re going to really like them.
Number one is gratitude. Studies have actually been done on this and gratitude is a really great technique for creating sustainable happiness. The most practical way to practice gratitude is to actually have a gratitude journal and consistently spend five minutes every morning jotting down the five or 10 things that you are grateful for in your life.
This could be something that you’re grateful for that happened to you years ago, like your parents or your college education, or something you are grateful for that just happened to you today or the other day. It can be big things and small things.
The thing is that human beings have this tendency toward what’s called “hedonic adaptation.” This means that it’s hard for us to become happy because any external change in your life — like if you find $1,000 tomorrow in your car that just randomly showed up — is going to make you feel thrilled in the moment, but then after a while — a week or a month from that point — you’re not going to really feel that happiness anymore because you’ve adapted to that difference.
Human beings are really good at adapting to either positive changes and circumstances or even negative ones. There have been many studies done on this with lottery winners to paraplegics. They’ve compared happiness levels between people who won millions of dollars and people who have become crippled. What they’ve discovered is that about after a year, the happiness level returns to about where it was.
So, gratitude is a great way to turn this tide. It’s all about thinking of the things that you are appreciative of and being more appreciative of all the good things in your life. Happiness is a mind game. You want to start shifting your focus from all the negative things that you’re thinking about to all the positive things that are in your life.
Are you grateful for the country that you live in? How often do you think about that? Are you grateful for the city that you’re in? Are you grateful for the family that you were raised in? Are you grateful for the friends you have? Are you grateful for the fact that you can pay your bills? Are you grateful for the fact that you have food? Are you grateful for the fact that you have your boyfriend or girlfriend? What are you grateful for? Take stock of those things.
If you’ve never done this exercise, you’ll discover some amazing things when you actually sit down and do it. Force your mind to go back and think about this stuff consciously and articulate it. That’s a really good strategy.
The next one is happiness. Be more optimistic. This is not an abstract concept. There’s actually a practical way to be more optimistic. With happiness, I’ve found that one of the best exercises to do is journaling. Again, you can do a five minute exercise in the morning. Sit down and ask yourself, “What am I doing in the next year that I can be excited about? What am I doing over the next week that I can get excited about? What am I doing over the next five years that I can get excited about?” It can happen on the micro scale from what you are doing today to what you are doing in a week to the macro scale of what you are doing in five years or what you are doing in 10 years.
It’s about setting a positive expectation for your future. When you feel good about your future, you’re going to get engaged. You’re going to feel happy. You can do this in the morning with your journal or you can do it when you’re in the shower or throughout your day when you’re sitting in traffic or standing in a line waiting for your Starbucks Frappuccino, just think about what you’re excited about.
As you’re doing that, you’re actually going to be setting goals, too. Setting goals is a point further down on the list and I’m going to get to it in a second.
So, building that level of happiness is a great way to feel happier.