Another re-post that’s simply too good not to pass along.
Research has found about 9 zillion things you can do to increase happiness.
Of course, you’re probably not doing any of them. To be fair, most people don’t really do much to deliberately make their lives happier.
Via 100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life: “Researchers found that the majority of the subjects they studied were not able to identify anything they had done recently to try to increase their happiness or life satisfaction.”
So you want to start? You want something insanely easy to do that research has demonstrated over and over again works?
Something that the happiest people in the world all do?
Whatever you’re doing, stop doing it and watch this. I mean it. Then, tell someone why you’re grateful for them.
I’m going to go ahead and call it now: this week there will be good things that happen and things that are not so good. You can bank on it. That’s the way it’s going to be.
The question isn’t whether anything worthwhile will happen this week, but whether you’ll notice it when it does. A lot of us spend our time fixated on what we don’t like, didn’t enjoy or didn’t want. What about the good stuff? What about the little delights and pleasant surprises?
This week, make it a point to focus on the positive. Try to see the good in every situation you encounter. You may be surprised at how many good things happen every day.
It’s painfully easy to fall into a rut with your weekend schedule. Many of us do more or less the same thing every Saturday because, well, that’s what a routine is.
This weekend, break out of it. Find something new to do. And not just something new–an adventure.
Adventures don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. You just need to find something you haven’t experienced yet (or in a while) and dive into it. Sure, you could go on a spontaneous road trip or decide that this weekend is the perfect time to go skydiving, but you could just as easily go to the zoo or start that home-makeover project you’ve been talking about. Even a date night can be a magical event if you’re in a long-term relationship and haven’t gone out in a while.
Whatever you choose to do, find an adventure this weekend. Engage in it passionately. It will refuel and recharge you more than you might expect.
Everyone knows at least one person who always has a chip on their shoulder. You’re thinking of someone right now, and chances are the person you’re thinking of is someone you don’t enjoy being around. (If you can’t think of someone, you may be that person!)
But we all encounter crappy situations. What’s the right way to handle the things in life that upset us?
1. Don’t buy into the myth that venting is helpful.
Many people think that venting is a valuable coping mechanism. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Airing your negative feelings about something, even briefly, will often make you feel worse, not better. (Don’t believe me? Check this out.) All venting really accomplishes is calling more attention to the thing that is upsetting you. We tell ourselves we’ll feel better if we just gripe about it a little, but often such conversations leave us feeling worse, even when the other person is empathetic.
Venting will only remind you of the general suckitude of an unfortunate reality without changing it. It doesn’t help in any way. Instead, it makes the problem worse because it locks you into a negative frame of mind and does nothing to move you toward a solution.
It makes far more sense to do something to actually change the situation.
2. You can always do something about situations you don’t like–if not outwardly then inwardly.
If you’re upset over something you have the power to change, your time would be much better spent changing it. Unless you just like being miserable, it makes a lot more sense to spend your energy making your life more enjoyable and fulfilling. Note that sometimes this means directing a complaint toward the right person. When that’s warranted, be sure to deliver the complaint in a productive way, citing what you don’t like, and specifically calling attention to the hoped for solution, as well.
But, maybe you can’t change the situation, itself. What do you do, then?
Change how you deal with it.
Inevitably, you’re going to encounter troublesome situations in life that are thoroughly out of your control. While you could fixate on them and launch into an endless string of tirades about how unfair life is, that doesn’t accomplish a damn thing apart from making you more miserable and stealing joy from anyone who bumps into you. Instead, focus on finding a way to cope with the unpleasant reality.
That’s right–the only helpful way to complain is to direct your complaint to someone who can change things, making it a point to word it productively. Otherwise, you’re just spewing negativity. And when the situation is such that no one can change it, focus on finding a way to accept the unpleasant rather than fixating on it.
Granted, that can be a tall order. Some things are very difficult to accept, but when you can’t change what you don’t like, accepting it and moving on is the only real path to happiness.
Don’t let the things you don’t like rule your mood. Change them when you can and accept them when you can’t.
Last week, Lifehacker published a brilliant little post entitled, “How Can I Communicate Better At the Office?” It isn’t long at all, but it’s well worth the read. Given that it’s Monday and you’re just venturing back into cubical land, I’d encourage you to give it a gander. You might find the tips in it transform how you talk to your coworkers.