Why does true happiness seem to be so elusive for many of us – so complicated to achieve? The answer, like so many other things, lies in the belief system which we grow up with and which we hold true to. Most of us were taught that it is the satisfaction of achievement that will bring us true contentment, that if we work hard we will be happy.
The reality is that working hard simply creates an insatiable cycle of desire for most of us. You land that dream job, and ask what’s next. You buy your first house, then start eyeing a larger one.
Instead of following this formula, what would happen if we resolved to first being happy, and organized our lives around this commitment? Using happiness as a starting point actually generates all the good energy necessary to feed into epic success. If we feel great, we will be more productive, we will get into better shape, and we will become better partners, friends, and parents.
The wisdom of the ages teaches us that in order to change our lives, we need to change our attitude. The way we look at the world is actually what shapes it, but changing our thinking is harder than it sounds.
Thinking of the worst possible scenario in every situation, and getting stuck in negative thought patterns is a problem for most of us – yet it’s necessary to overcome this way of being if we want to be truly happy. Here are seven ways to help retrain your brain to be happy:
1. Get moving
Being physically active is a powerful way to energize ourselves, and to create feelings of enthusiasm and excitement about life. One remarkable study has concluded that talking just three, brisk, 30 minute walks per week can help people in the fight to overcome clinical depression. Think of the life-changing effects it can have on the average person’s life!
2. Recording positive experiences
Taking just 20 minutes a day to write about and record positive thoughts and experiences will go a long way to help change your thinking. The reason for this is simple. When you reflect on positive feelings and events, your brain actually relives them.
3. Random acts of kindness
Reaching out to do thing for others is perhaps the most healing thing we can do for ourselves. In order to begin feeling better about yourself and the world around you, try doing 5 random acts of kindness a week and see what an impact it has on your level of happiness.