Some people just seem happier than others. And others often fail to understand why the happy people whistle while they work and don’t dread Mondays. We, the people belonging to the not-so-happy lot find ourselves surrounded by half-empty glasses.
When it comes to happiness, we are almost sure that what we don’t have and don’t know how to get, must be unachievable anyway. That’s not true; the truth is that despite many myths about happiness, your usual mood is not what you have to live with always and that it can be easily influenced.
Let us bust a few myths about mood with a little help from scientific research, you can follow these steps to make yourself happier right now.
Myth: You are Either Born Happy or Not
Only about 50 percent of your mood “set point” can be traced to genetics. Set point is our natural emotional baseline in the absence of stimuli. Research suggests that there are number of ways with which we can train our brains to be more positive. It is time you should stop blaming your parents for your grumpiness. All you need to make are some little changes in your behaviour that can increase your happiness and overall feelings of well-being.
Start simple, like appreciate a few things every day, be grateful for what you have, do small deeds of kindness towards others, try to learn new things, spend money on other people. These are such small things, but have a huge impact on your feeling of happiness. Focus less on what isn’t great in your life and put in more time being grateful for the good moments, no matter how trivial they are.
Instant Happiness Tip: The next time you are getting burgers for your children, get one for the poor boy selling flowers outside the burger outlet too. The feel-good mood bump will be worth every penny.
Myth: You Can’t Control How You Feel
Our emotions are interconnected with our physical actions. The suggestions to “keep your chin up” or “grin and bear it” may sound crazy, but these simple physical actions of mimicking a more positive affect than you feel can bring on a corresponding emotional response.
It has been suggested by research that even fake smiles reduce overall stress. And believe it or not, people who can’t frown after Botox injections, are less negative. This means, in terms of happiness, you can actually “fake it until you make it.” Behaving happily though you may not be feeling it at the moment, does, indeed, make you happier.
Instant Happiness Tip: Smile! If you are someone who doesn’t naturally smile often, set reminders for it. Smiling might not cure everything but it can reduce your body’s stress response and make you feel better.
Myth: Happy People Generally Have Stress-free Lives
They say that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react. And there is no reliable correlation between happiness and objective “ease” of one’s life circumstances. A study concluded that happier people adjusted to marriage more quickly and experienced fewer well-being "bumps" along the way. Their unhappy counterparts adjusted slower and were more likely to experience greater emotional ups and downs over time.
In other words, people experiencing the same stressors respond to them differently; happy people experience less severe emotional swings and greater adaptability, not that they necessarily have better lives. It’s all a matter of better outlook.
Instant Happiness Tip: Write down a recent change in your life (good or bad) and then follow it with three good things that have come out of that change. For example, “My car is gone for service and I have to pay a lot for the repairs. But being car-less means I get to carpool with my co-workers who I've been meaning to get to know.
Myth: Unhappy People Work Harder
Actually the opposite is true: Happier people are actually more productive than their less happy counterparts. It is because, success doesn’t make us happy, happiness makes us successful. Being disgruntles never motivates you. The research points to happiness being a prerequisite for true life success.
Happy people are less likely to find their jobs unsatisfying and are less of complainers in general. They are able to shake off petty irritations and stick with even a sub-par position.
Instant Happiness Tip: Take out a five minute “happy break” from your workday daily and use it to do something to lift your mood, such as savour a dark chocolate, listen to your favourite song, text a loved one etc.
It is pretty easy to bring on reasons for feeling unhappy, but that energy can actually be channelized into doing the real simple things that science suggests can actually make you happier. A positive mindset isn’t a mysterious thing, and when you’ll find it, your happier self and the people around you will thank you.
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