Six Happiness Habits to Cultivate

Cultivate happiness?  Kind of sounds like a farming, but happiness is something that can be amplified, so let’s look at the handful of deliberate ideas that can increase your degree of happiness.

Cultivate happiness

Pay Attention
The research coming out of the field of Positive Psychology is based on the notion that good, positive stuff is already happening, in fact, it is all around us. The trick is to start to notice and pay more attention to it, that is, begin to cultivate happiness.

Start attending to positive, nurturing-type experiences and moments, no matter how small.  Hold onto them a few moments longer, learn to slow down enough and pay attention with intention. Go the extra mile and try to imprint it into your memory by putting a title or label to the experience.

Keep Friends Close
Make time for friends, as good social connections are key to happiness.  This really does have a lot of impact on the degree of satisfaction and happiness.  Connecting with others is important, as we are all social-beings. The science shows that those with a greater number of social connections are typically more content with their lives.

Those with social connections makes an effort to stay connected, no matter how small.  With all the fantastic ways to stay connected online, it still does not replace the value of in-person personal time and connection.  Use technology to stay connected and also arrange to get together in-person.

Give Thanks
Showing thanks, being appreciative and grateful is a great habit to develop. Thematically, you are focusing in on the positive stuff.  When you show appreciation or express gratitude, you will be ‘tuning into’ positive aspects of your life and lived experience.

For even a bigger impact, begin to express appreciation and gratitude to others.  Letting someone know how they may have had a positive effect somehow is great for both parties.  Someone hearing they have a nice smile has a positive impact on each person.

Drop Grudges
You know how that saying goes…”life’s too short”…well, when it comes to holding grudges, that saying turns out to be pretty good advise. Holding a grudge is like holding onto negative stuff, whether that be negative thoughts or feelings.

This could be a tough one for some, but the idea is to ‘free yourself’ from the burden of holding onto the grudge.  It’ll be a letting-go process.  Theirs a lot of value in letting go as it frees up emotional, cognitive and even behavioural ‘space’.

Be Kind
Being kind is pretty easy to do, and it pays huge dividends. Often times it seems like it is easy to be kind with strangers, and take our loved one’s for granted. Try to turn that around a bit, be kind to your loved one’s too.

Get Moving
No big surprise, when folks are more active, their degree of happiness is increased. So in order to cultivate happiness, get up and get moving, whatever that may be for you. Getting up and moving around either through sports, exercise or simply getting outside for a walk will encourage people to be more socially active also.