When strengthening a muscle, whether mental or physical, regular and consistent efforts will have a greater and lasting impact than once in a while attempts. This is the real benefit of a new habit: when it becomes embedded into daily life and flows naturally without a decision or self-control. Creating a new habit in your life starts with shaping your intentions mindfully. One of the first questions to ask yourself is: what does happiness mean to me?
Everyones temperament, interests, life purpose, and goals are different, so it goes without saying that happiness will mean something different to each person. Start by thinking about what brings you joy, how you would like to enhance your life experience and which personal qualities you would like to strengthen. For example, do you want more fun in your life, to be more energetic, or to feel more appreciative? There are general rules of thumb for happiness, but this is really about staying true to yourself, knowing what you enjoy and what you value the most.
Small Concrete Actions
Consider which small, concrete actions will help you to enhance your happiness each day. It doesn’t have to be radical, in fact little shifts will be more sustainable over the long-term. For example, Gretchen Rubin, a happiness expert, identified 12 areas of her life she wanted to work on to improve her personal happiness and then came up with small actions that she could easily incorporate into her daily life. One of the areas of her life she wanted to enhance was her attitude. So she choose a simple activity that brought her joy and started doing that every day. For her, this meant incorporating singing into her daily morning routine.
Other happiness habit ideas include: keeping a gratitude journal, meditation, daily exercise, mindful eating, and being generous. Nature-based and mind-body activities, such as gardening, walking in nature and thai chi, have been shown to improve life satisfaction and overall well-being.
Creating new happiness habits is a way to contribute to your health and well-being every day. When we change our habits, we change our lives. Mastering the habits of our every day lives can enhance feelings of happiness, improve our overall sense of well-being and bring joy to those around us. Don’t be afraid to spice up your happiness habits from time to time to avoid feelings of repetition and regularly remind yourself why you are doing it. The intention to be happier, together with a commitment to the process, have been show to play an important role in positively enhancing overall well-being and life experience.