10 strategies to find daily happiness in the little things

Neurosciences and psychology affirm that the secret of happy people is to experience positive emotions frequently and in daily life. how to achieve it

Research in positive psychology defines a happy person as someone who experiences frequent positive emotions —interest, joy, and pride—and infrequent negative emotions, such as sadness or anxiety. It is also related to life satisfaction, appreciation and moments of pleasure. In general, happiness has to do with the positive experience of emotions.

“What we don’t recognize is that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination. We know it’s not a static state, because even the happiest people feel sad sometimes.” This is how Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist and professor at the University of California, began to explain how “truly happy people interpret life events and everyday situations in ways that seem to maintain their happiness, while unhappy people interpret experiences in different ways.” that seem to reinforce unhappiness.”

According to him, “studies reveal that happy people are more creative, helpful, charitable and self-confident, have better self-control and show greater self-regulation and coping capacity.”

The expert has her own experiences, of course from her own life, but also from her scientific studies, around the ways in which happiness can be achieved in everyday life. About all this, Lyubomirsky speaks in his bestseller The Science of Happiness.

Happiness is important and depends on the look of each one (Photo: Capture)
Happiness is important and depends on the look of each one (Photo: Capture)

Like her, in her recent book I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet. Discover new ways of living when the old ways stop working , Shauna Niequist exposes her personal experiences and her own learning in situations that call into question a person’s entire life.

The author recounted that she had to move in the middle of the pandemic from a house in a Chicago suburb, to an apartment in New York City. Her comfort is not in question, she says so herself: she moved with her husband and two children to a comfortable 252-square-meter apartment in a “beautiful red brick neo-Gothic building in Manhattan.”

“The move, combined with the pandemic, severe health issues, and a period of heartbreak and pain deeper and darker than anything I have ever experienced, have been some of the most challenging years of my life. Things that used to work just don’t anymore. I had to re-evaluate everything,” the author said in a note in Newsweek. Of course, he acknowledged, it is not a situation unique to his life, since “so many things that we used to expect and depend on have changed dramatically, and one of the greatest gifts we can offer each other is a commitment to compassion, self-pity and health.

"I believe in attending the sunset in the same way that some people buy theater tickets," said the author (Getty)
“I believe in attending the sunset in the same way that some people buy theater tickets,” said the author (Getty)

Both Niequist and Lyubomirsky listed some points that they believe can help anyone to seek a happier experience in life.

These are the 4 points listed by Niequist:

1. Search connection

“Something miraculous happens when we come together. There is a connection, a healing, a food that goes beyond nutrients, calories, vitamins and minerals. There is food for the spirit, and if we’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that we really need that connection, all of us. We need to see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices. We need to laugh together and cry together and sit together in silence. We were made for connection, to sit shoulder to shoulder, to carry each other and walk together. The people are great. And we need each other and we have a lot to learn from each other. And he kind of forgot, because he hadn’t been with many for that long. Hospitality is the antidote to isolation, and we need it. I need it. All neighborhoods, towns and blocks need it. And every one of us can be a part of it.”

2. Change anger and resentment for hope and gratitude

“There have been stretches in the last two years when I needed a wheelbarrow or even a truck to carry all the anger and resentment I had,” he said. It was one of the central activities of my days, just keeping that anger and resentment alive and burning, tending to it like a fire. But at one point, all that anger was like a pile of garbage in the middle of our apartment floor. Practicing gratitude keeps our hearts tender overnight instead of allowing bitterness and cynicism to take over. Choosing to see the good right in the midst of darkness and loss is a discipline, and I am finding that it is life-changing.”

For the authors, finding happiness in the little everyday things is almost a matter of attitude (Getty)
For the authors, finding happiness in the little everyday things is almost a matter of attitude (Getty)

3. Look for beauty

“I believe in seeking beauty absolutely every chance we get, as an act of prayer, as an act of worship, as an act of resistance. I believe in going out of our way if it means getting to see the water or the mountains or the sky streaked with colors. I believe in attending the sunset in the same way that some people buy tickets to the theater,” he said.

“The people I admire the most are the ones who take celebrations and memory seriously,” he said. At my best, that’s who I am: a moment-maker, an observer, and a person who celebrates the small goodness in our lives.”

“Whenever possible, get out of your way for a few minutes and take a deep breath somewhere beautiful; whether it be a forest glade or a French bakery or a path through a meadow or a cobbled street. Take the long way sometimes, reveling in the discovery of beauty, seeing as much as you can; how it smells and the inclination of the light”.

Negative emotions do not arise alone, but are pushed by a way of thinking (Getty)
Negative emotions do not arise alone, but are pushed by a way of thinking (Getty)

5. Being a beginner

“After moving to Manhattan, the amount of things we didn’t know was overwhelming; everything from finding the subway to grocery shopping to how to get to school. I noticed that my children’s questions began to change from ‘How do I do this or that?’ to ‘Have I made too many mistakes? I’m dumb? Am I falling behind?’” he recalled.

“When I heard these new questions, I knew we needed a new perspective on what we were experiencing. So I wrote the sentence ‘I guess I haven’t learned that yet’ on printer paper and stuck it on our living room wall. The four of us made it a point to say that phrase once a day and it changed everything for us. Ultimately, our family mantra became the title of my new book.”

“That phrase gave us a language for what it means to be a beginner and a learner, to be curious instead of thinking that we are failing because we don’t know. I try to walk through life every day as a learner, not an expert, to be more excited about the questions than the answers. There is so much freedom when you don’t have to be the expert, when you don’t have to have the answer and you can learn from other people. That idea has released so much goodness into my life. I found that being a beginner is such an exhilarating way to live.”

In an interview with Infobae, Lyubomirsky listed what actions or thoughts, in his opinion, can lead to happiness :

"Savor positive experiences (use all five senses to enjoy daily moments)," one of Lyubomirsky's tips (Getty)
“Savor positive experiences (use all five senses to enjoy daily moments),” one of Lyubomirsky’s tips (Getty)

6-Reserve time regularly to remember moments of gratitude

keep a diary in which one recounts his achievements or writes letters of gratitude

7. Participate in self-regulated and positive thinking about oneself.

Reflect, write and talk about the happiest and unhappiest events in life or goals for the future

8. Practice altruism and kindness

9. Affirm your own most important values

10. Savor positive experiences (use the five senses to enjoy the daily moments)

Some researchers have also said from science that practicing kindness with oneself keeps us happier. Many people are good at being nice to others, but they will stop being nice to themselves. science says that being kind to yourself is good for your mental health. Psychologists in England conducted a study examining brain scans of over a thousand people who practiced kindness. They found that when you’re kind to yourself, certain regions of your brain light up like a Christmas tree, as if you’re receiving kindness from others or giving kindness to someone else.

The practical advice that psychologists give is to pay attention to your inner voice. Do you talk to yourself in a hostile and rude way or in a friendly way? The point is that negative self-talk that is judgmental can affect your physical and mental well-being as if it came from a critical and judgmental external source.

Finally, something that seems unthinkable in current times: slowing down in everyday life helps to calm the mind and is also linked to the search for beauty, indicated by Niequist.

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