For those very reasons, it’s always a pleasure to share an article about the most vexing of all subjects: happiness.
Life isn’t merely about avoiding suffering, but rather, about cultivating happiness.
Counter to what Freud believed, life isn’t merely about avoiding suffering, but rather, about cultivating happiness. So says Dr. Martin Seligman, author of “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being.” To cultivate the components of well-being, which include engagement, good relationships, accomplishment and purpose, Dr. Seligman suggests these four exercises:
- Identify Signature Strengths: Write down a story about a time when you were at your best. Reread it every day for a week, and each time ask yourself: “What personal strengths did I display when I was at my best? A week later, a month later, six months later, people had on average lower rates of depression and higher life satisfaction,” Dr. Seligman said.
- Find the Good: Set aside 10 minutes before you go to bed each night to write down three things that went really well that day. Next to each event answer the question, “Why did this good thing happen?” Personally, I write in my 5-Minute Journal every morning and night and conclude each day with 3 amazing things that happened.
- Make a Gratitude Visit: Think of someone who has been especially kind to you but you have not properly thanked. Write a letter describing what he or she did and how it affected your life, and how you often remember the effort. Then arrange a meeting and read the letter aloud, in person. (Note: I have never done this, but I am very vocal with words of affirmation and offering unique compliments in the moment.)
- Respond Constructively: The next time someone you care about shares good news, give what Dr. Gable calls an “active constructive response.” That is, instead of saying something passive like, “Oh, that’s nice” or being dismissive, express genuine excitement. Prolong the discussion by, say, encouraging them to tell others or suggest a celebratory activity.
Sure, some of this seems a little hokey, but what’s the cost of looking a bit uncool if it leads to greater happiness, gratitude and connection?
If you radiate happiness in “real life,” you can be sure it will positively impact the way the opposite sex feels about you.
Remember where we started this article? If you radiate happiness in “real life,” you can be sure it will positively impact the way the opposite sex feels about you.
What things do you do to nurture yourself? How can you spread that self-love outwards so other people can benefit from your self-awareness and joy?