(MotivateDaily.com) – There is a common misconception that happiness is caused by outside circumstances. However, happiness doesn’t come from external factors. It is, instead, an internal condition — one we can cultivate as a habit by taking one step at a time.
Science defines happiness as a condition that happens when negative emotions are absent and positive emotions are present. Later research has found that many factors influence perceived happiness from environment to personality and even to personal goals. Learning to create and cultivate happiness isn’t something that can be learned in a day, but by taking intentional steps, it is a habit that can be developed, strengthened and enjoyed for a lifetime.
Practicing random acts of kindness creates a sense of greater personal happiness. Scientists call this “prosocial” behavior, and it has a direct link to feeling happier. To cultivate happiness, consider ways to be kind each day. Offering a smile to a cashier, holding a door open for someone coming in or even paying for the next person’s coffee order in line can be a happiness habit that could ripple outward, helping others feel that same sense of positivity.
Pair Good Nutrition With Exercise
Part of building a happiness habit includes making healthy choices about everything from fitness to food consumption. Healthy eating and regular exercise both have a direct impact on the way we feel — not just physically but mentally as well. Making healthier food choices can provide us with more energy, build stronger immunity and help prevent illness. It can also help us have a more positive perception of our bodies.
While eating well is important, regular physical exercise is also necessary for happiness. Researchers have found that exercise is linked to more than just weight loss. It helps us sleep better, improves our mood and can lower our health risks. Pairing good nutrition with regular exercise can help us feel happier.
Be the Boss of Our Thoughts
It’s common to assume that the thoughts we have are out of our control, but the reality is that we are the boss of our own thoughts. When we find ourselves engaging in negative self-talk or thinking only about the downside of a situation, we can guide our thoughts into a more neutral position. This change can involve looking at other points of view, focusing on gratitude or taking a solution-oriented approach to any problems.
When we are the boss of our thoughts, we don’t pretend not to see problems. Instead, we shift our focus toward solutions, opportunities and learning. This provides more balance. Our thoughts are a significant factor in the way we perceive happiness. By getting into the habit of negative thought-stopping, positive self-talk, and exercising some control over our thoughts, we increase our chances of happiness.
If we find ourselves unable to cope with negative thoughts, it may be time to call in a professional. Seeking therapy or joining support groups can help us manage our thoughts, support our mental health and connect to a greater sense of well-being. Sometimes, it’s best to delegate and let a professional step in to offer support.
As we take steps toward happiness, we can consider the choices we make each day. We can allow our intention of being happier guide our decisions. We may just find along the way that we’re no longer working toward the goal of happiness. Instead, we’re simply practicing the art of being happy.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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