*note: nothing in this post was sponsored or endorsed in any way. We simply wanted to share things that we believe to be beneficial.
Hey everyone! Yes that’s Taco Bell above…SO GOOD! Anyway, Thanks for stopping by today. We are glad you did and feel that this post and its partner post will really help you have a new view on life. This is something that I have personally been working on recently, and I know that many people struggle with this because I do. It’s a small shift in thinking that can have a big impact on the quality of your life—Happiness. Happiness isn’t something you go out and find or buy or earn. Happiness is something that is within us all, (it is a choice), and if we know how to awaken it and have it work for us, then amazing things will start to happen. My mission president used to say “We aren’t responsible for the face that we have; we are responsible for the face that we wear!” Good Advice.
- The Happiness Advantage.
Happiness leads to success, not the other way around. In fact, usually people that seek success first as a means to be happy end up completely the opposite—overworked, overstressed, and overly miserable. Shawn Achor, who spent over ten years lecturing and researching at Harvard, participating in one of the largest studies on happiness ever performed, said in his TED talk (I LOVE watching TED talks) titled The Happiness Advantage that, “If Happiness is on the other side of success, then you’ll never get there…” and that, “your brain is 31% more productive at positive than it is at negative, neutral, or stressed.” In short, we reverse the formula for success by teaching that happiness comes first. Then that happiness boosts our performance and we become more successful. I wish I could go into greater detail, but I don’t want to write a novel about this because it’s already been done. When I brought up this book to my wife, she raved and raved about how good it was. Seriously you would think that the book was made out of pizza, that’s how excited she was. If you’d like, you can read it for yourself by going here.
- Doctor? What Doctor?
Like I said before, choosing happiness is something that I’ve been working on personally these past few weeks. One of the reasons why was because I literally didn’t feel well. I was always tired, and I wasn’t sleeping well. My back also was really stiff and sore all the time, probably because I wasn’t sleeping well (or because of my nephews always wanting to play superman with me). There is a lot of fascinating research on the effect that Happiness has on our lives. In an article from ABC News written by Dr. Anjuli Srivastava, we learn that “Happiness may be associated with lower stress-related hormones and better immune function.” Isn’t that crazy? Feelings of happiness actually bolster and uplift your immune system. And if feelings of happiness bolster the immune system, then certainly feelings of stress and grief lower and suppress it. If we aren’t careful, this can turn into a downward spiral. Our sadness lowers our immune systems and our health deteriorates, which we react to by being sadder and more stressed and the cycle continues. The good news is that this spiral can also go upwards. In another article written by UC Berkeley’s magazine Greater Good, we learn that happiness is linked to stronger heart function, less aches and pains, and longer life. Seriously, the possibilities are endless. So instead of waiting for better health to make you happy, why don’t you start with being happy and let the health benefits follow?
- Let’s go on an adventure.
Ok, this one is a no brainer. Clearly you will enjoy life more if you are happy as opposed to being miserable. But the really unbelievable thing is the amount of people that still live life in the dumps. No, not the actually dumps where the trash goes…the metaphorica—well, you know what I mean. But really, we all know those people that are constantly negative about everything. Not only are they not enjoying this wonderful world we live in but they are no fun to even be around. Now, I’m not saying that we should pretend like bad times, tragedies, and trials don’t exist, because they certainly do. It would be ludicrous to write such moments off calling them happy, like putting on party hats and playing the Hokie Pokie at a funeral. Yes, there are certainly times to be sad, but I believe there are infinitely more reasons to be happy. Start searching for those reasons and life will change from a prison to a beautiful adventure.
On a side note, sometimes my wife is so funny. She will get all sad and mopey about something and when I ask what’s wrong or why she is sad she will say, “I don’t know. I just want to be sad right now!” Even now as I write this she stands behind her reasoning. “Sometimes you just gotta be sad” she says. She always bounces back really quickly though, so I’m not worried. Just don’t fall into the trap of always being sad.
So make the choice today to be a little happier than you were yesterday. I promise that if you do you will be, well, happier! Over time you will also start to see many other amazing benefits. We only went over three here, but believe me, there are more. So give it a shot! Surprise yourself.
We want to hear your feedback and experiences! How has choosing to be happy improved your life? Leave your answer in the comments!
(One final note before we close part one of this two-part series, and that is that we acknowledge the validity and sometimes severity of mental illness and the effect it can have on an individual. While we wish it were as easy as waking up in the morning, smiling to yourself in the mirror and saying “today I choose to be happy,” we know that it can be more complicated than that. Those that struggle with more severe mental challenges should not underestimated the power of a simple positive choice like the one I just described, however, they should also seek professional help and consultation).
Stay tuned for part 2!
Tay and Kyle