24 May Two actions to help improve your happiness
Who wants to feel happy? I do, but it is easier said than done!
The Dalai Lama explains, “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions,” and personally, I work hard to ensure my actions come from a place of integrity to who I am, how I want to feel and how I want to make others feel. For me, this is one key way to happiness.
Can you remember a decision that didn’t sit right with you? I can guarantee that the decision subconsciously didn’t align with your values and goals, and the day following that decision you would have told yourself negative and unhealthy stories. To have any level of happiness, it is absolutely imperative that your actions are aligned with your values and goals; this will mean your internal stories are positive and healthy, which feeds your self-worth.
The following are two actions I use to align my actions with my values and goals. This results in my internal stories being positive and healthy, meaning my self-worth comes from within. This improves my happiness, and who doesn’t want to feel happy?
Action 1: Write it down
To help me get out of my head and clearly understand who I am, what’s important to me and what my bigger picture is, I write it down in my journal. It is difficult and overwhelming if you only use your head to store everything, so at the start of every year I write down the following:
- What’s important to me to keep a positive mind (my values)
- What I want to achieve this year (my goals)
- The word I am going to live by for that year (eg: ‘evolve’ or ‘action’ or ‘build’ or ‘love’)
Every 3 months I take myself to my happy place (and pour a glass of rosé), and re-read my values and goals. I reflect on what I have missed, learned and achieved over those past 3 months. After, it solidifies the direction of my journey and helps clarify if my actions and decisions are aligning with my values and goals.
This improves my internal stories and self-worth, hence making me feel happy.
Action 2: Be Appreciative/Show Appreciation
Travis Bradberry my favourite EQ (Emotional Intelligence) guru explains, “taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It actually improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, by 23%”. With this in mind, I often reflect on all the people I am appreciative of in my life, and then try to show or tell them that I appreciate what they have helped me with (whether it be big or small).
I absolutely love that feeling I get when I authentically give recognition to someone who has helped me. According to UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb feelings of gratitude trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to enjoyment, focus, and euphoria, how cool is that?
I find giving and receiving appreciation helps me feel good but also clarifies what is important to me, which links back to my goals, values and actions. This always improves my internal stories to be positive, making me feel happy.
These are two actions that work for me, it’s important to find what works for you. I can guarantee that identifying what your values and goals are will ensure that your actions and decisions align with them. In doing this, you will improve your internal stories to be positive and healthy after making any kind of decision, hence feeding your self-worth and happiness.