A Recipe For A Happier Life?
A focus on positivity is so important for a happier life but realistically it is not possible to only have positive thoughts and experiences each day, negative experiences happen. However, the recipe for a happier life is the right balance between positive and negative experiences. To create a healthy upwards flow in your life, scientific research suggests that for each negative experience, you need to have 3 positive experiences.
It’s proven that positive experiences not only make you happy for a moment, but if you create a positivity ratio with at least 3:1, your life automatically moves to growth and blooming.
To do this you need to actively focus on positivity. Negative thoughts generally have a bigger impact on us than positive ones. So you do need to consciously bring more positivity into your life whilst limiting negativity. Here are some ways to do this:
1. Amplify your moments of positivity
In general we experience more positive experiences than negative. However, we often don’t notice our positive experiences or in essence we take them for granted. Negative experiences on the other hand are paid lots of attention. This is where we go wrong. Obviously it has to be the other way around. When you experience positive events, learn to recognise them. Focus on them and simply enjoy them for a little longer.
2. Find the positive in the negative
When you experience a seemingly negative event, you can turn it around and make it positive., just as a coin has two sides, think about flipping the negative experience around or at least give it a positive glow. You can’t do anything about a situation itself, it is like it is. But you can do something about your approach and feelings towards it.
There is a lesson to be learned in everything that happens to us. Whether we realise it or not depends on how we respond. If we decide to see the negative experience that way we will inevitably see them as such, by changing our perception we will be able to recognise the positive outcome from it which later can benefit us. To do this, one has to be mindful of their thoughts and emotions.
3. Start a gratitude journal
Being grateful is a realisation and an appreciation for the things you have in life. Of course you already knew this. Then you also know it’s a very powerful form of positivity. Once you focus on all the things you have with the feeling of gratitude, there is a big chance your ‘I-need-more’ thought pattern will become less frequent or disappear. More room for the natural flow of happiness.
If a gratitude journal is not for you, think about other ways of mindfully being grateful, perhaps a gratitude meditation or a night time routine of focussing your thoughts on what you have been grateful for that day.
4. Enlarge your love for everyone and everything in the world
Loving others reflects directly on you. When you can give love, you are love and love has a very powerful effect on us. There is no negativity in love. Don’t confuse it with being in love though, I am talking about a deeper love. Loving kindness. Love without expecting something in return. When you are able to love, your heart opens up so there is a way for happiness to enter.
5. Make fun with friends and family
Humans are social creatures, we wouldn’t survive without each other. We need each other for many things and one of the joyful things is that we can laugh and make fun together. It’s much more likely that your abs hurt from laughing when you spend a day with a friend than alone. So do fun stuff together, let yourself go and very importantly, don’t be too serious.
6. Do things that make you feel proud
Create something beautiful, finish things you promised yourself to do, challenge yourself and be victorious. Making yourself proud is a wonderful thing to do and will generate a lot of positivity. Even on a basic level the act of ticking off items on a 'to do' list can bring a sense of achievement, tell yourself well done and let yourself feel accomplished, even for the little things.
7. Actively do things that you enjoy and follow your passions
Sounds pretty obvious right? But how much time do you actually spend on things you truly enjoy? Do you allow yourself enough time for it, or are you always too busy doing the things that needs to be done? Doing things you enjoy creates a lot of positivity, make time for you, prioritise time for you. Following your passions can reduce stress and contribute to greater happiness overall. Life just feels better when you are doing things you actually want to do
8. Have dreams for the future
Don’t live too often with your mind in the future but certainly do have dreams. It’s nice to know a direction. It’s nice to fantasize about desires, to have hope that a wish becomes reality. Otherwise you are just dwelling between a whole lot of possibilities. Clueless and in the worst case indifferent. That’s not how you want to end up.
So have dreams, allow yourself to have them and allow yourself to get lost in dreaming about them. Create something that not only reminds you of your dreams but also
that lets you plan a way of attaining them. You may not be able to see the whole path to achievement and that's okay, that's normal. All you need to do is see the first step. Take the first step and the next step will present itself and so on. A mood board, vision board, a collage or simply write them on a whiteboard. Put it in a place where you will see it often. Just make sure that dreams play a part in your life.
9. Practice awareness
Many people don’t live their actual lives but they live in the thought patterns of their mind. They are trapped in the addiction of compulsive thinking. They live in the past, in the future but they rarely experience the present.
Unfortunately we tend to find a lot of negativity in our thoughts about the past and the future. It’s in the past where we find regret and guilt, it’s in the future where we find fear. In the present we won’t find these forms of negativity. Therefore, it is important to focus on the present as much as possible so we are able to enjoy the beauty of the moment. Being truly present and mindful is a skill worth investing in.
10. Get close to nature
Nature has a positive effect on us. Make time to get out in the fresh air and notice the things around you. The fresh air on your cheeks, the sounds of birds, of trees blowing in the wind. Notice things, focus on breathing slowly and deeply, take time to clear your mind and appreciate the beauty of nature and its calming affects.