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5 Habits of Happy Brains

Foster meaningful relationships

Good social relationships make people happier, says research. Satisfying social connections is also associated with better health and longevity.

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5 Habits of Happy Brains

5 Habits of Happy Brains

https://medium.com/mind-cafe/6-habits-of-happy-brains-e85d2e961d51

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Dan Millman

Dan Millman

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live — that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”

Find and increase flow experiences

Flow is when you are so consumed by a task or activity that you lose track of time, for instance, gardening, reading, or watching a movie. It's an optimal experience that can make you happy. Flow can be achieved in almost any activity that requires prolonged mental effort.

Seek out daily happy habits. Your brain will build up expectations of being happy and will rewire itself to seek more happy habits.

Express gratitude

Research reveals that small and regular positive experiences have a greater impact on your life satisfaction than a few notable events of achievements.

Expressing gratitude can make you feel better about yourself and your life. It can make you feel more grounded, humble, and connected to the world around you.

Foster meaningful relationships

Good social relationships make people happier, says research. Satisfying social connections is also associated with better health and longevity.

Live in the moment

When we are too busy worrying about the past and the future, we fail to notice the present moment. Living in the moment is a state of active, open, and intentional attention on the present.

Don't think too much about enjoying your life. Instead, lean into the simple joys in life when you find them.

Seek adventure

People are naturally excited and more present when they are adventurous. You can turn your life into an adventure and make every day extraordinary without leaving your home.

  • Take a different route to work.
  • Read about something besides your usual topics.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Appreciate amazing landscapes.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Happy people are well rounded people
Happy people are well rounded people
  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff...
Happy people invest in their relationships
  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.
The attitude of happy people
  • They're optimistic. Bad things happen to all of us. Happy people don't complain, whine or let pessimism become a self-fulling prophecy.
  • They view problems as challenges. They focus on solutions to the problem and reflect on what they're grateful for.

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Be Busy, But Not Rushed

Being “rushed” puts you on the fast track to being miserable.

Live a productive life at a comfortable pace. Learn to say no to busywork.

Have 5 Close Relationships
National surveys find that when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.
Excerpt from the book Finding Flow.

True friends really are worth their weight in gold. Check in regularly with close friends (around every two weeks).

Happiness And External Events

Self-esteem is good for confidence, but self-esteem that is bound to external success can be quite fickle. 

Think of yourself less and avoid the trap of tying your self-worth to external signals.

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3 kinds of happy lives
  • The pleasant life: you fill your life with as many pleasures as you can. This has hardly any contribution to lasting fulfilment.
  • The life of engagement, where y...
Habits Of Supremely Happy People
  • They surround themselves with other happy people.
  • They cultivate resilience.
  • They appreciate simple pleasures.
  • They devote some of their time to giving.
  • They get immersed in activities that bring joy.
  • They nix the small talk for deeper conversations. 
  • They make a point to listen. 
  • They look on the bright side.
  • They make exercise a priority.
  • They listen to good music.
  • They spend time in nature.
  • They laugh a lot.
Happy people vs. miserable people

Happy people engage in more happiness-boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits. 

You can choose which habits to cultivate in your life. If ...

Happy People Experience Flow Often
Flow is a state of complete absorption and full involvement in the present moment. 

It is marked by intense concentration, a sense of timelessness, and a loss of self-consciousness. It’s a deeply healing and enjoyable state and one that greatly contributes to our happiness.

Activities of happy people
  • They meditate.
  • They exercise regularly. “Surveys show that exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities.”
  • They stop and smell the roses. 
  • They spend time with their furry friends.
  • They spend time outside.

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Good relationships

Having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. 

Action steps: T...

Optimism and self-esteem

These are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life. 

Action steps: Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.

Flow

People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. This is flow, when we're so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. 

Action steps: Find work  and hobbies that you’re passionate about and that fully engage you.

Getting an early start
Getting an early start

Plan your morning the night before and stick to your plan. 
If a new task comes in that isn’t 100% urgent, designate a time that you’ll work on it uninterrupted or try to delegate the probl...

Deciding where to work
  • If you know you’re more likely to work from home, invest in comfortable furniture; you feel good it will inspire you to get work done.
  • If you want to join a local co-working space but are intimidated by the price point, ask about smaller memberships to start.
Prioritizing tasks

Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.

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Joy

It's the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of succeeding. It’s a simple and light-hearted spark that transcends through your body and leaves fee...

Happiness

It's a pleasurable emotion brought by a state of well-being and contentment. It’s usually accompanied by an attachment to an idea, a destination or experience. It often weighs profoundly heavier on our subconscious. 

Happiness Is a Destination; Joy An Attitude

The vision of the life you desire is a destination you shouldn’t ignore as it’s key to understanding your happy place.

If happiness is the destination, joy is the milestone that leads there. Joy comes and passes through without the heaviness of it being a “final destination” because joy is an attitude.

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The Happiness Pie Chart
The Happiness Pie Chart

The Happiness Pie Chart, first published in 2005, states that 50% of our happiness is defined by our genes, 40% by our activities and 10% by our life circumstances.

Recent studie...

Give Yourself A Happiness Boost

Ways to give yourself a happiness boost:

  • Choosing activities that fit our personality and interests, feel natural, are enjoyable and aligned with our values.
  • Choosing meaningful and virtuous activities, instead of just going after pleasurable ones.
  • Practicing forgiveness and gratitude.
  • Trying to pursue a purpose.
  • Committing to new habits by making an effort.
  • Adding variety and diversity to our routine.
Commit to doing one nice thing

... for yourself every day.

Remind yourself on a daily basis to treat yourself with loving kindness. It motivates you to take better care of yo...

Listen to yourself

We often criticize ourselves in our own heads and that damages our confidence.

Refrain from talking to yourself in negative terms. Know that you're good enough.

Forgive yourself

Most of us have been getting angry at ourselves for trying so hard to be perfect and then we beat ourselves up when we fail. 

Accept that you're stuck inside your own imperfect skin. 

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Think of Yourself Less

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.  - CS Lewis

Self-esteem that is bound to external success can lead to small spurts of happiness but is no...

Be Busy, but Not Rushed

Research shows that feeling “rushed” is a one-way street to stress and unhappiness. Too much boredom can be burdensome. 

To find a balance, learn to say "no" to opportunities that do not excite you.

Be Proactive About Your Relationships

Do:

  • Check-in regularly with good friends (around 2 weeks for very close friends).
  • Celebrate the good things in their life; let them know through active and constructive listening. 
  • Studies show people love hearing themselves talk and talking about themselves, so let them.

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