Staying Happy in Training
Skills of Happiness
Guilt. Fear. Pressure. In today’s age of achievement, we put a tremendous emphasis on success and very little importance on happiness. We are trained to be effective and successful, but what about skills to be happy?
How many times we say: If we work hard and become successful, we will be happy.
From a young age, most of us are taught that if we work hard, then we will be successful; and once we are successful, we will be happy. Does the above sound familiar to you?
“When I get an ‘A’, then I’ll be happy.”
“When I get this house, then I’ll be happy.”
“When I finish this program, then I’ll be happy.”
We have this all wrong. In fact, our ideas about happiness are completely backwards! More than 200 scientific studies on nearly 275,000 people found that people who start off happy are more likely to succeed; unhappy are more likely to fail.
Where do I start you ask?
Change Your Mindset: Happiness doesn’t just happen to you. Happiness is a lifestyle
How can you do that? You change your performance by changing your mindset.
Greek mathematician Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
Your mindset is the fulcrum and the length of the lever is your potential power. If you move your mindset to be more positive, the lever of possibility lengthens, which leads, as empirical studies have shown conclusively, to eventual success.
When you learn from failure and train yourself to capture growth after an apparent failure. Don’t define yourself by what happens to you, define yourself by what you make out of what happens to you.
The 20-Second Rule
Happiness has barriers. The 20-second rule is all about how to minimize the blockers of happiness by turning bad habits into good ones. It’s about lowering the activation energy for good habits and making it really hard for yourself to engage in bad ones. Right now think of the things that cause you moments of frustration or minimize your productivity. This can be something very big or small.
Now think of ways that you could prevent these blockers from coming up and put the better habit in a path of least resistance. For example, I want to improve my mile time. Snacking is a huge barrier to me and I mindlessly eat. I got rid of all the snacks in my kitchen that do not require assembly. I only kept the healthy ones (carrots, grapes) that are grab-able
Make social investments
Our happiness is directly connected to the strength of our social connections and support network.
Abandon boring social scripts. Chatter, meaningless conversations and small talk breed shallow, unfulfilling relationships. If you really want to connect with someone try asking them real questions and giving them unscripted answers.
You Are in Control
It may seem counterintuitive, but yes, you are in control of your happiness. Usually people say, “Oh, I wish I could be happier”, or “I’m controlled by my mood.” You can change all this thinking and starts applying the affirmations which are positive and the thoughts are supporting you.
Think of a place you’ve never been, a food you’ve yet to taste, or a person you’ve been dying to hang out with. These experiments will help you get enthusiastic about the day. If you are not sure where to start, here are a few statements to get you thinking:
- I think that doing ____ might be fun.
- I think that spending time with ____ might be wonderful.
- I have been wanting to do or try ____.
You Are Not Alone
In one study, the happiest people had a “partner in joy,” someone with whom they shared many of their experiences. This was either a spouse, a close friend, a parent, or a child. So if you are going to do something and it is the first time, take your partner in joy with you and do it together.
Gratitude is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When you offer gratitude for anything, it makes you feel more awe, joy, and excitement. Thank you for the food you eat or for the comfortable bed you have so I can wake up every morning feeling full of energy.
What helps to stay happy according to science:
Happiness habits:Write a thank you email to an employee or friend.
When you meditate, even just five minutes a day, make your brain “raise our levels of happiness, lower stress, and improve immune function.”
Set up something to look forward to – it can be as small as chocolate after lunch or seeing a friend this weekend. You benefit from the reward before actually getting the reward.
Commit conscious acts of kindness by doing one nice thing for someone every day. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in a coffee shop etc.
Make your environment inspiring. How can you infuse positivity into your surroundings? A beautiful pen? A nice walk mid-day? A better ringtone? Make an effort to surround yourself with things that make you smile.
Exercise whenever you can. I know we have heard this one before but even small walks a few times a week results in significant improvements in mental health.
Spend on experiences. Research shows that spending money on experiences and activities rather than on material purchases makes us happier in the moment and over time. Look at your credit card statement over the past month- what did you spend more on?
Research done by Joanna Cichuta, Co-Founder of INNER FIRE and Wellness Practitioner.