One of the things that binds all of us lovely human beings together is the fact that we want to be happy.
You may have a grumpy old relative who seems like he doesn’t want to be happy, but he really does, he just doesn’t have a very good strategy. He thinks whining and complaining all the time will after 40 years of not working, suddenly deliver the results.
Unfortunately it never does and he carries on whining.
The fields of positive psychology and neuroscience are starting to allow us greater insights into what really does make people happy and also enables us to maintain that state for as long as possible.
You may think it’s that 20% pay rise, a round the world cruise or a new Mercedes SLK, but they are more likely to deliver short-term pleasure than necessarily give you long-term happiness.
So What Does Make Us Happy?
If cars and cruises don’t bring happiness, what is the secret? What are the activities and behaviors which science agrees on that are likely to have the Cheshire Cat looking at us with jealousy?
Being In Alignment With Your Values
When I work with a client the second session is usually reserved for core values work and I have had more breakthroughs in that one session than all of the others put together.
About the very least a client gains from the process is that they understand what motivates them better. The most can be incredible light bulb moments that have on occasions meant no more sessions were needed!
If you are unsure of what values (or core values as they are also called) are and why they are so important, you can check out the following blog post:
I also talk about Core Values in this video as well as offering 3 other pieces of cool self-development advice.
As you can see, understanding your core values is critical to your happiness.
For step-by-step instructions on figuring out your core values and aligning with them, check out my book "Aligning With Your Core Values" which guides you through the exact steps I use with every single client.
It's been done to death, hasn't it? Well there's a reason for that, because it works.
There’s a reason why psychologists will often ask patients suffering from mild to moderate depression to start a gratitude journal and that’s because it has been proven to improve happiness levels.
It’s easy to focus on what we don’t have and forget what we do have to the detriment of our happiness levels. A gentle reminder to yourself to occasionally step back and appreciate how precious life is can make a huge difference.
The button below will take you to a blog post that can definitely help you understand the power of gratitude. You may need some kleenex to hand though if the comments are anything to go by.
Setting Meaningful Goals
Notice the word meaningful there? That is crucial and another way to phrase that would be to say ‘setting intrinsically motivated goals’
In other words, goals that come from the inside and are driven by your values, not by the wishes of other people or you doing what you think will please other people.
If you sign up for my newsletter via the button below, you can get my full length ebook on setting goals.
Or if you prefer to watch a video, this one explains SMARTER goals and why they’re better than SMART goals.
The research on meditation has been coming thick and fast for the last few years and the link between meditation and increased happiness levels has been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt.
You may think it’s woo-woo, but science doesn’t. You may think it’s boring, but science doesn’t. You may think it’s for people with too much time on their hands, but science doesn’t.
It’s free, it’s easy (it really is, people just have a tendency to mystify it) and has also been proven to increase concentration levels, lower blood pressure, improve our ability to cope with stress, reduce anxiety and lower depression.
You may want to check out this video if you’re looking for reasons not to meditate and a bit of a laugh into the bargain.
You Should Be Well On Your Way To Being Happy Once You Take Action Using The Advice Above
There are of course other things that can help you improve your happiness levels, such as giving back and postponing short-term pleasure for long-term goals.
If you're interested in diving deeper and having me help you directly, reach out to me using the button below!