Monthly Archives: May 2015

10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Stay Happy All The Time

10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Stay Happy All The Time
by Robert Locke | http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-scientifically-proven-ways-stay-happy-all-the-time.html

How do you stay happy all the time? Is it possible? Is there any proof ?
1. Exercise more
Lots of studies on this one. Exercising releases the good mood endorphins so that you are always in a better mood after a workout or simply a walk to the supermarket. I have never met a person in a bad mood after a workout! But where is the scientific evidence?
The University of Toronto did a great job on this and analyzed no less than 25 research studies. The conclusion was that physical activity can and does help to keep depression at bay.
The best study I know is where three groups of depressed people are put on a regime of anti-depressants, exercise or a combination of the two. No surprise to know that all three groups were happier, but did it last? Six months later, the group who had been treated with exercise only, had a very low relapse rate of 9%. The other two groups had relapsed and how! Their rates were ranging from 38% to 31%, so about a third of them were now depressed again.
2. Positive thinking affects your performance
“Happiness is the precursor to success.” – Shawn Achor – Sounds like pie in the sky? Well, according to Shawn Achor, if he knows everything about what factors are impinging on your happiness such as stressors, hassles, successes, economic circumstances, relationships and so on, then he can only predict 10% of your long term happiness. The remaining 90% is how you process the world around you. If happiness is on the other side of success, it is unlikely you will get there as you continually strive to get better grades, higher salaries and so on.
Positive thinking raises energy levels, creativity and productivity by as much as 30%. The secret is to use positive thinking now, rather than when you are rich and famous. Watch the video below for a very entertaining outline of this.
3. Trash your negative thoughts
Some people are overwhelmed by their negative thoughts and they have real problems in getting rid of them. A University of Madrid study found that by actually writing these thoughts down on a piece of paper and then destroying them was effective. They recommended that you either tear them up, throw them in the trash or burn them! The fact of discarding them physically does help in reducing their toxic effects. Psychologists suggest doing this on a regular basis.
4. Treasure your experiences more than your possessions
Thomas Gilovich, a psychologist at Cornell University has done quite a lot of research as to why it is better to treasure memorable and pleasant experiences rather than the material things we buy. There are many reasons for this as outlined in his study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Comparing possessions and looking at better objects after purchase can be demoralizing and ruin the initial pleasure we got when purchasing and taking possession of that new car, TV or computer.
But treasuring experiences is not nearly as destructive. They belong to us, they are special and they provide longer lasting happiness. We should always aim to visit a new place or just go trekking. Local authorities should be able to provide the facilities in towns and cities so that people may experience more enjoyable and pleasurable activities, rather than building more shopping malls.
5. Write down why you are grateful
Feeling and thinking about the things you are grateful for as you wake up is a great way to build more happiness.
Research on our brain shows that we always tend to focus on the negative things of life like those worries, tragedies, failures, and discontent. Negativity is the default position. “We’ve got this negativity bias that’s a kind of bug in the stone-age brain in the 21st century,” – Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist.
This is why we need to focus on the good and more especially, we need to hone in on what we should be grateful for. There are various ways you can do this. Here are some ideas:
When you wake up, remind yourself mentally of three things that you can be grateful for.

Some people prefer to write down three things and keep the list to remind themselves every now and again.

Express gratitude by phoning your significant other or by treating a colleague to coffee for their help with a project or task.

Try giving back by helping a person or by volunteering for a few hours a week.

But is there any scientific proof that this actually works? Check out this link to see just some of the numerous studies on gratitude.
6. Practice mindfulness
What does mindfulness mean? It just means that you concentrate and pay full attention to the present moment and accept it in a non-judgmental way. This is now becoming a popular trend in psychology and medicine. When done regularly it can boost mood, reduce stress levels, and lead to a better quality of life.
Focus on the present moment means that you can savor touch, smell and other physical sensations but also happy feelings. Concentrate on the joy they are giving you. It is really effective in forgetting about the past and not fretting about future, fearful scenarios.
But can this really make us happier and what is the scientific evidence? Watch the video where Harvard researcher Matt Killingsworth explains that we are happier when we are mindful of the moment and the least happy when the mind is wandering all over the place. He has come to this conclusion after studying 15,000 people!
7. Don’t forget your beauty sleep
When you do not get enough sleep, your negativity takes over big time. This was the conclusion researchers came to after several experiments. One of these is particularly interesting. The researchers homed in on the hippocampus which is the part of the brain which processes our positive thoughts. When we are sleep deprived, this function starts to creak and negative thoughts muscle in much more than before.
To illustrate this, researchers asked sleep deprived students to remember a list of words. They were getting a high score on all the negative words (81%) but when it came to the positive ones or neutral ones, they were only getting about 31% of these right. Dr.Robert Stickgold has conducted similar experiments on sleep and memory. Now you know why people are always in a bad mood when they do not get enough sleep.
8. Dedicate a little time to helping others
People buy bigger houses, cars and phones but it does not seem to increase their overall happiness in the long term, although it might cause a brief spike in happiness. That is short lived. Researchers have found that when we dedicate a little time or money to helping others, this has a significant effect on our own happiness.
9. Focus on the life you want to live
“The heart goes where the head takes it, and neither cares much about the whereabouts of the feet.”- Dr. Daniel Gilbert.
We often talk about winning the lottery and where we would go and above all what we would buy. We might even talk about giving to charity. But we never or rarely talk about what our state of mind would be and how much happier and carefree we would be. This is why focusing on priorities to get the life you want to live is so important.
10. Focus on your strengths
Are you curious, open-minded or brave? How are you using these strengths to improve your life and that of others? These are key questions but people who exploit their strengths rather than dwelling on their weaknesses are generally much happier.
Being able to realize our full potential through exploiting our strengths is one of the best ways of finding happiness and helping to make the world a better place.
 

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Frey Freyday – Courage

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.-Steve Jobs

– I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.-Nelson Mandela

– Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.-Winston Churchill

– He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.-Muhammad Ali

– You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.-Aristotle

– You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.-Eleanor Roosevelt

– Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.-John F. Kennedy

– Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.-W. Clement Stone

– Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.-Miguel Angel Ruiz

– One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.-Maya Angelou

WORD TO LIVE BY:

Courage – [kur-ij, kuhr-] – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
I know people that say ‘I’m scared, therefore I have no courage.’ Everyone gets scared. It takes courage to move ahead and face the things we’re scared of….

I believe that, while knowledge and education are necessary, action takers rule the world. Action requires courage, of course. We’re all scared of failing, of rejection, of the unknown, of things outside our comfort level.

One thing that I believe some people do incorrectly is believe that they need “a bunch of courage” and to bet the farm. I think it is just as or more important to have courage to take small steps, incremental improvements each day. What can you do today to move ahead towards your goal or dream. Those little things need courage too.

Sometimes courage is required in a single moment. Like the movie We Bought a Zoo says, ‘all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage’. You can do it. Go for it. Live.

Remember, too, that the word ‘encourage’ means inspiring or supporting others with courage. Courage inspires others. Courage is contagious.

This post is dedicated to those people, those loved ones and those service men and women, that are now passed away but have inspired courage or have shown courage in their lives.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB).

Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also

a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would

raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other

children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education.

Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally,

sometimes accidentally.

……So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

– –

Bonus – From the Ted Radio Hour on npr.org – several links to great TED Talks about Courage

http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/368757408/courage?showDate=2014-12-12

Frey Freyday – Emotion

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.-Joel Osteen

– Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.-Gretchen Rubin

– Emotions are contagious. We’ve all known it experientially. You know after you have a really fun coffee with a friend, you feel good. When you have a rude clerk in a store, you walk away feeling bad.-Daniel Goleman

– No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.-Ansel Adams

– What you believe is very powerful. If you have toxic emotions of fear, guilt and depression, it is because you have wrong thinking, and you have wrong thinking because of wrong believing.-Joseph Prince

– Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.-Brian Tracy

– The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.-Oscar Wilde

– Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.-Plato

– When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.-Dale Carnegie

WORD TO LIVE BY emotion-[ih-moh-shuh n] /ɪˈmoʊ ʃən/ – an affectivestate of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

Being Aware of, Using, Controlling, your emotions are something each of us can benefit from doing. Most people go through life never controlling their emotions, perhaps not even being aware of them – instead they are controlled by emotions, and they ride a draining, unsatisfying roller coaster.

It’s ok to feel an emotion – let’s say you’re scared. OK that’s a valid emotion. Be aware that you are scared. Why are you, really? Is it real or perceived? Can you change the situation? Are you being rational? Can you re-frame the situation? Can you use that fear to motivate yourself in a positive manner?

Everyone has negative emotions – it is what we do with them that determine the path of our lives. We can control how we handle an emotion even if we can’t control the situation.

I don’t recall where but recently I read that it might be helpful to think of your emotions as a garden. With that in mind, one way to ensure a great harvest from this garden is to plant seeds like love, warmth, gratitude, and appreciation —instead of seeds of desperation, disappointment, anger and fear.

  • Passion/Hunger/Desire – These are not emotions that many refer to in life. I think that we can benefit from them . Benjamin Disraeli, “man is only truly great when he acts from passion.” This can mean that passion gives us the juices, the fire or the force that wakes us up and keeps us moving at a great speed. In many ways, I think that Hunger can be one of the most important emotions ever. If you hunger to be better, to help others, to love, to do anything then that hunger keeps you going despite your age, success, status or wealth. Hunger gives you that commitment, drive, fire to make change happen.
  • Acting in a loving manner can help remove conflict, stress and other negative emotions. Think about a recent stressful situation or tense moment with another person. Did you or that person act in a loving manner? What would have happened if you just reached out or spoke in some caring manner? How can you do so in your everyday life with both strangers and those close to you? We often overlook how simple, small loving gestures can mean a lot.
  • Happiness/Joy/Cheerfulness – whatever you call it, when you’re happy, you radiate happiness. If you’re happy, you face life in a better way, you probably will attract others that are happy, and you’ll likely face challenges better. Being happy doesn’t mean you’re ignoring that challenges in life, you’re just happily moving ahead. Reality is still there but you’re OK with it. Humor is certainly part of the equation.
  • Gratitude is typically not considered an emotion. We can argue if it really is – but I challenge you – next time you’re scared, fearful, or desperate, take a breath and try to be grateful. List things in your mind, in your life, on a piece of paper. Deepak Chopra describes gratitude as an “immensely powerful force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health.” If you are grateful and showing gratitude about something, then you can’t fear. It changes your focus.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By”(WTLB).

Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also

a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would

raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other

children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education.

Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally,

sometimes accidentally.

……So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc.

with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one

word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and

they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images

with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and

references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

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