Friday, December 27, 2013

Beneficial Habits of Exuberant Human Beings

Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, theorizes that while 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, the remaining 40 percent is up to us. Through his research, Seligman discovered that happy people have consistent habits which may be introduced into our day to day life. Happy people have habits you can introduce into your everyday life that may add to the bigger picture of bliss.  Joyful folk have certain inclinations that add to their pursuit of meaning -- and motivate them along the way.

1 - They surround themselves with other happy people ... because Joy is contagious.

2 - They smile when they mean it ... because faking a smile while experiencing negative emotions could actually worsen your mood.

3 - They cultivate resilience.  Resilience is like a padding for the inevitable hardship human beings are bound to face ... as we say in The Halau, "nana kurobi ya oki" ... resilience  means seven times down, eight times up.

4 - They try to be happy ... because you can think yourself happy.

5 - They are mindful of the good ... because when you take the time to notice when things are going well, the act of noticing elevates your feeling of accomplishment and that  elevates your mood.

6 - They appreciate simple pleasures ... because practicing gratitude for all that you do have is associated with a sense of overall gladness.

7 - They devote some of their time to giving ... because volunteering promotes happiness viz., a "helper's high", a chemical reaction stimulated in the reward center of your brain that makes you feel better physical health and less depression.

8 - They let themselves lose track of time (and sometimes they can’t help it).  When you’re immersed in an activity that is simultaneously challenging, invigorating and meaningful, you experience a joyful state called “flow.” Happy people seek this sensation of getting “caught up” or “carried away,” which diminishes self-consciousness and promotes the feelings associated with success.

9 - They nix the small talk for deeper conversation ... because those who take part in more substantive conversation and less trivial chit chat experienced more feelings of satisfaction.

10 - They spend money on other people ... because spending money on other people has a more direct impact on happiness than spending money on yourself.

11 - They make a point to listen ... because  Good listening is a skill that strengthens relationships and leads to more satisfying experiences.

12 - They uphold in-person connections.  Social media, while it keeps us in touch, doesn't allow us to physically touch, which harvests the warm-and-fuzzies and even decreases feelings of anxiety.

They look on the bright side ... because Optimism promotes longevity in heart patients, less stress and better pain tolerance.  When you choose to see the silver lining in all things, you choose health and happiness.

14 - They value good music ... because music is powerful. Choosing the right tunes is an important factor, as music (through its lyrics/words and major/minor happy/sad tones) affects how we perceive the world.

15 - They unplug from the Matrix ... because digital detox allows your brain to recharge and recover, and that promotes resilience.

16 - They get spiritual ... because Spirituality offers what the 20th-century sociologist Emile Durkheim referred to as "sacred time," which is a built-in, unplugging ritual that elicits moments of reflection and calm.  Transcendent spiritual and religious experiences have a positive, healing, restorative effect, especially if they are “built in,” so to speak, to one’s daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual cycles of living.

17 - They make exercise a priority ... because exercise has been shown to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, thanks to the the various brain chemicals that are released that amplify feelings of happiness and relaxation. Plus, working out makes us appreciate our bodies more.

18 - They go outside ... because Nature is fuel for the soul.  Just a 20-minute dose of fresh air promotes a sense of vitality.

19 - They get a good night's sleep ... because you get more emotional stability with good sleep.

20 - They Laugh out loud ... because Laughter is the best medicine for everything in life. Repetitive laughter benefits the body as much as repetitive exercise.  Some of the benefits associated with working out, like a healthy immune system, controlled appetite and improved cholesterol, can also be achieved through laughter.

Here's to a healthier, happier YOU in 2014 ... Aloha Ke Akua!

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