Are You Ready to Be Happy?

Philosophers have pondered the question of happiness for millennia. One of the most fundamental questions is “What is the genesis of happiness?” Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin, the author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain (2012), describes the communication that transpires in two areas of the brain: the limbic system and the frontal lobes. He describes the frontal lobes’ dual function: thought and emotion. He and other scientists are starting to hone in on the strong connection between our thoughts and emotions, primarily their mutual effects. Davidson excitedly concludes: “The implication is that we can use our thoughts to change our feelings in a very important way – that is, toward happiness.”

Utilizing one’s thoughts to alter one’s emotions is a monumental task. But it is the core of Cognitive Therapy, a branch of psychotherapy that focuses on labeling and changing thought patterns. It takes significant work to make the following changes into lifetime habits for an ultimately happier life. Often, we are not surrounded by people who make us feel loved or supported; this is not an environment likely to produce happiness. The beauty in all of this, however, is that all sentient beings have the ability to create their own happiness.

Here are 15 things that Science, experience, and common sense have demonstrated greatly improve one’s happiness:

  1. Give up your need to always be right
  2. Give up your need for control
  3. Give up on blame
  4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
  5. Give up your limiting beliefs
  6. Give up complaining
  7. Give up the luxury of criticism
  8. Give up your need to impress others
  9. Give up your resistance to change
  10. Give up labels
  11. Give up on your fears
  12. Give up your excuses
  13. Give up the past
  14. Give up attachment
  15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

If you genuinely and wholeheartedly attempt to implement some or all of these into your life, you will undoubtedly witness significant changes in your mood. You might notice happier periods throughout your day. You might discover an ability to make meaning of what you encounter. It’s up to you to see the brighter side and really invest in making sure you continue on the path to a happier you.


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