5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness

You’re reading 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In 2015, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, was declared the happiest person in the world. This was based on a study by the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience in Wisconsin, where Ricard’s scores were sometimes off the charts. Being a monk is a life calling that not many of us will pursue, and being in the “regular” world does have a different set of challenges you may argue. But surely, attaining happiness should be possible for everyone. Happiness is a state of mind so like any other state of mind, it can be adjusted. However, we get so caught up in how miserable we are, that we do not have the ability to see that being happy is as simple as – well, being happy!

Here are 5 proven ways to increase your overall happiness today:

Find your purpose and follow it

A lot of the unhappiness in our lives comes from doing what doesn’t make us happy, every single day.

This definition of insanity is very applicable here. If your work doesn’t satisfy you, if you go in there every day thinking that today will be better, then you might be an optimist. But you are also unhappy and according to Einstein, insane. Think back on what you did naturally, what you were drawn to do, when you were a young child. How did you occupy your days? Did you have a fascination with making plans and executing them? Or were you always designing something new and wonderful, or planning the next big thing that can make you money? In these juvenile past-times might lie the key to your true purpose, that one thing that you enjoy above all else. Find your purpose and follow it. It is essential to your long term emotional health.

Eliminate negativity from your life

Negativity has never harboured happiness. By listening to and participating in negative conversations, you only take on more negativity. Some people love to complain, about anything and everything. Don’t spend time with these people, they drain your energy. Surround yourself with positivity and you will also be more positive. Make it a state of mind. When a negative thought comes up, don’t entertain it. And when you catch yourself saying something negative, rephrase it to turn it around. Soon you’ll notice that the world is a much better place!

Find joy and spread it

There is joy to found everywhere around us, and often it is in the small details. Like the person who allows you cut in front of them in the traffic, or savouring that early morning coffee while everything is still quiet and calm. Learn to recognize the joy in the everyday and you will start to see it everywhere. Equally important is bringing joy to others. A small favour, or a bigger-than-accepted tip, a kind word or a compliment. The little things all add up to make life happier for yourself and for those around you.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness”.

Charles Spurgeon

Stop Talking and Start to Listen

We tend to spend our days spreading our opinion and trying to matter. And a lot of that conversation is in our heads. Stop the constant chatter, inside and out, find a quiet spot, and listen. The happiest people in the world are those that have learnt to listen – whether it is meditation, prayer, yoga or another practice. In the silence, that which what acclaimed life coach Martha Beck in her book, Finding Your Own North Star, calls wordlessness, we often find peace, answers and happiness.

Sleep well, eat well, live well

Your body is a very real extension of what is going on in your mind. Look after your body by feeding it the right nutrients, by getting enough sleep and by purposefully taking time for physical activities. Not everyone loves doing sports, but even playing with your kids or dogs or choosing to walk to the corner shop instead of driving will make all the difference in your mood.

With these simple tools to increase your overall happiness, go and seek out happiness all around you – because it is there!

“If you want to be happy, be.”

Leo Tolstoy

Photo credit: Brandi Redd

You’ve read 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness

You’re reading 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In 2015, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, was declared the happiest person in the world. This was based on a study by the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience in Wisconsin, where Ricard’s scores were sometimes off the charts. Being a monk is a life calling that not many of us will pursue, and being in the “regular” world does have a different set of challenges you may argue. But surely, attaining happiness should be possible for everyone. Happiness is a state of mind so like any other state of mind, it can be adjusted. However, we get so caught up in how miserable we are, that we do not have the ability to see that being happy is as simple as – well, being happy!

Here are 5 proven ways to increase your overall happiness today:

Find your purpose and follow it

A lot of the unhappiness in our lives comes from doing what doesn’t make us happy, every single day.

This definition of insanity is very applicable here. If your work doesn’t satisfy you, if you go in there every day thinking that today will be better, then you might be an optimist. But you are also unhappy and according to Einstein, insane. Think back on what you did naturally, what you were drawn to do, when you were a young child. How did you occupy your days? Did you have a fascination with making plans and executing them? Or were you always designing something new and wonderful, or planning the next big thing that can make you money? In these juvenile past-times might lie the key to your true purpose, that one thing that you enjoy above all else. Find your purpose and follow it. It is essential to your long term emotional health.

Eliminate negativity from your life

Negativity has never harboured happiness. By listening to and participating in negative conversations, you only take on more negativity. Some people love to complain, about anything and everything. Don’t spend time with these people, they drain your energy. Surround yourself with positivity and you will also be more positive. Make it a state of mind. When a negative thought comes up, don’t entertain it. And when you catch yourself saying something negative, rephrase it to turn it around. Soon you’ll notice that the world is a much better place!

Find joy and spread it

There is joy to found everywhere around us, and often it is in the small details. Like the person who allows you cut in front of them in the traffic, or savouring that early morning coffee while everything is still quiet and calm. Learn to recognize the joy in the everyday and you will start to see it everywhere. Equally important is bringing joy to others. A small favour, or a bigger-than-accepted tip, a kind word or a compliment. The little things all add up to make life happier for yourself and for those around you.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness”.

Charles Spurgeon

Stop Talking and Start to Listen

We tend to spend our days spreading our opinion and trying to matter. And a lot of that conversation is in our heads. Stop the constant chatter, inside and out, find a quiet spot, and listen. The happiest people in the world are those that have learnt to listen – whether it is meditation, prayer, yoga or another practice. In the silence, that which what acclaimed life coach Martha Beck in her book, Finding Your Own North Star, calls wordlessness, we often find peace, answers and happiness.

Sleep well, eat well, live well

Your body is a very real extension of what is going on in your mind. Look after your body by feeding it the right nutrients, by getting enough sleep and by purposefully taking time for physical activities. Not everyone loves doing sports, but even playing with your kids or dogs or choosing to walk to the corner shop instead of driving will make all the difference in your mood.

With these simple tools to increase your overall happiness, go and seek out happiness all around you – because it is there!

“If you want to be happy, be.”

Leo Tolstoy

Photo credit: Brandi Redd

You’ve read 5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Overall Happiness, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2h0TSJJ

Wonderful remodeling of a House Located in Bangkok, Thailand by Black Pencils Studio

Ladprao 80 house was erected from the existing structures of two houses. One of the homes was used to double the volume in the living area, and the second to fulfill the service functions of the home, located behind the parking garage, all of this in an area of 750 square meters. The result is a magnificent house full of light and with spacious and comfortable rooms. It is located..

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Summer at Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in…

Summer at Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska is short but sweet. Vibrant colors radiate during long days and caribou, bears, wolves, muskox and fox roam the landscape past mountains and rivers yet to be named. With no roads or trails, the remote park demands visitors to be self-sufficient. The beauty and solitude is their reward. Photo by National Park Service.

4 Powerful Ways To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals Through Tough Times

Have you ever gotten excited about your New Year’s resolutions only to have them fizzle out mere weeks after? This is a common enough story and we’ve all been there. When the “fresh start effect” fades away, your determination falters and the first bump on the road often signals the end of the journey.

So, what can we do to keep our motivation high for the longer run? Here are 4 great ways to stay motivated.

Listen to your heart

goal vision

If you want to feel motivated in the long term, choose a goal with your heart. When an objective comes from your heart, it will be easier to stick with it through tough times. You will make sacrifices more readily when it is clear what you are making them for.

Dig inside yourself and get in touch with the vision that you have behind your goal. If your objective is to eat healthy or exercise, what is your underlying vision? Maybe a vision of yourself in good health, fit, slim and happy.

Whatever that vision is, take a moment to visualize the person you aspire to build. It will help you see meaning in everything you do.

For example, why would you put your sneakers on and go for a run instead of watching a TV series? The sofa might be more tempting than the effort. However, if you go back to your vision, the choice will come effortlessly.

Go after goals which are genuinely yours and you will find plenty of motivation to make them happen.

See Also: How to Set Personal SMART Goals To Succeed

Align your habits with your long-term goals

One day, I checked my own goals and tried to determine what the difference was between those that I achieved easily and those I seemed to struggled with. And I found a clear pattern.

I have a few long-term goals, like maintaining a certain weight or getting a new degree before I reach 40. I realized that I do well with the first one, less so with the second one.

Why do I seem to have a two-speed motivation?

I’m not less motivated in getting a new degree. The problem is that I have nowhere to start from. My weight goal, on the other hand, is linked to short-term goals or habits, such as eating 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day, eating fish twice a week and exercising at least four times a week. These daily and weekly habits help me reach my long-term objective.

I haven’t set any corresponding habit for my degree goal. And I’m not going to achieve it just by looking at it…

The secret of success lies in the things we do regularly, like our daily and weekly habits. These habits must be aligned with the vision we have.

Having a vision is not enough. It must be translated into small daily steps. If we only have a vision or a long-term goal, we will feel overwhelmed by the mission and we won’t know where to start from.

Sometimes, it’s the other way round and we struggle to ingrain new habits. In that case, the long-term goal may be missing. For example, it’s much easier to find the motivation to go for a run when you have registered for a race or when you aim at getting your beach body back in time for the summer season!

The alignment between habits and a long-term vision works both ways. Having habits that are aligned to a long-term objective gives us the motivation to reach the end goal and sustain good habits.

When you struggle with one of your goals, check whether it’s a habit or a long-term goal. If it’s a habit, make sure that you have a corresponding vision. Why do you want to ingrain this habit?

If it’s a long-term goal that you struggle with, try and set up a daily or weekly habit that will help you get there.

See Also: 7 Habits I Started Last Year That Dramatically Changed My Life

Reward yourself

reward system

We all know that we are more motivated to do something when there is a reward at stake. The pleasure induced by a reward reinforces the activity which helped get the reward. This is called extrinsic motivation. It can be helpful to kick-start the process when intrinsic motivation is a bit low.

A simple way to introduce rewards is to plan/get/offer the rewards yourself. You need to set the bar properly. You need to do a decent effort to get it.

It can’t be too difficult or you may end up feeling discouraged. It can’t be too easy or you’ll get the reward without the need for motivation.

You also need to define a goal or reward system that makes sense. Eating junk food for a week if you manage to lose three kilos is probably not the best choice! Ideally, the reward and the effort should be somehow aligned. This will help create a virtuous circle.

Buying a smaller dress when you lose a few kilos and getting a massage after a few weeks of physical training are good examples. These rewards will help you build milestones on your path to a better you. They’ll become the symbols of your positive behavior change.

Reassess your goals over time

We can also keep motivated to reach our goals by changing goals!

Goals must be alive and reassessed regularly. It’s important to realize that because monotony is a big motivation killer.

When we set a new goal, we generally improve quite rapidly at the beginning. If you start exercising two or three times a week, you’ll be able to notice progress session after session. Then, it’ll get harder to improve and the progression curve gets less steep. This can be a little demotivating.

We can introduce excitement by having a few stable goals combined with some temporary ones. I want to lose weight, wake up early, exercise and read regularly. These are my core goals which I’m keeping for the long run. In addition to these core goals, I’ll try other things, such as journaling for a month, then learning chess, or cooking, etc.

You may sometimes adjust your goals down. If one of my goals is to play the guitar for 2 hours a week while I barely manage to play more than 30 minutes for a few weeks in a row, I may lose my motivation to eventually hit the target. In such a case, I may be well inspired to target 1 hour instead.

When the target is a little higher than what we are already doing, it pushes us to take a small step and fill the gap. When the target is too high, it becomes counter-productive. Why would I do an extra step if I stay so far anyway?

You can also give up on a goal when you don’t feel like pursuing it anymore or when you have already ingrained the habit and don’t need to monitor it any longer. Our aspirations evolve over time.

When a goal doesn’t make you dream anymore, it’s often better to let it go than drag it along painfully. You shouldn’t feel guilty about giving up goals as it’s natural. But, that doesn’t mean we should stop as soon as the first difficulty arises. It’s a matter of balance.

Take a break

It is also a good idea to take breaks at times, hit the pause button and do something else. It can be very beneficial. Even professional athletes take a break between two seasons in order to recover physically and mentally. They get back to training all pumped up for the new season.

Do the same when you feel tired. It will help you get refreshed and hungry.

Don’t forget to set a date for your come back though!

Once a month or every other month, try and take an “appointment with yourself” and review your goals. Assess what works well, update your goals and refine your strategies. These are some of the best ways to stay motivated and reignite your desire to go ahead.

 

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Mixed Space House Designed by Bergemeisterwolf Architekten

Through a small and yet infinitely beautiful stone path we arrive at this home, which has created a space that is simultaneously open and closed. It has beautiful terraces with floors of raw wood and walls of stone that give it a charming rustic look. From its terraces and gardens, both of which are meticulously cared for, we have a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. As if it had..

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3 Easy Ways To Stay Positive When Dealing With A Difficult Boss

“It’s impossible.”

“It will cost too much money and time.”

“Your ideas always sound stupid.”

“Your plan is going to fail. Your last project failed and this will, too’.

If your boss is always making those statements, you probably have a negative boss.

The truth is, there are different types of bosses. There’s the good, the bad, the crazy and the ugly. A negative boss ranks somewhere between crazy and ugly. Bosses in this category never believe any good will come out of your ideas, plans or projects at the firm.

Well, the real problem isn’t just the boss’ negativity, but the probability of you becoming less productive and more pessimistic.

Now, here is the good news. You can always say no to negativity.

Below are three easy ways to stay positive when dealing with a difficult boss.

Feed Your Mind

feed your mind

“Be cautious of what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” – Steve Maraboli

The stress of a negative boss should propel you to feed your mind constantly with positivity. There are so many ways to tap into positivity. You can take up meditation, prayer, or strongly tell yourself words of affirmation. The main deal is making the positive outweigh the negative in your head.

This simple method helped my friend Nick stay positive at his job. Nick had a negative boss who tended to get abusive. There was a time he called Nick daft in a meeting and ordered him to shut up and sit. Despite that, Nick never lost his smile and his secret was positive affirmations.

He started telling himself that he was brilliant. He reminded himself that he graduated at the top of his class and he called himself world-class material. Six months later, Nick resigned and joined an international organization as a team leader.

While your boss reminds you constantly of your weakness, remind yourself constantly of your strengths and harness them. Your mind is your greatest tool, so sharpen it with positive thoughts always.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Be Realistic

“Never assume that every critic is a hater. Not everyone is hating on you. Some people are telling you the truth.” – Harvey Specter

Although your boss is a cynic, his views may sometimes be honest criticism. To maintain a positive mindset in spite of constant criticism, you should be your first critic. Always find and fill the loopholes in your idea before presenting it to your boss.

A negative boss will look for all the reasons why your idea cannot work. Instead of feeling bad about it and letting the criticism snowball into negativity, beat it by stating the potential problems of your plan and offer solutions.

Imagine a case where your boss points out to four problems with your idea and you immediately give four solutions. The boss would have no choice but to agree with you and that would be your win.

Limit Interaction with the Boss

limit interaction with the boss

 

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Negativity spreads very fast and before you can say “Trump”, you have become a pessimist. To prevent this, limit personal communication with the negative boss. Do not let him get into your mind. Ban him from bringing down your self-esteem and don’t get all cozy and personal.

Your boss probably spent years becoming negative and it would take an even longer time for him to become positive. While talking positively may help brighten up your boss, his own thoughts may drag you down. It is better to recommend a psychologist instead of becoming an emotional punching bag.

Conclusion

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is always easier to run from negative bosses than stay positive in the same work environment. However, you never know what annoying habits your next boss may have. So, take the tough route and build some emotional muscle in dealing with a difficult boss while you’re looking for better opportunities.

See Also: 5 Simple Lessons to Break the Shackles of People’s Negativity

 

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Rural house in the Spectacular Mountains of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

The demand of rural housing is rising all the time, since every day more and more people decide to move to the spectacular mountainous area of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The site on which the rock house was located is also one of the rural housing sites developed in this way. Particularly, the greatest advantage of developing a mountainous area into a building site is ensuring the open view based on..

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The End of Eddy

The French people in Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy are not the French that you know. Here you will not find immaculately styled Parisians talking literature or politics at the café. The French in The End of Eddy are not the French whose diet and sophistication are celebrated in how-to guides, whose delicacies of taste and care with cuisine are touted as an example to all us lesser folk.

The “other” French we meet in The End of Eddy live not in Paris or Cannes or Nice but in Picardy, in a village called Hallencourt, somewhere in the post-industrial north of France. Their lives are defined largely by constant and unrelenting need. The events in the book, as the author Édouard Louis has recounted in several interviews, are all true, and they are also terrifying. At their center is the young Eddy Bellegueule (the novelistic incarnation of Louis himself), a boy whose early effeminacy renders him the target of beatings at school and taunts at home. Louis renders both with chilling acuity: his tormentors at school are “tall with red hair and the second, short with a hunchback” who spit in his face and accost him in the same hallway every day. He knows he will be hit, but he also returns every day to “avoid being hit elsewhere,” where he will face the added humiliation of being hit “in front of others.” Those who do not hit him pelt him with torrents of verbal abuse, “faggot, fairy, cocksucker, punk, pansy sissy” and so on, all day and every day.

There is more humiliation awaiting Eddy in his slovenly home. His father, who prides himself on being a “tough” guy, rarely shies from violence and is bent on ensuring that his son grows up to be a “tough” guy, too. It is not to be a successful endeavor, and the man does not take it well. As he grows, Eddy can feel “the terror mounting” in his father and is witness to the man’s “powerlessness in the face of the monster he had created and whose oddity became clearer with each passing day.” Thwarted thus by reality, Eddy’s father turns to cruelty. Laid off from his job at the brass factory that is Hallencourt’s sole employer, he assails Eddy with his virulent homophobia. One evening, Eddy returns to find him drunk with his buddies in the family’s small and grimy living room. Instead of their usual favorite, The Wheel of Fortune, the louts have tuned to a show that features a gay character named “Steevy.” Homophobic jokes and laughter abound, and as . Eddy is scurrying by, his father says, “Hey Steevy hows it goin? How was school?” The men laugh so much that they have tears in their eyes. . Eddy, for whom “crying is not an option,” tries simply not to respond at all to the taunts.

There are in fact very few options for anyone in Hallencourt. The intimate drama of Eddy’s struggle vis-à-vis his sexuality is set against a larger landscape of constraint and claustrophobia that we rarely reflected in literature on or about France. Eddy and his family live in a four-room home with concrete floors and mold crawling up the walls. There are as many television sets as there are rooms, and one of them is always on. A book, however, is an object of suspicion, “an assault,” and so is conversation using fancy words or even very correct French (the family is better at speaking a northern Picardy dialect). Caring too much about homework or books or getting ahead in the world is frowned upon, as it would perhaps be in any milieu where improvement is unlikely and the odds too many. Some do make halfhearted attempts. Eddy’s older sister tells her school counselor that she wants to be a Spanish teacher. He convinces her otherwise; she doesn’t seem to have the grades, he notes. She engages in some feeble persistence, then settles for working the till at the village bakery. There she will be guaranteed a paycheck.

The American infatuation with France demands a France that is markedly different from itself, never common nor louche, always avant-garde and forever superior. The End of Eddy is a dislocation of this arrangement. The post-industrial France within its covers, one in which Eddy is named after the American shows his father has watched on television, is much like post-industrial America. Like their similarly disenchanted counterparts in rural Kentucky or Wisconsin or Kansas, both Eddy’s parents are casualties of a provincialism they long to escape but whose failings in both education and expectation doom their chances of doing so. They rail at the television, at life, at their children, they drink and curse and fight, and for the most part they stay put, sentencing their children to the same cycle of despair. Angry but confused, they lob their hatreds at Arabs and Muslims and blacks and, of course, homosexuals. As Louis notes, there is a central contradiction in their behavior: his mother, for instance, rails against the powers that be, whose neglect is the nub of her misery, yet invokes those same powers to act with “ruthlessness in dealing with Arabs, with alcohol, with drugs, with any sexual behavior” of which she doesn’t approve.

These disinherited of France (and their American and Dutch and British counterparts) present an emerging political class, a new grouping of the West’s discontents. As Louis implies and Americans know, their exclusion is not without consequence, their anger increasingly a basis of electoral change. The results of the 2017 French election substantiate this; even while Emmanuel Macron has eked out a victory, Marine Le Pen’s National Front, the candidate Hallecourt’s citizens have proudly supported for decades, is second in line. It is a reality that could not have been imagined a decade ago.

The End of Eddy ends with an end to the Eddy that once was. Eddy Bellegueule tries hard to be straight and belong; he hangs out with college mates and goes to clubs to meet girls, enacting the initiation rituals of heterosexuality that will reassure his parents. He even pursues sexual relationships with women, and when they fail, he finally confronts the incongruity between his desire to “become a tough guy” and the “desire of his own body,” which pushes him toward men. The pathos of the tussle, poignantly portrayed, lies not simply in the internalized homophobia that has led him to so detest himself, but in the realization that owning the truth of his sexuality inevitably pushes him “away from my family away from the whole village.” The embrace of one part of him is the rejection of another.

He must choose, however, and he does. As he declares at the beginning of the book’s last chapter, “I had to get away.” Eddy leaves, thus breaking a cycle that has kept so many in his family confined to Hallecourt all their lives. We glimpse this other Eddy for a moment in the Epilogue. Away from the suffocations of the village, he is surrounded by the bourgeoisie, the denizens of that “other” France that America and the world know and love and copy. Among them, he owns his sexuality but remains ashamed of his class. In the last pages of the book, the jacket his mother has so proudly bought him to take to lycée is laughed at; ashamed, he throws it in the trash. At the end of The End of Eddy, as all though life itself, there is no complete self-acceptance, no final liberation; for Eddy and for everyone, the struggle to love oneself is always contradictory and never complete.

 

 

 

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