You see it everywhere. Five steps to this… Ten things to this… why? Because professionals know that compiling linear, concise lists, with easy to follow advice coverts people into new healthy habits that provide long term mental growth.
We have such a list. We are calling it the “Four Habits of Highly Effective ‘Happiness Professionals.’”
1. Ask “what can I be thankful for?”
Sometimes you can find yourself in an unexplainable mental rut and the surefire way to alleviate that gloom is to start realizing all of the things in your life that are a blessing. Maybe it is your friendships, your family, your kids, your job, that kind word or deed someone threw your way. Whatever it is neuroscience researchers from UCLA have concluded that asking this question is a must.
2. Label Negative Feelings
Many times we struggle to communicate negative emotions to others or even ourselves. Sometimes that inability to adequately express what we are going through can lead to arousal of more negative emotions directed at ourselves or others. Find one word or two that you can label the feeling(s) with. This will activate the prefrontal cortex and reduces arousal in the limbic system.
3. Make a Decision
Deciding can be hard, but studies show that making one reduces anxiety. Make a “good enough” decision. Resolve to run with whatever is acceptable when you find yourself lingering around various ideas, and it begins to stress you out. Remember the article from a few weeks ago regarding the fear of missing out? Well, one of the points made therein was that people 50 years ago did not struggle with this fear or anxiety, especially in the way of vocation because these options were largely decisions that were made for them. The lack of options to choose from gave them a sense of resolve and make whatever point you like, the fewer options did do wonders in that regard.
4. Touch People
Feeling loved and accepted through the act of physical affection will do wonders. It releases oxytocin which makes your body and mind feel happy. Look into your loved one’s eyes for a few minutes, it releases serotonin. This item can be awkward for some, but the benefits far outweigh the initial awkwardness, we promise!
For more in depth analysis of these points please refer to BusinessInsider.com