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When Size Doesn’t Matter! Value Happiness By Frequency Instead Of Intensity!

When Size Doesn’t Matter! Value Happiness By Frequency Instead Of Intensity!

How often do you scroll through your social media feeds, seeing people having fun at weddings, parties, and events and think…

“Why am I not having fun?”

“My life is so boring.”

“Everybody seems so much happier than me.”

Many of us are guilty of this kind of thinking.

In fact, it’s been found that up to 1 in 5 of us feel depressed as a result of using social media. [1]

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The reason we feel bad when we see other people having fun on social media is simple:

We value big milestones more than small moments of happiness.

Luckily, we can fix this by altering the way we think about happiness.

Read on to find out how.

Are you only happy when something ‘big’ happens?

What’s the most recent happy memory you can recall?

If you’re like most people, it’s probably a big event. Maybe it’s a birthday, a graduation ceremony, or a party.

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While it’s great to enjoy this kind of special occasion, it shouldn’t be your only source of happiness.

After all, why would you only allow yourself to have fun a few times a year, when you could be finding joy in small moments every single day?

We’re here to tell you how you can start feeling happy every single day – not just on special occasions!

Happiness begins with a generous spread of gratitude

Happiness doesn’t have to be about the intensity of a positive experience – it can about the frequency of positive experiences instead.

In order to feel like we’re having lots of happy moments, we need to be constantly on the look out for them.

Keeping a gratitude journal can really help with this.

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Buy a new notebook, and keep it beside your bed. Before you go to sleep, take the time to list five things you’re grateful for.

Here’s an example:

1. I’m grateful for eating a delicious breakfast.

2. I’m grateful for spending time in nature.

3. I’m grateful for seeing a friend.

4. I’m grateful for drinking a warm cup of tea.

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5. I’m grateful for buying a new T-shirt.

As you can see, you don’t need to have reached any huge milestones to write in your gratitude journal.

Instead, you’ll learn to focus on the many good things that happen every day – the things we often ignore or take for granted.

Keeping a gratitude journal has been shown to: [2]

  • Boost happiness
  • Make you healthier
  • Help you sleep better
  • Increase empathy
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Make you mentally stronger

Don’t look far for happiness. It’s right next to us.

As well as keeping a gratitude journal, there are a few tricks that will help you to focus more on the positive things in your life.

Here are ten suggestions to get you started.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people. They’ll help you to appreciate all the good in the world, and won’t drag you down with negativity.
  2. Create positive affirmations based on what you like about your life. Write them down or repeat them in front of the mirror each day. For example, “I have a great life.” “I love my job.”
  3. Be mindful. Try to bring your full awareness to everything you do. For example, breathe deeply and close your eyes when drinking a cup of coffee, appreciating the full experience.
  4. Spend less time on social media. Stop comparing yourself to others and start enjoying your own life.
  5. Take photos of small happy moments. Had a great donut from the shop near your house? Take a photo, and double your happiness by looking back and remembering the experience.
  6. Write about small happy moments. This is another great way to savour a good experience. Write down every small detail, focusing on all five senses.
  7. Decide to be positive. How you view situations is up to you. Try to reframe negatives. Instead of thinking, “I hate the commute to work,” try thinking, “I’m so glad public transport exists, and I don’t have to trek miles.”
  8. Plan treats for yourself. Don’t wait for special occasions to make you happy – create your own. Plan a fun day in the city, or a trip to that museum you’ve always wanted to visit.
  9. Help others. Helping others is proven to boost your mood, and is a great way to double the happiness you bring into the world.
  10. Set gratitude reminders. Set an alarm on your phone, and remind yourself to be grateful for something every time it goes off – even if you’re stuck in a boring meeting, or queueing at the grocery store.

Happiness isn’t just about big events and milestones.

Take the time to feel happy about small things every single day, and you’ll be healthier, happier, and mentally stronger.

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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