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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 February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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