Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 5 min

The Habit of Happiness

Successful people are more smiling, positive and happy. Wait until something good happens on its own or become happy? Several opportunities to be in a good mood and, as a result, be more successful.

We live in a good time when we learn more about our brain and scientists give us the tools to control it. You don't have to wait for something good to happen: you yourself can create a feeling of happiness every day. And it doesn't take much to do it.

We have selected useful tips from the books "Hormons of Happiness" and "Taming the Amygdala", following which you will make your life brighter and more joyful.

1. Enjoy the little things

When a person notices even small victories, he feels happier. Agree, not so often in life we ​​are riding a horse. Quite the contrary: we are trying to clean things up, stay afloat, or just move forward, anticipating better times. But you can not wait for happiness and create it yourself. Try to rejoice in every small achievement - after all, it is from them that big successes are made up.

So you will be able to be in a good mood much more often. To be more precise, every day.

2. Adjust the bar of achievements

Positive emotions are overwhelmed when the problem or task that needs to be solved is “just right” for us - like a dress sewn by a skilled tailor. Or like a basketball hoop. Not a bad metaphor, huh? Look, you are rushing at full speed, overtaking rivals, the wind is whistling in your ears and, finally, pulling ahead. You reach the coveted ring, get ready to make the winning throw and notice that... the ring is low and barely reaches the knee. Question: How do you feel right now? Surely a disappointment. “Well, what a kindergarten!” - a thought will flash through your head.

And if you have made no less effort, spent months (or - oh, horror - years) of your life on the goal, and you find out at the very ring - it hangs at a height of 20 meters. There is no point in even trying. Everything flies into the abyss of despair - and you are there too.

It's fun to try when you expect a reward. Therefore, it is worth adjusting the height of the ring in your life in order to ensure that you achieve your goals.

3. Create virtual “circles of trust”

When we communicate with nice people and know that they trust us, oxytocin, the “happiness hormone”, is released. However, it is not so easy to find people on whom you can rely unconditionally. Building relationships is a tricky thing. Fortunately, there is a good alternative: animals, large groups and friends on social networks. Naturally, when you chat on VKontakte, less oxytocin is produced than during “live” meetings, but it is still there."Artificial circles of trust" are much less disappointing.

Animals do not betray you, large groups of people do not discuss your actions, and "electronic friends" are always at hand.

4. Turn off the autopilot

When you follow the same route to and from work every day, you stop noticing the landscape outside the window. You don't see the houses, the fields, and the hills you drive past. To add happiness to your life, turn off the autopilot and look around.

Say to yourself: “Today I will be more attentive and look at the houses, the nature around and the sky. And I'll be happy about it." In this way, you activate the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex and change your attitude to the experience: what you previously took for granted will become a source of rich impressions.

The more you train your brain with this shift in attention and focus on pleasant things, the more natural this way of thinking will become for you.

5. Move towards the goal in small steps

It does not take a lot of time or money to achieve a dream or just start moving. Start small. Take 10 minutes a day every day to get a little bit further. You will feel the excitement and joy of moving forward. And the most interesting thing is that it will begin to push you to new achievements.

Ten minutes a day, of course, is not enough to move mountains, but it is enough to get close to them and really appreciate their size.

6. Learn to be an optimist

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, is sure that if more bad and sad things happen in your life, then, as a rule, only because that you react negatively to neutral situations. Pessimists drive themselves into depression. Their negative perception of the world does not leave them the opportunity to positively evaluate at least some event.

By the way, the same bias towards pessimism is observed if you are in vain or wrong. That is why it is useful to set goals and plan your life.

If you focus on what something is not, you block the perception of what it really is. In this case, you are guided by the negative coordinate system.

You can try to stop thinking in these categories. A sense of optimism will come when you move beyond the current situation and focus on the potential to free yourself from your own frames and limitations.

7. Do something

Spend your time primarily on specific actions. Don't keep your head in the clouds, imagining that you will leave a boring job or that others will help you to do this. They do not have such a task. Instead, dig into practical reality.

Loretta Breuning, author of Happy Hormones, recommends working hard for 45 days. That's how much the brain needs to form a new habit. And in the case of active actions, it will be a habit to move forward.

You can create new patterns of behavior and thereby learn how to trigger the action of “happiness hormones”. All in your hands. Forward!

Based on materials from the books “Hormones of Happiness” and “Taming the Amygdala”