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5 Surprisingly Small Habits Research Shows Will Make You Happier

You’re reading 5 Surprisingly Small Habits Research Shows Will Make You Happier, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

happiness habits

There are many ways to increase the 40% of your happiness that’s under your control. My research has shown that some methods involve quite a bit of time every day, and some methods don’t. I’m concentrating on the ones that don’t because I’m guessing that you’d adopt these quicker—and become happier quicker! 1)  Good News: Only Once a Week Instead of Daily Researchers at Harvard Medical School explain that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish their good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Positive psychology studies show that gratitude is strongly associated with happiness. Gratitude expert Professor Robert Emmons says, “Gratitude is a turning of the mind. It’s not what I don’t have, rather it’s what I have already.” Now many people suggest you write a list of list 5 things each day that make you grateful. The good news I have for you is that you don’t need to do this daily. Studies by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky found that people who focused on gratitude daily benefitted less than those who did it once or twice a week. I recommend focusing on gratitude 1 day a week—finding 3 things each time. Be sure to vary the types of things you consider. Your brain isn’t bored when you bring in variety. 2)  All 5 Senses Social psychologist Fred Bryant researches the art of savoring. When you mindfully concentrate on something—what you see, hear, touch, smell or taste—you increase your enjoyment of life. Start making it a habit to savor 1 thing a day. Any of the 5 senses can be used. You can truly experience that first bite of dinner, looking at a sunset, smelling a warm apple pie, hearing one of your favorite songs, hugging a loved one or even petting a dog. Pick different things each day to savor and build your happiness one small savory bit each day. 3)  A New Habit to Handle Overthinking Studies show that people who overthink make cloudy judgments and their stress becomes elevated, but you can get a handle on this and stop a downward spiral. I’ll give you a choice of 2 simple habits you can use. You can put the situation you’re stewing about into perspective by considering, “Will this matter 5 years from now?” If it won’t matter, then you’ve given yourself a logical reason to stop overthinking. If it will matter, then decide how much time you’ll allow yourself to make a decision about how to handle it. When you catch yourself in unnecessary rumination—overthinking—you might like this simple technique to curtail it. Picture a red stop sign suddenly popping up in your mind. This is the technique people find most useful late at night when overthinking often occurs. 4)  Take Advantage of the Habit Trigger Professor Lyubomirsky says “If you want to reap long-term emotional benefits from a happiness activity, you need to devote persistent effort.” I’ve been recommending the following very simple habit. Each morning as you pick up your toothbrush say silently to yourself, “Because I’ve made the decision to be happier, I’ll think of 1 positive thought right now.” When you’re beginning this new habit you may want to put a photo or a printed inspirational quote near your toothbrush to help prompt you. You’re performing what James Clear and Charles Duhigg call the Habit Loop: the trigger, the routine, and the reward. So in this case, the trigger is the act of picking up your toothbrush, the routine is brushing while thinking 1 positive thought, and of course the reward is a daily step toward a Happier You. And since this occurs in the morning, it’s a good start to your day. 5)  Make Endings Important One of the top researchers in positive psychology, Professor Barbara Fredrickson, enjoys a simple habit that I love. Studies show that people remember the peak moment of an event and also the ending of an event. It could be a seminar, a party or even having coffee with a friend. Take advantage of the endings that people will remember. This turning point can create and carry heartfelt meaning. Fredrickson advises, “Good endings include an appreciative summary—an honest acknowledgment of the goodness that transpired prior to leave-taking.” So at this ending, I want to grace you with gratitude—making you happier as well as me. I appreciate that you took the time to read all 5 small habits that research shows will make you happier. As I leave you, I hope you’ll want to pass this article on to your friends, making them happier too!


Nancy F. Clark is the author of The Positive Journal: 5 Minutes a Day Toward a Happier Life, and Director of Forbes WomensMedia.

You’ve read 5 Surprisingly Small Habits Research Shows Will Make You Happier, 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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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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Join a Supportive Community and Create a New Source of Income

Link: Side Hustle Society
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10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed

You're reading 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

After working for the whole day, running from one place to another, handling boss and irritating colleagues, the only thing which can make your day is a good sleep. But good sleep doesn’t mean lying in bed for 9 hours and still feeling exhausted after waking up. A good sleep means that even after taking 6 hours of sleep, you should feel recharged again to work for the whole day.
Although there are many things which you can do to get a good, relaxing and deep sleep there are also many habits which you should never follow before going to bed and in this blog post, we will be looking at those 10 things which you should always avoid before going to bed.

1. Alcohol
A small glass of wine before going to bed sounds like a fascinating idea and it surely will help you to fall asleep but if you are concerned about the quality of sleep and then you should never consume any type of alcohol before going to bed.

2. Mobile Phone
Many studies have shown that using a mobile phone, tablet, e-reader or even watching television before going to bed can disrupt your sleeping. So, if you want to experience a deep sleep, then you should always avoid any light-emitting device before going to bed.

3. Caffeine
Caffeine stays in our body for almost 10-12 hours and even a small cup of coffee contains at least 80 to 120 milligrams of caffeine. And you must be aware of the working of caffeine in our body and how the employees of late night shift consume it for staying awake. So avoid consuming any type of caffeine before going to bed.

4. Chocolate
If you are a sweet tooth then consuming chocolate after dinner as a dessert might sound like a very good idea but you should know that even chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine and especially dark chocolate. So replace your idea of consuming dark chocolate with any other dessert which will not keep your eyes wide open even at midnight.

5. Big Meal
Devouring a big meal before going to bed can also disrupt your sleep. The reason behind this is after taking a big meal, your metabolism has to kick in and that can affect your sleep. It can also lead to gastroesophageal reflux diseases, weight gain, and other serious bad effects on your body.

6. Lots of water
Drinking water is very much necessary throughout the day but if you have completed the quota of your water consumption in a day, then there is no need to drink a jug full of water before going to sleep - it will result in unnecessary trips to the bathroom which obviously disrupt your sleep.

7. Wrong food
Including foods like a cheesecake in your everyday dessert sounds very delicious but you should know that, food products which are high in saturated fat and sugar are a major cause of disrupted sleep.

8. Smoke
Although smoking is injurious to your health, regardless of the time you consume it smoking just before going to bed can cause disruption in your sleeping habit as well. Many people think that smoking will help them relax but the nicotine content in products like cigarettes can make your insomnia worse.

9. Exercise
Just like drinking water, exercise is also very much necessary for keeping you in shape and good health but doing it just before bed allows your-feel good hormones to get active and thus it can also affect your sleep.

10. Bath
A nice warm bath can help your body to relax and then after sometime, you can get lost in your dreams of the deep sleep but if you are planning to go instantly to bed after taking bath then instead of feeling relaxed, it can keep you awake for late night as well.

A good sleep is as necessary as food, air and water are for the body and brain. So, if you want to sleep properly throughout the night, without feeling exhausted for the whole day, then you should always avoid the above-mentioned things before going to bed.

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Saurabh Gupta is a technical content writer at Cloudwalks His area of expertise includes software, cloud computing, cybersecurity and life lessons.

You've read 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, 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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From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere.

You're reading From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all have our own moments of doubt, distress, and complete laziness. But what usually determines someone`s success or failure is your ability to stay motivated especially during their toughest times.  I`ve worked on this topic for years and below are some of the things you can do to stay motivated.

1. Work Your Negative Thoughts Out
Tony Robbins was right when he said the difference between you and success is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself. These limiting beliefs are keeping you in doubt and the only way to stay motivated is by exposing them to journaling and expressive writing. Studies have found that those who completed four weekly journaling sessions for eight weeks were less worried and more motivated, than those who didn`t.

2. Remove Performance Barriers
Tim Ferris has a simple learning technique that works like magic. Whenever you`re about to learn a skill or do something new, take some time to list all your reasons to quit.

Your goal, after identifying these barriers, is to complete the first five sessions of whatever you want to practice. Why five? Because that`s what your brain needs to create wirings for new habits.

3. Do Less of The Things That Aren`t Aligned With Your Goals
Sales mogul, Grant Cardone once shared a story about someone who worked with him at McDonald`s. Unlike Cardone who was only there for the money, this guy was super pumped to go to work. Why?Because his goal was to learn everything about the business and open his own McDonald`s franchises. Soon Cardone was fired and that dude went on to achieve his dream.

4. Create Necessity
Brendan Bouchard once asked a client, an Olympic sprinter, who he thought was going to win the race. And the man replied, “I will get on the guy who gets down at the blocks, looks at the finish line and says ‘I`ve got to do this for my mom."

This is the power of WHY. Whenever you lack motivation, ask yourself why, or for whom, do you want to reach that goal. If you keep digging, you`ll always find something worth working hard for.

5. It`s like a bath
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar
You usually hear people saying, “I don`t feel motivated to chase my goals.” Well, maybe if you write them long enough you`ll eventually feel pumped to go after them.

You must commit to writing your goals at least once a day, every day regardless of how good or bad you feel because, at the end of the day, the quality of your life will come down to what you`ve chosen to pay attention to. So you`d better pay attention to something worthy.

When listing your goals, write down whatever makes you pumped. If “I`m making my first million before my 25th birthday” doesn`t motivate you, then think about listing all the things that you want to buy, or experience, when you make your first million. A trip to Italy, a courtside seat in a Lakers` game, spending X amount of dollars guilt-free…etc.

Forget about what others tell you goals should be, as long as the ones you`ve chosen make you feel excited then you`re good to go.

6. Get a Quick Jump on the Day

It`s much easier to change feelings with action that to do it the other way around. Why? Because you have more control over actions than over feelings. As William James once said, "By regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling."
If there`s one nugget I want to leave you with then let this be it: Productivity comes before motivation and not the other way around. This is why you must start the day with a bang regardless of whether you`re an early bird or a night owl.

The quicker you start the day with a victory, the more motivated you`ll feel during the rest of it. So cut Facebook, meaningless texting or T.V., and focus all your efforts on getting something done.

Any sort of productivity, no matter how small. Just remember that once the ball starts rolling you`ll feel motivated to get more done. An object in motion will stay in motion, so sayeth the law.

Marwan Jamal is a fitness and health blogger at healthline.com and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

You've read From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., 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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