3 Habits That Will Make You a Happier Person
Most believe they have nothing to do with their own happiness. That it's somehow given, and that's it. In this article, we'll take a look at few habits that you can develop and they will bring much more positive feelings and even may improve your health over time. Spiritual seekers often undergo strict practice, that takes a long time to bare fruit. What I'm writing about is not like that. These are simple and easy things that you can start doing right now, and they will just gradually work better for you.
Happiness Is an Inside Job
Let's get some context first. I don't like when concepts are superficially mystified. Things are complex enough as they are, so let's try to break it down to simple parts. Happiness is basically a mix of hormones in the body, and to better understand that, it's good to get some useful information from Neurochemistry.
Every behavior starts with an outside trigger that hits the nervous system and depending on the psychological system that we have developed trough previous experiences a reaction is started as a response. Then neurotransmitters are released. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that give information to the body how to function and drive behavior in a very powerful way. Dopamine and serotonin are some of the neurotransmitters that are closely related to happiness and a feeling of joy, euphoria or well-being. All this was a preparation for the next point "How do we get more of these feel-good hormones into our bodies?". Any drugs that are yet known to humanity are destructive in the long run, so they are obviously not a wise choice.
We need to naturally help the body produce more of these chemicals because they also help our bodies stay healthy and more resistant. Exercising and learning or creative thinking are the default activities that will give you more of the "good stuff", but there are other things you can do, and here we'll take a look at some of the top choices for habits that promote more happiness and health in a person, and all you need to do is just change the way you think at least for a while.
1. An Attitude of Gratitude
Because realization and success are the triggers that release more feel-good hormones in the body, gratitude is a really great "hack" to practice. Because feelings are of subjective nature, being grateful for the things you already have is same to your body and mind like receiving a reward for a job well done. Knowing this, it's only reasonable that people that are experiencing a frustrating period in their life should practice more gratitude. If you have a habit of setting unrealistic goals all the time, you may deprive your self of feeling of realization and success for a very long time, which has psychological and health downsides. Remember to practice gratitude and you are more likely to be more creative, happy and treat others better.
2. Savor and Explore
Activities that engage your senses and don't have much structure, but rather guide you to explore sensations are very good for the brain. New experiences create new connections between neurons, and evolution rewards learning by giving you more feel-good chemicals to encourage you to do that more often. Listening to music or enjoying a cup of coffee or tea can engage you and give you instant realization. Any creative activity at it's core has this kind of value. You may have heard the quote "Art because of art.". All activities that are rewarding by the enjoyment they bring can be practiced in this way, you can take a walk, read a book, do some light stretching exercises or listen to an informative and insightful talk.
3. Recognize and Distance Yourself from Egoistic Behaviour Patterns
We all develop our personalities (egos) trough long years of personal experiences and thought. We perceive the world trough our personalities all the time, that we forget they are here. Like people that wear glasses for a long time, after a while they forget about the glasses. The Ego is such a structure of rules and behaviors that is helping us navigate trough life successfully, but with time they may get overly elaborate and demanding. Like apps installed on your smartphone, they may take up too much resources.
The best thing you can do, is have a little time daily or at least in a few days to "switch off" your personality for a while. It may sound strange, but we're not just our personality, it's just a small part of YOU. You have many organs and systems interconnected in a very complex ways even beyond the understanding of the best of scientists. The personality is just a small part of the big picture.