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Happier You

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“You can never be really happy if you keep holding to those bad memories which makes you sad.” – Anurag Prakash

How To Be Happy: 20 Ways To Be Happier Today

by Zack Friedman

It’s one of the most popular questions on Google, with more than 6 billion search results. If you want to know how to be happy, you’re not alone.

Here are 20 tips for how to be happy and lead a happier life that he calls "The Lemonade Life": (This is also the name of his book)

Here we go….

1. Gratitude

In his book, The Lemonade Life, the practice of gratitude is one of the most important strategies for how to be happy.

Gratitude is focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t.

Gratitude is about celebrating your life and being thankful for the joy you experience.

Gratitude is associated with positivity, increased well-being and improved health.

2. Gratitude journal

The practice of gratitude can be expressed in many ways. The secret of how to be happy can start with a gratitude journal.

With a gratitude journal, you can spend 10-15 minutes each day writing the things for which you are thankful.

It can be your family and friends, the experience you enjoyed earlier that day, or anything else that makes you feel grounded.

When we express thankfulness for the joys in life, we increase happiness.

Make sure to take time to reflect on your writings to experience the full joy and experience of gratitude.

3. Celebrate you

You are worth celebrating.

You don’t have to wait for birthdays or holidays to celebrate.

Build your self-confidence by recognizing and embracing your greatness.

Congratulate yourself on your achievements – even the small ones.

Use small wins to generate momentum. You will find it’s one of the smartest ways to be happy.

4. Focus on your strengths

It’s human nature to focus on your weaknesses, but as he explains in The Lemonade Life, focus your time and energy on your strengths.

No one is perfect. 

Spending time trying to build up every weakness will only lead to frustration. It’s an impossible task to be good at everything.

Instead, focus on your core strengths and direct them toward seizing opportunities.

This is one of the most effective ways for how to be happy. You will feel more accomplished, more balanced and less frustrated.

5. Look for the good in things

It’s easy to see the bad and the downside. Instead, focus on the positive.

Look for the silver linings, which are the good things in life.

The best books on happiness recommend cultivating positive thoughts: the more you look for the good things, the less stress and negative thinking you can experience.

6. Do it with kindness

Work can be demanding. Life can be demanding. In the race to “get it done,” it can be easier to rush.

However, there’s always time to do it with kindness.

Treat people respectfully. Empathy at home, at work and in life is essential to understand others and understand the human condition.

7. Meditation

If you want to know how to be happy, meditation is a good place to start.

Spend 10-30 minutes each morning meditating and you’ll notice an improvement in well-being and a healthier life perspective.

Meditation relaxes you and helps you connect with the mind, body and spirit.

You can incorporate gratitude in your meditation, listen to soft music or think positive thoughts. Meditation is also associated with lower stress.

8. Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, which can help create a state of euphoria.

Research shows that a 15-minute jog can help reduce depression.

Spending time exercising –particularly in nature – can not only improve heart health, but also mental health, happiness and well-being.

9. Eliminate roadblocks

Roadblocks are obstacles that stand between where you are today and where you want to be.

A negative environment and negative people are two examples of roadblocks that limit your potential.

The first step to more happiness is to identify the roadblocks in your life.

The second step is to find paths around, over and through the roadblocks in your life.

You may not be able to eliminate every roadblock, but you can work to minimize the threat.

10. Choose your friends wisely

Find friends who lift you up, not who tear you down.

Their positive or negative energy will directly impact the person you become.

11. Have a core set of values

We also know what it means to have good values. To find happiness, list your values on a piece of paper.

Visualizing is a good start, but it will help solidify your set of values when you record them.

A core set of values is a great way for how to be happy because it reminds you of the principles and ideals to which you subscribe.

12. Find your life purpose

Why are you here? How do you create impact?

When you know your life purpose, you will know how to be happy because you have a life worth living because you understand why you do what you do.

You have direction. You have grounding. You have something you are working toward or someone you are working to inspire.

13. Build social connections

Many people want to know how to be happy alone.

While being happy alone is important, you will increase happiness through valuable social connections.

The more we interact with people, understand people and help others, the more well-being we experience in our lives.

We are all connected, and life is about helping others and giving to others. You will not only boost their happiness, but also your own.

14. Be accountable

Everyone knows the blame game. It’s them, not you. Right? Wrong.

Accountability starts with you. Want to know how to be happy? Take responsibility.

When you own your successes and mistakes, you will lift a burden in your life and enjoy more happiness and freedom.

15. Understand your feelings

Spend time understanding why you’re experiencing a certain feeling.

When you can properly assess what makes you happy or sad, and understand the why behind that particular feeling, you will have more clarity for how to be happy.

You will be more in control of your feelings and emotions and be on a clearer path toward self-understanding.

16. Embrace empathy

Emotional intelligence is such an important component of being happy.

Understanding others is essential to thrive in life and at work.

Embrace empathy in everything you do. Understand others. Embrace your imperfect self.

Showing more self-understanding and understanding others helps you connect with humanity.

Understand their background, perspective and circumstances and you will feel more connected to yourself and to others. It’s a smart way how to live a happy life.

17. Believe that you have the power to change your life

This is more than positive thinking.

This is embracing a fundamental truth that happiness is a possibility in your life.

Once you accept that principle, you have opened your mind to the possibility of change.

You have started on a path to accept more happiness in your life.

18. Practice happiness

You can practice happiness daily. Find things that make you happy and repeat them daily.

Develop positive habits. Identify the things that make you unhappy, and work toward eliminating them from your life.

It’s a project of separation, and when you master it, it’s a helpful strategy for how to be happy.

19. Declutter

A happy mind and a happy home go together.

Declutter your personal space and free your mind. Eliminate things you don’t need.

Clutter means disorganization and it can be an impediment to accomplishment and well-being.

When we declutter, we bring order to our lives. In place of clutter, decorate your personal space with things that make you happy.

Surround yourself with happiness and it will bring more organization, order and happiness to your life.

20. Have an open mind

An open mind is a pathway to possibility.

Be open to new people, places and experiences.

When you are flexible and open to change, your happiness can increase.

You can increase social connections, find more joy and feel more a part of a greater community.

Follow these 20 principles for a happier life. It’s closer than you think.


5 exercises to help you build more empathy

This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from people in the TED community. Thu-Huong Ha wrote a great piece about building empathy, according to Jamil Zaki PhD

full article 👇

Empathy — or understanding the thoughts and feelings of the people around us — is one of the most important and most trying parts of being social creatures. But what exactly is empathy? And crucially, can we have more?

Stanford psychology professor Jamil Zaki PhD, director of the Social Neuroscience Laboratory there, studies these very questions.

In a TEDxMarin talk, he says that human empathy is actually a skill that can be developed rather than a fixed trait.

“Empathy is a simple word for a complex idea,” he explains. “Research psychologists understand empathy as an umbrella terms for multiple ways that we respond to other people’s emotions.”

Why is empathy so important? Some of the reasons are more obvious: “It inspires us to help family members, friends, and strangers,” says Dr. Zaki.

“It helps us see past differences and allows us to see others who are of a different race or a generation or ideology from our own, without the lens of stereotyping, prejudice, or bias.”

But he also believes it’s not just others that benefit from empathy — so does the person feeling it.

“People who experience empathy also tend to be less stressed and depressed, more satisfied with their lives, happier in their relationships, and more successful at work,” he says.

Dr. Zaki distinguishes between three types of empathy: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathic concern or compassion.

Through his introductory seminar at Stanford on empathy (and from where the below exercises are from) and in his book The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World, he helps people train to become more empathic.

Here, he lays out five exercises to help build your empathy:

Exercise #1: Strengthen your internal resources

For this exercise, think about something you’re struggling with and how it makes you feel.

Then imagine a friend coming to you with that same problem and how you’d respond to them.

Doing this can highlight the chasm between the kindness we give to the people in our lives and the kindness (or lack of) that we show ourselves.

You’ll probably find a significant difference in how you’d treat your friend — most likely with patience, generosity and forgivness — versus how you’d react to yourself — perhaps with blame, harshness and self-criticism.

Exercise #2: Feeling spent? Spend kindness on others

At some point in your day, especially when you’re stressed or feel like you don’t have any spare bandwidth, spend in some small way — whether it’s in time, energy or money — on someone in your life.

Send a text message of support to someone who’s having a hard time.

When you’re running errands, pick up your partner’s favorite coffee.

Carry an older neighbor’s groceries upstairs.

“Building empathy isn’t necessarily about donating half of your salary to charity.

It’s about the little things that we do each day,” says Dr. Zaki. “It’s about habits of mind.”

Exercise #3: Disagree without debating

Have a conversation with someone you disagree with.

But rather than debating or discussing the contentious issue, share your story of how you came to form your opinion and then listen to how they arrived at theirs.

This is likely to be the most uncomfortable of the exercises, but it’s worth doing given our current social climate in which a person’s ideology can be equated with their personality.

Note: Do not do this exercise with someone who harms or denigrates you or the group you belong to.

Its point is to show us that it’s possible to disagree with another person without disliking them or seeing them as the enemy.

“Empathy does not mean condoning — but it can mean understanding,” says Dr. Zaki.

Exercise #4: Use technology to connect, not just to click and comment

For this exercise, think of how you currently use your phone and rethink how you might use it differently.

“Try to be intentional about technology as a medium in which human connection can exist and which you can try to pursue that connection,” says Dr. Zaki.

Many of us pick up our phones only to look up an hour later to realize we’ve spent the time doing a whole lot of aimless scrolling and clicking and not much else.

When you can, try to use your digital interactions as a chance to better connect with others.

This could mean having more real-time interactions and conversations. Instead of just leaving an emoji on a friend’s Instagram post, why not directly text or call them?

“The worst thing you can do for your sense of human connection,” Zaki says, “Is to just lurk on various platforms and let anger and other negative feelings seep into you like a young Darth Vader.”

Exercise #5: Praise empathy in others

For this exercise, take a moment in your meetings — whether online or in-person — to recognize the people on your team whenever they help others achieve their goals.

“A lot of our attention tends to go towards the loudest voices, which are not necessarily the kindest voices,” he points out.

“When we notice the good around us, it balances our attention a little bit.”

Feel free to do these exercises in any order you’d like and for as long as you’d like.

In fact, why not turn them into a lifelong practice? The more that we can cultivate our own empathy and encourage it in others, the more we’ll be contributing to an overall culture of kindness.

“There’s a fair amount of research on kindness contagion — the idea that when we see it, we’re more likely to engage in it ourselves,” adds Dr. Zaki.

“By calling kindness out, we’re more likely to make it magnetic through that social force.”

With that, We hope you all have a wonderful week and a great start!

as always,

Be kind, DO Fearless

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