My whole focus is happiness. I want to help people be happier and I think one of the best ways to do this is health and wellbeing. If your health is better, you're eating well, and you're moving your amazing body that is designed to move, then you'll have more energy, think clearly, be more productive, even more positive and, well, just be all round happier!
So I googled happiness of course, and found this great website called Action for Happiness. In their guidebook they've highlighted a mnemonic:
GREAT DREAM: Giving, Relating, Exercising, Appreciating, Trying out, Direction, Resilience, Emotion, Acceptance, Meaning.
... and that'll give me happiness...
Exercising is obviously my answer for everything but I just want to remind you why. You have one amazing body that gets you through life, be kind and take care of it the best you can. Acceptance of yourself and being comfortable being you is also key to happiness. Whether you're one of the lucky ones who can stand in front of the mirror and say I love you... or not, keep pushing yourself to learn new things and grow, Trying out. You may find yourself hiding where you never thought possible: up a mountain dangling off a rope, playing an instrument, or socialising with new interesting people!
Happiness' GREAT DREAM interestingly encompasses a lot of themes in The Upside of Stress and seeing as people unhealthily associate stress negatively, and subsequently unhappiness, it's not surprising! So, as per my last article - Make Stress Positive For You, change to viewing stress as a positive reaction for productivity!
Bigger than self goals:
If something is causing you stress such as work, don't necessarily think it has to feel that way or you need a new job, change the way you view things (it takes some practice). Look at your job spec/ terms of reference and re-write it. Not so you can do what you want. I mean re-write it so that the focus is "bigger than self". How does your role affect others? How does it help others who work for you or with you? How does it contribute to the mission and overall company goal? You are part of something bigger and that's a positive thing! Set your goals in this manner too.
Meaning and Direction.
Why? I'm stressed about my workload, how can I fit it in? It'll put more pressure on me, surely that's compounding my problem?
Nope! Psychologists have found those who take time to help others, be it with a difficult proposal at work or helping those in need in the community and anything in between, have lower stress. What's more, they felt that helping the other person, rather than spending that time on their own busy schedule was a more productive use of time and less stressful despite personal deadlines.
Giving, Relating, Appreciating.
All this mindset change to positive, and getting through some tough times, is building your Resilience and ensuring your body's reaction is healthier for you.
Yay to happiness' GREAT DREAM!
Bryony Vandenberg is an Impact Associate.