I first began sharing Be Positively Contagious webinars right after the pandemic became “real” for us here in the United States – March 2020. There was so much fear in the world, and I wanted to show that there are other things even more contagious than that virus. At the time, I had to explain I was talking about the emotion of positivity and not the pandemic! What I didn’t realize was how many of us truly need support to boost our happiness in order to be prepared for this life changing event we are learning to navigate.
Although I have always been a happy person, there was debate over the meaning of the word. After all, one can’t always be happy, right? We all experience sadness, loss and fear. As I studied, I learned that happiness goes deeper than the emotion in the moment. Let’s describe it this way: Happiness is the overall belief that life is fulfilling, meaningful, and going well despite life’s inevitable downtimes.
Since beginning my studies, the biggest take a way for me is this: Happiness is a practice.
There are a lot of ways to practice and finding what works best for you is important. I first came along these 5 daily practices in 2011 while reading Shawn Achor’s book – The Happiness Advantage. Shawn has studied the science of happiness and through that research has scientifically proven that the combination of these 5 daily habits, when done consistently overtime, will build what I like to call, your “mental happiness muscles”. The 5 daily habits are:
1) Bring gratitude to mind: Write down three NEW things that you are grateful for each day (add why you are grateful for them to make it even more powerful)
2) Journal: About a positive experience you’ve had in the last 24 hours for two minutes once a day – get specific on things like who, what, where, how, & why
3) Exercise: Engage in 15 minutes of mindful cardio activity
4) Meditate: Watch your breath go in and out for two minutes a day
5) Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness.
I have been practicing these habits for 10 years now. Personally, I’ve added a 6th one that many seem to enjoy.
My bonus habit: Have a good belly laugh at least once a day. Laughter is the best medicine (fun, free, and easy to use). It strengthens the immune system, boosts mood, protects you from stress. It lightens your burden, inspires hope, connects you to others and keeps you focused and alert. It also helps releases anger and frustration.
AND – you can FAKE IT and get the same results!
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success” — Albert Schweitzer
Nancy Kalsow is a Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, Facilitator, Speaker, and Author. She is the owner of Kalsow Coaching & Consulting, LLC. https://www.kalsowcoach.com/
If you’d like to explore the practice of happiness or gain clarity on living a genuine lifestyle with both success and fulfillment you may contact Nancy via email Nancy@KalsowCoach.com.