A New Year and a Happier New You

By admin / December 31, 2007
By: Brian Worley
Category: Goal Setting

That's what most of us would like to believe and that is why we make so many resolution, such as lose weight, stop smoking, get a better job, make more money, in the belief that anyone of them will make you happier. But will they? Or is there more realistic ways to make the New Year Better? Surprisingly it is possible to approach the question of happiness scientifically. It even has a name. Hedonics, the Study of Happiness And now amid all the cod psychology of self-help books, key points are emerging that may actually make a difference. Here are the Top Ten 1) Count Your Blessings It may sound glib, but we in the western world rally should be more grateful for what we often take for granted. Take a few minutes a day to think about all the things we should be grateful for, starting with our health and that of our family and friends 2) Simplify Your Life Tal Ben-Shahar, a Harvard University psychologist points out that so many of us feel so unhappy because our lives are so cluttered that we have no time to get on top of our commitments' So if you want to be happier, turn off you mobile and resist the need to check you emails every hour. Take time out to do very little; go for a walk, enjoy your children. 3) Avoid Greed Avoiding avarice is a sure path to greater happiness says the experts. This is advise that goes back as far as the Bible, but it's surprising how many people spend every waking hour fretting about what they don't have, rather than enjoying the stuff that they do 4) Take Exercise Not only will you avoid temptation but the fresh air and exercise will make you happier, because on the thing that an increasing number of scientists agree on, is that we are far too physically idle On the face of it, Running the Marathon is utter madness, yet thousands do so, both foe the sense of achievement and the rush of mood-enhancing endorphins it releases 5) Take pleasure in simple Tasks When you become frustrated with what ever you are trying to accomplish, counterbalance that with completing a simpler Task. In his book "The Happiness Hypothesis, Virginian University psychologist Dr Jonathan Haidt points out the huge sense of satisfaction nearly everyone gets from performing what may be a simple task extremely well 6) Set Realistic Goals Setting realistic goals and achieving them is far better than either having no goals, due to fear of failure or shooting for the moon. This applies to our personal lives as much as our careers. 7) Admit Mistakes Admitting you can be wrong is, Dr Haidt argues, a bizarrely cathartic exercise. We are far to obsessed with not losing face or status. Admitting failure and error will not only make you happier it will also raise you in the esteem of others (A fact our politicians never seem to learn) 8) Avoid Commuting We didn't need a psychologist to tell us that! Surveys consistently show that the length of time people spend getting to and from their workplace every day correlates strongly and negatively with their state of happiness. If you want a happier 2008. move closer to your work, get a new job, or work from home! 9) Tradition Though he is a classical American Academic Liberal, and an Atheist, Dr Haidt admits many of the more positive values of the Right- "Hard Work, Family, Tradition, Datary and Dress Customs, even Religious Observance" - seem to make many people happier than the "anything goes' morality of the Modern Left. People like freedom but they also like structure 10) Don't try too hard for Happiness In the end, probably the best advise about happiness is not to look for it too hard. Like love, it will turn up when you least expect it, Stop looking for happiness and you never know, it may just come looking for you Here's wishing you a New Year filled with Happiness and Peace and May all your wishes come true, and your resolutions be fulfilled

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