Lasting happiness represents the ultimate journey; our most fundamental desire in life. Whether the goal is to earn millions, travel the world, or make a ground-breaking discovery, the motivation behind our efforts is always the same – happiness.
To get an expert opinion on how to cultivate lasting happiness, let’s turn to Sonja Lyubomirsky, Psychology Professor at the University of California and bestselling author.
One of the most exciting discoveries she made in her quest for lasting happiness is that becoming happier takes both a will and a proper way.
As Sonja Lyubomirsky and her colleagues concluded:
“Happiness interventions are more than just placebos, but that they are most successful when participants know about, endorse, and commit to the intervention.”
In plain English, if we want to achieve lasting happiness, we need to:
- Be mindful of the journey that lies ahead.
- Commit to a given activity (or set of activities) that we believe will boost our happiness and well-being.
In a nutshell, the most encouraging news that Lyubomirsky’s study and book bring us is that lasting happiness is very much within anyone’s reach.
All we need to do is:
Tip 1: Change your actions, not your circumstances
Although we can all agree that better circumstances such as a new job or a pleasant neighborhood can put a big smile on our face, there are simpler ways to achieve lasting happiness.
This goes to confirm what Sonja Lyubomirsky claims in The How of Happiness:
“The face of happiness may be someone who is intensely curious and enthusiastic about learning; it may be someone who is engrossed in plans for his next five years; it may be someone who can distinguish between the things that matter and the things that don’t; it may be someone who looks forward each night to reading to her child.”
She then goes on to describe several activities that can boost happiness. “Simple” activities, like for example:
- Random acts of kindness.
- Meditation and exercise.
- Spending time with loved ones.
Happiness doesn’t cost a dime! We just need to fill our days with activities that make us feel thrilled.
Tip 2: Focus of self-compassion
The Miriam-Webster defines compassion as sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
By the same logic, self-compassion means being mindful of our distress and eager to do something about it.
In his words:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
He also believes that:
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Compassion is a basic emotional need and the glue that keeps all of us together as a group. Keeping that in mind, it’s pretty obvious why our happiness is so connected to the practice of compassion.
Are you in need of a healthy dose of compassion? If so, what would it take to make your life happier?
Once we start being nicer to ourselves, we can then focus on making changes that will lead to lasting happiness.
So much can be achieved just by showing a little compassion towards ourselves and others!
Tip 3: Achieve lasting happiness through healthy eating
In one of our previous posts, we explained the benefits of eating healthy.
To delve even deeper into the topic, we picked up Tim Ferriss’s latest book (Tools of Titans). In this book, he talks about all the eating habits of successful people. Individuals who know what lasting happiness means.
Based on the info Tim Ferriss has gained in hundreds of hours of interviews, here’s what we need to do:
- Never skip breakfast and try to eat the same thing every morning.
- Cook something at home; just for the fun of it.
- Say “pass” to coffee.
- Have a honey and apple cider vinegar cocktail before bed; it helps you sleep better.
- Have a day of fasting every once in a while.
Become happier by eating healthier!
To sum up:
- Invest in activities that make you feel happy.
- Be compassionate towards yourself and others.
- Take care of your body by eating healthy.