The Pursuit of Happiness: Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Overall Mood

The Pursuit of Happiness

pursuit of happiness

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

The pursuit of happiness is a cornerstone of the American dream, outlined specifically for us in the Declaration of Independence. Yet some days, we find ourselves chasing the ever-fleeting mistress that is happiness and fail to catch her.

So on days when we cannot craft a genuine smile, why not just abide by the time-honored tradition of “fake it until you make it"? Science says no. By faking happiness, you can actually make your mood worse. In the work field, faking contentment can make you hate your job and can make you sick.

Psychologist Iris Mauss at UC Berkeley found that people who focus on improving their happiness tend to focus on obtaining personal gains, which can lead to a busy life with little beneficial social or intrapersonal interaction.

Dan Gilbert, a pioneer in the study of happiness, says that humans are driven by emotions and that “emotions (are) a compass that tells us what to do. A compass that is perpetually stuck on the north is worthless." Meaning that if we are ALWAYS happy, (a.k.a. always stuck facing north), we will miss out on other important emotions and may not truly be able to cultivate the power and joy that comes from happiness.

Remember: all emotions are valid; make sure to feel them all!

What happiness is NOT

Happiness is a vague beast to tackle. For every individual person, a sense of joy can come from a multitude of places. There is so much variation in what happiness is to each individual. To get a grasp on how to best define it, we must look at what happiness it is not.

Happiness is not predictable

Contrary to popular belief, things are not as burdensome as you might anticipate them to be. By default, the great things that come to you do not always make you as happy as you’d like. Gilbert gives a great example. “Going blind will not make you as unhappy as you’d expect, and winning the lottery will not make you as happy as you expect."
As reliable as we’d hope our brains are at predicting our future emotions and responses, it is well backed that they do not have this capability.

Happiness is not material

Even though a new outfit can make you feel better for a moment, this is what science likes to call “false happiness." While at first, it may help you feel more confident and excited to take on new tasks, eventually that feeling will fade with the fabric you bought. Chasing money and material possessions lead to a temporary sense of happiness.

Happiness is not a destination

Life is about the journey, but the destination is not happiness. Enjoying the process is the important part to remember.
If you find yourself saying things like:

  • “Once I finish a project I will be happy"
  • “Once I make a million dollars, I will be happy"
  • or “Once I am married, I will be happy", you have the wrong mentality.Happiness is not found outside yourself, it’s cultivated inside. Relying on an outside source to change your emotional status will not help you become happier.

If we can’t concretely define happiness for everyone, maybe we should focus the attention on how to create more of it for ourselves.

How to Increase Happiness

Creating a calm and productive life is the best way to cultivate joy for yourself. These are the top ten recommendations to increase happiness.

  1. Look for employment at a company that values its employees and their happiness.
  2. Invest in experiences – instead of investing in material goods, invest in memories.
  3. Focus on your relationships and making them succeed.
  4. Practice mindfulness.
  5. Practice gratitude – keep a running list of what you are thankful for.
  6. Help others.
  7. Exercise.
  8. Budget for happiness – use financial tweaks to save for experiences.
  9. Focus on posture.
  10. Eat healthily

Though we are always striving for happiness, our tactics for getting there may not be as effective as we’d like. By understanding what happiness is, what it is not, and how to cultivate more of it in your life, you are bound to live a life full of joy, purpose, and laughter!

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

How Nutrition Affects Your Happiness

proper nutrition

When we feel good, and when our body is healthy, we’re happier. That’s pretty basic logic even children can grasp, so why do we struggle with proper nutrition so much?
A lot of it has to do with poor habits steeped in childhood (such as food insecurity). Also using food for comfort and the addictive nature of some foods are bad habits. Any type of addiction, including sugar addiction, can cause depression, mood swings, dependency, and much more. Addiction to sugar can also encourage binge eating disorder (BED). This is a type of eating disorder, as well as the night-eating syndrome (NES).

It’s not all bad news for sweet lovers

Cacao, the ingredient in chocolate, releases the same endorphins we enjoy when we fall in love. Of course, addiction to endorphins is also possible, and it’s all about moderation. Still, when consumed in moderation, we’re able to alter our mood for the better.
Dark chocolate also comes with a myriad of potential health benefits. It’s a natural superfood antioxidant. Is good for heart health and cognitive function, and protects from free radicals. Aim for a dark chocolate that’s at least 85%. The strength of the flavor and lack of dairy/sugar also helps keep you from over-eating.

Lack of proper nutrition and malnutrition is, unsurprisingly, linked to bad moods

Those with restrictive eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are known for having intense mood swings. This eating disorders includes purging but also covers any activity that removes calories to an excessive degree, such as exercising for hours.

It makes sense because our bodies are machines that require not just fuel, but the right fuel, to function properly. Lack of nutrition is linked to insomnia because the natural instinct to look for food trumps anything else, including the need for sleep. Radical changes in blood sugar levels can also impact a person’s mood. Malnutrition and lack of proper nutrition don’t make for a happy disposition.

False energy

Depending too much on false energy boosts such as caffeine, whether in soda or coffee, can also shift a person’s happiness position. We live in a culture where it’s not just accepted but encouraged by jokes and memes to be a monster before that morning cup of coffee.
However, needing caffeine – the most commonly used drug in the west – in order to function is a clear sign of dependency. If you think you’re addicted to caffeine, you likely suffer from at least moderate mood swings dependent on your intake. Try starting the morning with warm lemon water first and wait at least 30 minutes before consuming caffeine. Green and black tea, which contain caffeine but less than coffee, are a good alternative and come with health benefits.

For some, adopting a vegetarian lifestyle boosts their happiness quotient. That’s because they consider “kind eating" healthier for the planet. It’s not the right fit for everyone, but it highlights the importance of researching and knowing what’s in your food and how that impacts your happiness.

Author’s Bio:

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying almost any type of fitness activity imaginable.

 

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

Looking for Something that Can Make You Happy? Try Gardening!

Finding a relaxing and useful hobby to pass the time can be exhausting in itself. There are so many options to choose from. Yet the main reason you are looking for something to do is because you want to feel happier.

Gardening is one of the few hobbies that can serve both as a pass-time as well as a full-fledged part-time job, depending on your interests. What are some of the main reasons you should consider if you want to take up gardening and feel a little happier in doing so?

gardening

  • Personal exercise

While not overly demanding when it comes to physical activity, gardening can be a good way for you to get out of the house day after day. This is especially important for housewives, elderly people, children on school breaks and similar house-bound groups.

Watering your plants, planting new ones and keeping the garden pest-free are a constant activity that requires regular checkups. It can also be a good way to develop responsibility and discipline for people who are too relaxed about their obligations.

  • Stress-free activity

Whether you decide to plant flowers, fruit or vegetables, gardening is a very relaxing activity. Planting your crops and following their development through yearly seasons is relaxing and fulfilling. Seeing those plants grow and bloom will give you an especially notable sense of pride because you are to thank for their wellbeing. As such, gardening is particularly useful for people who deal with anxiety issues and need something to help them relax.

  • A healthier diet

Gardening can be a good way to enhance your diet and live a healthier life as a result. People tend to grow their own vegetables and fruits in order to avoid any GMO products that can end up on the table. This can also help you develop useful recipes and ingredient lists by using an online writing service to help you out. It is especially important if you have small children or people with health issues in your family, for you to consider gardening in order to produce some basic vegetable needs for your cooking.

  • Better focus and reflexes

While gardening may not be a very physically demanding activity, it can assuredly help you develop better reflexed, and focus a lot more on what you are doing. The reason for this is that gardening does require your attention and care. Especially with the garden maintenance part of the equation. Your plants will require constant watering, trimming and pest protection. All of this require a hand-eye coordination and DIY approach to problem-solving.

  • Budgeting on groceries

It’s much cheaper to grow your own fruits and vegetables than to buy them outright from the local supermarket. While it may not seem like it at first, you will get your money’s worth by the end of your garden’s lifecycle, when winter approaches.

People tend to grow plants at home not only because it’s healthier, but more affordable as well. Even though you may not feel the difference if you only plant a couple of seeds from different plants, those that opt for a more ambitious garden will assuredly spend less money this way.

  • Making new friends

Gardening can help you grow your social network in unexpected ways. There are multiple social groups, NGOs and nature preservation societies that welcome gardeners and help them get started. This process is especially beneficial for people with lower self-esteem or problems with socializing, since it can help them flock towards people with similar interests. While you will have a lot of fun growing your garden by itself, there will be more and more likeminded people around you who have something to add and strike up a conversation in the process.

In Summation

It’s easy to see the multitude of benefits that gardening can bring to people, not the least of which is the sheer happiness that comes with growing plants. While some people prefer growing fruit, others decide on vegetables and then improvise as they go along. Decide what kind of a garden you want to start off with and you will quickly be on your way towards personal happiness and learning useful things about how you can use homegrown plants for your benefit.

Author’s Bio

Alaine Gordon is a young and talented freelance writer. She has been writing professionally since 2010 about almost everything, starting from psychology and to the finance. Alaine Gordon graduated from the University of Colorado with B.A. in Journalism, 2011. She is open-minded, creative person who loves to make people smile. Her credo is ‘Life is a fun enterprise’. In her free time she loves traveling, reading science fiction and knitting. Her huge dream is to visit every single country in the world.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

Happy Couples Habits

happy couples

What makes some couples “perfect”? The way they treat each other? Do they complement each other? Or is it the fact that they change each other’s imperfections into strength? First of all, when it comes to relationships, there is no standard of “perfection”, everyone can have a happy and perfect couple in their own way, all depends on what their definition of happiness is.

Habits Happy Couples Have

In my case, in my relationship, perfection is defined by those things which we do with each other. Things we fully know but never mention, because we are completely different from each other. Being comfortable just by keeping each other’s efforts in mind.

  1. They are not affected by the outside world

Truly strong and content partners have a very healthy habit of standing with each other, even if no one is against them or try to stop them, they will remain in support. In the outside world, there are good and bad, some people are going to try to come between you and your partner. They can try to put strange misconceptions about your partner in your head. This is the place where you stand by your partner without any remorse. This is the true love – staying there for one another.

Obstacles can come in your relationship in any form and size. There might be something that doubts you about your partner’s past. It revolves around the society with disagreement in your immediate relationships. Trust your inner guidance and check if you feel so but only because you want it. Not because social pressure.

  1. Complete acceptance

Happy and strong couples accept each other without any need to completely change one another. Anyone who really loves you, will not try to change anything about you (unless it is a habit of life-threatening). They will care about the differences between you. They support you to be the person you are.

People with happy relationships realize that in fact by changing each other, they are not different from robbing. That, in turn, makes the relationship so far last. They appreciate equality, respect differences and permit each other to have their own full place.
This happens when we are really ourselves and are comfortable in our skin so that we can be satisfied with our life. A person who feels such satisfaction, it will, in fact, lead a healthy relationship.

  1. More than enough time without asking for it

Time is one of the most priceless gifts in the world, especially in the busy world of today. If you can still take enough time for your partner, you are telling them (indirectly) that they mean the world to you.

There are only a few things in this life that we can give and never get back: words that have said and given time. Happy couples know this very well when it comes to spending time with each other. They also respect each other when they take their important time alone.

  1. They listen to each other

Happy colleagues listen to one another, really listen to words and understand them. They speak patiently and speak when they know that they need it, this is the most important part. A strong sense of communication is one of the most important factors of the long-lasting relationship. Even when you do not even know what they are talking about, it will give them comfort if you pay attention to them.

  1. No-Fault Games

Powerful couples do not blame each other. Accept their mistakes whole heartedly and learn from it.

Being committed among many other things in the demand of relationship, you see what you did wrong, how you can modify it and prepare for it. When you accept your mistakes and apologize, it ease your burdens and gain respect.
Happy couples accept their falls and have a healthy communication and approach for every situation.

This is the reason why they swallow their pride and accept their mistakes instantly – for the last long period. This deep sense of responsibility always happens between two people, who share the healthy, strong bond of love and respect.

Author ~ Vishuka Chaudhary

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

4 Feelings Which Prevent You to Start a Completely New Positive Life

4 feelings to give up for a positive life All people in the world have one common goal in life – achieving true happiness. The main factor that holds us back from leaving a positive life and achieving cherished dreams is, simply and solely, our own selves.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we allow feelings of regret, frustration, and shame to form our actions in the present and have a huge influence on our future. We put limitations on ourselves worrying about everything and holding stress in our minds. Trying not to give serious thought to our emotions, we replay past experience and mistakes in the head over and over again. After a while, we begin to accept this state of permanent tensions as the norm. As a result, it leads to serious health problems and even panic attacks.

When your positive emotions are tied to all circumstances in your life, this is no way to live. In fact, there are so many ways we can alleviate negative feelings. Once you no longer let them guide you, you discover the flows of natural calmness inside. There is an unchangeable truth – life driven by feelings won’t make you happy. Let’s shine the spotlight on some feelings you need to let go in order to start a completely new positive life and become a happier person.

4 Feelings Which Prevents You to Start a Completely New Positive Life

Anger and Bitterness

Did you know that these feelings can eat you from the inside? Making peace with someone who has hurt you is not only about forgiving the other person. First of all, it’s all about letting it go and relieving the pain in your heart.

If you hide your anger deeply inside, sooner or later it will leak out and affect people around you (and not just an individual who offended you). Remember that the one who angers you controls you. If possible, express your pain to the cause of your upset. This may help you move on without holding onto bitterness.

Negativity

What you send to the universe comes back to you, right? So why don’t you change the way you think? Honestly speaking, we all have been there. Sometimes life knocks us down, and we begin to feel disappointment in everything.

Negative thoughts may cause the overthinking which in its turn makes any problem bigger than it is. Thus, you center around a glass half empty then rather half full. You have to choose whether continue to feel bad about everything around or take responsibility for your own happiness. Believe that there are so many things to be grateful for. Decide to appreciate them, around yourself with positive-minded people, and you’ll see there is nothing impossible for a positive thinker.

Insecurity

People full of happiness tend to accept who they are, radiate confidence and don’t look back. Spending too much time in past and reflecting upon old mistakes leads to the new failures over and over again. On the other side, thinking too much about the future evokes monsters and worries in your mind.

There is no need to be insecure in life. If there is something that makes you feel concern about, go out your comfort zone and strive to change it. Focus on things that are going on around you at this moment, because only you have the power to create the better version of yourself.

Jealousy

People who show jealous of other’s success can’t live a happy positive life. True freedom comes when you appreciate what you have and feel no envy at others. Every person is unique. So if someone has something you want, don’t be jealous. Instead of getting offensive, set your own goals and do your best to achieve them.

Jealous can steal your happiness and bring negativity into your life. Don’t waste your precious time looking at others. Your days will be much better if you can overcome this creepy feeling.

Conclusion – Positive Life

Life will never be a plain sailing without challenges. There will always be dark hours as well as times of joy and pure happiness. But what the most important thing to remember is that even in the pitch darkness you can alway find sources of blessing. The only thing you have to do to live a full positive life is to stop being a slave to your feelings.

Author bio:

Veronica HuntVeronica Hunt is an edtech expert and an experienced content marketer from Philadelphia, PA. As a blogger, she sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of marketing, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Currently, works for Aplusonly as a content manager. Apart from work, she adores traveling and yoga. Follow @VeronicaHuntt on Twitter or find her on Facebook.

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