Are you making the right changes?

Most people are afraid of changes. Having to adapt to change is one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety.It’s obvious that big changes like moving houses or starting a new job come with a lot of pressure and difficult situations to deal with. However, even small changes like a shop closing in the neighbourhood can make people feel uncomfortable sometimes. We get attached to the things we are used to.

Even though it’s difficult, we should embrace change. It’s proven that our brains thrive on small changes to our routine. Rearrange the furniture, take a different route to work, eat something new and your brain will thank you.

There are the people (like me) who love and feel inspired by changes. The problem is when you keep looking for something eternally and is never satisfied.

Do you feel like you change cities, jobs, partners and still complains about the same problems? You might be making external changes without examining yourself first and your contribution to each situation. We actually have the tendency to look for peace outside instead of inside ourselves and this is the wrong way to approach change.

Sometimes the change we need to do is in ourselves. So I invite you to evaluate your problems and think if they’ve been repeating themselves in different situations. If so, what can you do to change not only your life but yourself?

Advertisements

Latest findings about happiness

Happiness is very abstract and difficult to explain. However, scientist have been trying to find the key to being happy for many years. This post shows three of the latest scientific researches about happiness.

1. The key to our happiness is connection not competition

This is something I always teach in yoga as it is the most basic principle of the philosophy. Yoga IS connection. I think connection can be related to happiness in a broader meaning, not only connection with other people but the connection between our mind, body and soul.

The research focus more on cooperation and helping others.

“In workplaces, research from Adam Grant, professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School shows that “givers” – people who help others without seeking anything in return – are more successful in the long term than “takers” – who try to maximise benefits for themselves, rather than others. For society as a whole, the World Happiness Report 2013, a major global study, found that two of the strongest explanatory factors for national wellbeing are levels of social support and generosity. Our success as a society directly depends on the extent to which we see each other as a source of support rather than a source of threat.”

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/20/key-to-happiness-connection-not-competition

2. Life improves with age

This research will give you hope if you’re going through a difficult time, especially with your significant other.

“Research studies compiled at Buffalo University and Northwestern University followed 156 aging couples for 20 years focusing on the affects of aging and happiness. They found that these older couples argued much less and were more likely to agree to disagree instead of fight. It seems that as people age they learn how to direct their energy and attitudes better and feel less of a need to be right, and more of a need for peace and harmony.”

“Another study published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science followed 198,888 people from 83 countries and found that as people age, there is an increase in trust. This trust translates into a higher level of well being and general happiness.”

http://www.citywatchla.com/wellness-leads-hidden/454-wellness-leads/8737-science-study-life-improves-with-age

3. Chatting with strangers can make you happier

Most people like to keep to themselves during their morning commute but this study shows that we might be missing on the opportunity of a more pleasant experience.

“While participants predicted their ride would be more enjoyable sitting in solitude, the research team found the exact opposite — those asked to engage in conversation reported a more positive, and no less productive, experience.”

http://uk.businessinsider.com/talking-to-strangers-on-commute-makes-you-happier-2015-3?r=US#ixzz3Vy51bMQp

Perfect is overrated

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.” – Joe Girard

These days are the days of hurry, urgent, instantaneous. We all want what we want right now. But how much can we actually achieve in a hurry and without effort? I’m totally guilty of impatience and it’s hard for me to admit that getting what you want takes time. One reason for that was that I always had in the back of my mind that my life had to be perfect, that I needed to have exactly what I wanted in order to be happy. But that’s obviously impossible. Life is never going to be perfect. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be amazing.

Each day I’m learning to appreciate the present and accept my current situation. I have a goal and I want to achieve it but I learned to enjoy the journey. Many experiences in my life were not part of my goal but they are still great memories and some taught me important things. I never planned to work at at a club, Hard Rock Café and as a bartender. I never planned to live in hostels, dirty houses and with weird housemates. However, these were all experiences I had in my life and they made good stories and are now remembered as fun times. They were not specific situations that made me achieve my goals but they were still part of it. I had to work and live at these places to get my life started in Europe and sometimes to be able to get closer to what I wanted. I lived in a dirty house with weird housemates while I took the course that enabled me to be a teacher right now.

One step at time and working hard you can get closer and closer to the life you want. But still not perfect because perfect is overrated.

 

7 Ways To Test Your Happiness

This is not my post, I took it from a men’s health magazine. The test and results are not very relevant. The important part is the pieces of scientific research given after each question. However, the answers to the questions make you think about how you’re living your life. I left the results here but I honestly don’t think they are important. Thinking about your own attitude and deciding how you feel is much more relevant to your happiness.

Are You Happy?

1. How would you describe your MP3 playlist?

A) Full of escape songs.

B) Fast and furious. I get pumped up.

C) Thoughtful. I can relate to the lyrics.

Odele may be awesome, but she’s bringing you down. Moody music leads to self-focus, and that reinforces sad moods, says Jeffrey Green, Ph.D., a social-psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. A better playlist: jam-band music, like Phish.

 

2. How often do you send text messages?

A) It’s practically my only way of communicating.

B) I use it as a fast way to be in touch.

C) I still prefer phone or email.

According to the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, text message addicts are less satisfied with their lives than people who use conventional communications. Instant messaging isn’t as good at building the strong relationships that sustain happiness, says Melanie Green, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina.

 

3. How did your mom raise you?

A) She was more like a friend than like a parent.

B) I felt like a Brady kid. I always knew my needs came first.

C) Sad to say, she wasn’t ready to be a mom.

A study at the University College of London surveyed 356 young adults and found that warm maternal care significantly correlated to high self-esteem and low self-criticism, both of which are linked to happiness. If it’s too late to get that from Mom, make sure you marry well, and cultivate a supportive group of friends and mentors.

 

4. When shopping for a new television, you . . .

A) Debate it for a few weeks.

B) Head for superstore. Lay down credit card.

C) Shop around. Forever.

Unhappy people exhaustively search through every option for almost every decision, according to Kennon Sheldon, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri. And although those obsessives may end up with a better deal, they also bring more stress into their lives and are ultimately less content with their decisions, according to Sheldon.

 

5. You would rather buy a . . .

A) High-end watch.

B) Bicycle, kayak, or backpack.

C) Leather couch.

Instead of “having,” focus on “doing.” Investing money in experiences makes people happier than buying material possessions can, according to the journal Review of General Psychology. The thrill of a big purchase fades, but the social relationships built during an adventure endure.

 

6. What’s your strategy when it comes to dinner?

A) I fit it in when there’s time.

B) I prepare my meals at home as best I can.

C) I pick up fast food on the road.

Dinner may be the easiest way to improve your mood. Two-thirds of people say a good meal in a calm environment is a major source of happiness, according to the Journal of Happiness Studies. So, regardless of what you can cook, eat it at home. Avoid the burger-land franchises. “Fast-food restaurants are depressing places,” says Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. “Even the people who work there are demoralized.”

 

7. When someone opens a door for you, you . . .

A) Say thank you.

B) Nod your head and move on.

C) Expect it as common behavior and don’t really acknowledge it.

Gratitude is a huge predictor of happiness, and showing it verbally makes a big difference. “It changes your mindset,” says Peterson. “We take the good for granted, but if the bad is all we pay attention to, life is going to be a very grim business.” However, saying thank you boosts mood by making you more aware of good things in life. And it has a sustained effect if you say it on a regular basis. Why not start right now?

 

Scoring:

1) A=3, B=2, C=1

2) A=1, B=2, C=3

3) A=2, B=3, C=1

4) A=2, B=3, C=1

5) A=1, B=3, C=2

6) A=2, B=3, C=1

7) A=3, B=2, C=1

 

17 to 21 points 
Are you on something? Would you share?

11 to 16 points 
You probably have good and bad weeks. Tip the scales in your favor by being more optimistic. If you think positively, you’re more likely to make good things happen. And, as a bonus, optimists have a 55 percent lower risk of early death than pessimists, so your happy mood may last a while.

7 to 10 points 
Unhappy with your score? It figures. Check the questions where you bottomed out, and follow the implicit strategies. Better smileage is within your reach.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/health/are-you-happy/page/4

From this, we can make a list of seven things that make a difference to your happiness:

  1. The music you listen to
  2. The direct contact you have with people
  3. Your relationship with your parents
  4. Your ability to make decisions
  5. Your shopping habits
  6. Your eating habits
  7. Your gratitude

    I definitely need to work on number 4. What about you?