4 Steps To Increase Happiness, According To A New Study
Especially over the past year, it has been challenging for many to stay well, given added isolation and stress. At Camp Kupugani, our Midwest summer camp, we recognize that even the strongest human can struggle. A recent research paper offers a mental training plan on the “how” of well-being. With four key behaviors that tend to contribute most to overall satisfaction, the plan helps folks cultivate mental wellness. The full article originally from HuffPost is at this link, or check out our summary below.
Cultivate Awareness — And ‘Meta-awareness’
- Awareness is a heightened, flexible attentiveness to your surroundings as well as your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.
- People with heightened awareness tend to have better overall well-being.
- Being distracted can lead to feelings of stress and unhappiness.
- To cultivate awareness, try closing your eyes and focusing on the act of taking 10 breaths.
- Also try to be aware that you’re being aware, thereby deliberately directing and sustaining your attention, rather than being pulled in by “distractors.”
- Making a small effort to connect with friends and loved ones helps you tap into deeper feelings of kinship.
- Simply cultivating feelings of kindness toward others can be enough to help boost your sense of connection—even if nobody knows you’re thinking about them.
- Kindness meditation programs can lower feelings of distress and boost positive feelings.
- You can start with a simple appreciation practice, bringing a friend or loved one into your mind, then focusing on what you really cherish about them.
- Insight is knowing how your own emotions, thoughts and beliefs shape your sense of self.
- Developing this kind of insight can empower you to challenge your self-impressions that you may have thought were immutable.
- When a negative thought crops up, ask yourself: Where is this thought coming from? Is it based on any assumptions?
Connect With Your Purpose
- Think about your core values, trying to see how even mundane everyday activities are connected to them.
- For example, doing the dishes at the end of a long day might be an act of generosity toward those you love.
- Routine tasks may help connect you to a career that you find meaningful.
- Having a larger sense of purpose in life is linked to positive health outcomes.