Saturday, January 08, 2005

10 Steps to everlasting happiness

Social Psychologist David.G.Myers of Hope College Michigan offers this 10 step route to happiness.

1) Realise that enduring happiness doesn't come from success. Wealth is like health, its absence breeds misery, but having it doesn't guarantee happiness.

2) Take control of your time. It helps to set goals and break them into daily aims. We under estimate how much we can accomplish in a year, one day at a time.

3) Act happy. Put on a happy face. Talk as if you feel optimistic and outgoing. Going through the motions can trigger the emotions. If you scowl, the whole world seem to scowl back.

4) Seek work and leisure that engage your skills. Happy people are absorbed in tasks that challenge them without overwhelming them. Expensive forms of leisure often provide less flow than gardening, socialising or craftwork.

5) Join the 'movement' movement. An avalanche of research reveals that the aerobic exercise not only promotes health and energy; it also is an antidote for mild depression and anxiety. Sound mind resides in sound bodies.

6) Give your body the sleep it wants. Happy people live vigorous lives, yet reserve time for renewing sleep and solitude. Fatigue can lead to diminished alertness and gloomy moods.

7) Give priority to close relationships. Intimate friendships with those who care deeply about you can help you weather difficult times. Confiding is good for soul and body.

8) Focus beyond the self. Reach out to those in need. Happiness increases helpfulness (those who feel good, do good). But doing good also makes one feel good.

9) Keep a gratitude journal. Those who reflect on some positive aspect of their lives (health, friends, family, accomplishments) experience heightened well being.

10) Nurture your spiritual self. For many people, faith provides a reason to focus beyond self and a sense of hope and purpose. Most studies find actively religious people happier and better able to cope with crisis.

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