Happiness is Just an Exercise … or 6 … Away
“All happiness depends on courage and work.” (Honoré de Balzac)
Happiness and success don’t just happen, they are a result of hard work and effort we make every day. Our mindset is often overlooked in the pursuit of happiness and success. The way you think plays a major role in things you do or expect from your life and career. With different exercises for happiness, it’s entirely possible to train your brain for success, generate pleasant emotions, and achieve your full potential.
Below, you can see six useful exercises to try.
1. Keep a journal of gratitude
Keeping a journal is the easiest exercise you can do for happiness and success. How does it work? This exercise isn’t about writing down a classic journal where you write things that happened to you that day or week (depending on the frequency of journaling).
The primary idea here is to write down three to five things you’re grateful for that day. Ideally, you should do it before bedtime when you get to summarize the entire day, but you can add to your journal anytime or anywhere, whenever you see fit.
Writing down positive things in the journal of gratitude is one of the easiest ways to practice happiness. Your brain will be tempted to think of a few negative things that happened, it’s natural, but you should immediately “switch” and focus on things or people you’re grateful for. When you do it regularly, your brain will start scanning the world around you for positive things that make you happy. As a result, you’ll feel more confident in you, your abilities, and the world around you. All these things are important for your success, too.
2. Expand the vocabulary of emotions
A philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Human emotions are complex and one shouldn’t reduce them to happy or sad only. There is a whole spectrum of emotions we experience every day. In fact, inability to articulate how you feel causes stress and frustrations. It’s simple; if you can’t describe how you feel, it becomes difficult to change that.
One the most important exercises for happiness and success you can make is to expand your emotional vocabulary. This is similar to those moments when you’re working on an essay or some project but you can’t find the right words so you need assignment help to perfectly describe your arguments. Putting feelings into words has a therapeutic effect on the brain. Find a useful list of emotions and feeling words here.
3. Self-talk in exercises for happiness
Negative self-talk is our biggest enemy. It prevents us from achieving our full potential or getting success we deserve just because negative thoughts tell us it’s out of our reach. Don’t talk yourself down or let your thoughts say you’re not good enough. Always bear in mind that negative self-talk is usually unrealistic. When you think you’re not smart, talented, persuasive, driven enough – stress and sadness take the place of happiness and career success.
Replacing negative self-talk with a positive alternative is a type of exercise you can do anywhere at any given moment. It will take some time to get used to it, but it gets easier the more you practice. Every time you think something negative about yourself, find a good (positive) reason that explains why that negative thought is incorrect.
4. Never a failure, always a lesson
Speaking of exercises for success, it is also important to address those moments when we receive a negative feedback. These moments are bound to happen at school or work. It’s easy to take these comments personally and assume you just aren’t good enough for the task. Confidence suffers and stress levels increase.
It’s impossible to ban negative feedback, those who work also make mistakes. What matters is how you respond to it. Instead of taking these comments as a personal failure, consider them as a lesson you can use to improve. They are your ticket to both professional and personal growth. See what you can learn from them and you’ll minimize the risk of repeating the same mistake.
5. Listen to your own advice
We’ve all been there at one point or another; a friend needs some help and you give them the advice to help resolve their difficulties. However, we rarely do the very same things we recommend to others. It’s time to make some changes.
If you’re like most people, chances are high you’re overly critical of yourself. Magnifying mistakes or beating yourself up only drags you down. So, what would you recommend to your best friend? You’d advise them to stop being too critical of themselves. It’s time to listen to your advice and practice self-compassion.
A study whose findings were published in the Personality and Individual Differences found that self-compassion improves psychological well-being, body image, self-worth, and motivation. All these factors play a big role in both happiness and success.
6. Say NO to yourself
Inability to resist temptations is the major culprit for lack of productivity and increased stress levels. Temptations come in different forms and they depend from one person to another, but training your brain to resist them is an important life skill to adopt.
Despite giving in to temptation, you feel bad afterward. With simple exercise, you can break this circle. All you have to do is to practice saying no to small daily challenges. Strive to say no to about three to five temptations each day. Remember, the more you practice the easier it gets. As a result, you’ll train your mind to achieve all your goals and productivity levels will increase significantly.
Your body needs regular physical activity to stay strong and healthy. The brain functions in a similar manner, too. Simple exercises can change our mindset and help us succeed or be happy. Just like the body, your brain gets stronger the more you practice. Exercises for happiness and success are all about training your brain to adopt a positive mindset, resist temptations, and help you deal with daily challenges in the most effective fashion. Do these exercises regularly and you’ll notice improvements sooner than you think.