The University of California Berkeley has had great success with its online ‘Science of Happiness’ course, offering a ten-week introduction into the science of positive psychology followed by weekly modules exploring social connection, compassion and kindness, cooperation and reconciliation, mindfulness, mental habits of happiness, gratitude and the new developments in happiness research. In short, the course teaches those on it to approach happiness from a scientific point of view. Bestselling author, Sonja Lyubomirsky describes 12 scientifically proven steps in her bestselling book: The How of Happiness, and we have summarised below so they can be adopted at ease 🙂

Express gratitude 

Maintaining a grateful can genuinely shift your perspective on life. Life is a journey and it we wouldn’t be where we are without a few trials and tribulations along the way.

Cultivate optimism

While this may sound obvious when discussing happiness, try to be methodical in your approach to cultivating optimism.

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.” – Kahlil Gibran

Avoid over-thinking and social comparison

Don’t waste your time and energy on things that you cannot change, and try not to focus on other peoples opinions too much. What can often seem like a big deal at the time does not last, and your perspective will change in time. Likewise, there is no use in comparing yourself to others – we are all unique and beautiful in our own way!

Practice acts of kindness

Doing nice things for others results in an overall sense of warmness. In the words of the good Dalai Lama: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”

Nurture social relationships

Spending time being social with others can lift your mood and lighten your burdens. Socialising with peers is also a great way to switch off from work, and ensure your free time is given just as much weight as office time.

Develop strategies for coping

Life being life, tends to throw a spanner in the works every now and then. This is unavoidable. Work on a series of tactics and strategies to overcome the initial panic or dread that pops into your mind when a mini-crisis arises.

Learn to forgive

“Forgiveness means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviours that caused the wounds.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Increase flow experiences

Flow with life and you will enjoy it more.

Savour life’s joys

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Robert Brault

Commitments to goals

That feeling – of achieving something after you have worked so very hard – is one well worth cultivating. And repeating.

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ~ Albert Einstein

Practice Spirituality

The regular practice of spirituality or mindfulness helps people to look past worries and obstacles and maintain a sense of higher power, and inner peace.

Take care of your body

Eating the right foods and exercising regularly can significantly boost your mood, as well as keep you feeling energised and youthful on the inside and out.

To purchase The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky click here. 

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