The new year is an opportunity for a fresh start and an opportunity for reflection on what we can do to make 2018 a truly great year.
Regardless of our life circumstance, what we all really want for ourselves and our families is to be happy. We often think external conditions like making more money, losing weight or finding the “right” mate will lead us to happiness. But researchers in the field of positive psychology have shown that happiness is an internal choice built on practice. In other words, sustainable happiness is achievable by practicing data-based tools that change our mindset and, over time, develop new neural pathways.
We have control over what we choose to do and think.
According to top positive psychologist and researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky and others, approximately 50 percent of variance in happiness is determined by genes and 10 percent is determined by circumstances; automatically, we have the power to influence 40 percent. Most significantly, happiness presupposes success, not the other way around.
According to Karen Guggenheim, CEO of WOHASU, producer of the World Happiness Summit, “This new mindset can have positive consequences in every facet of our lives. Science tells us that we become more capable to problem solve in a state of happiness than under stress, and that we also elevate our levels of resiliency when things don’t happen as we expected and we then need to enlist our coping skills. Being happier even makes our work product better.”
For a better 2018, WOHASU suggests these seven keys to happiness to improve your new year.
Take some time out of your day to notice the world around you and appreciate the people you’re grateful for. Send your parents a text or write a list of all the good things in your life.
Set challenging—but still achievable—goals to work toward and be open to learning new things. Try volunteering your time, energy and skills to contribute to something bigger.
Find the strength to bounce back and push through the obstacles that life throws your way and keep a positive mindset. For Karen Guggenheim, the loss of her husband and the father of her children turned her world upside down. However, she found a way to push through: “Once I realized that I had to live, I made the very conscious choice that I was going to live happy. Be an active participant in your life, and whenever possible choose to disrupt in a positive way.”
4. Physical well-being
Make sure you take care of your body; practice healthy eating habits, exercise and incorporate physical activities regularly to boost your physical and mental health. Keep moving!
Be comfortable with who you are and accepting of other people and ideas around you. According to Megan McDonough, CEO of Wholebeing Institute, “We can only make a choice when we see more than one option. Practice perspective.”
Practicing mindfulness daily allows you to focus on the present and what’s happening in the moment. “Increased focus on present moment prevents us from spending all our time in the past, ruminating and regretting, or in the future, inventing hypothetical anxiety-provoking scenarios,” according to an article in The Berkeley Science Review.
Whether it’s a stranger or a longtime friend, never hesitate to do something kind for someone else. Caring and doing for others helps strengthen relationships and build stronger connections with those around us.
World-renowned researchers and experts on the science of happiness, United Nations Advisors, life coaches, business and civic leaders, and many more will share actionable tools on increasing happiness at the experiential 2018 World Happiness Summit, from March 16–18 in Miami. Visit the website to learn more about WOHASU’s proven platform to help people learn how to create happier lives. Learn about speakers, live events and how happiness can impact your life.
The World Happiness Summit is the first large-scale global event uniting individuals and leading happiness and well-being experts in a three-day experiential forum about advancing human happiness through science-based tools and daily practices.