Tools to Help Improve Your Happiness

woman-570883_640I recently started a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology as I wanted to bring the theory into my coaching and workshops. Positive psychology can sometimes be misunderstood, but wow! I find the area fascinating!

It can be described as the ‘Science of Happiness’ but it is so much more than that. Positive psychology is relatively new area of psychology as psychology has tended to focus more on the diseased state of mind rather than how we can all flourish and have optimal wellbeing.

One of the books I am reading on this is the ‘How of Happiness’ by Sonja Lyubomirsky- a great easy-to-read book on loads of practical ways to bring the principles of positive psychology into your life.

So what is it all about? It is about improving our overall happiness through practical tools we can use every day. Its about knowing and using our strengths, knowing how to flourish, thrive, become more resilient and enjoy life as it is, here and now.

So as part of my course I have an assignment to do for the next 12 weeks, I am to trial some of these happiness tools to see if they have an impact on my own happiness. For the challenge I am trialing the following;

Best possible self- This challenge involves journaling and visualising my best possible future- by doing this, research indicates it is a great way to cultivate optimism and hope for the future. I am going to give it a go but I’m adding my own twist to it and I will look over the ‘best possible me’ writing regularly through the 12 week period really visualising my best possible future- I may even get crafty and create a moodboard of this future.

Coping strategies– I am going to trial emotional coping strategies for staying positive, this one involves creating a list of nice things to do (similar to a nurturing me list in my first blog) and when something worries me I will distract myself with a nice thing to do on the list. Research shows that this is a great way to stop yourself ruminating (worrying about things).

Social comparison-We often can get caught up in comparing ourselves to others, but this has been proven to decrease our happiness, as there is always going to be someone out there who is doing better than us. Happy people compare themselves less to others- For the next 12 weeks I am going to trial this, whenever a comparison of another pops into my head I am going to say ‘Stop!’ and write down all the things I have excelled at and am good at in the area of comparison. By focusing on ourselves, research has shown this makes us feel better in ourselves.

So I will let you know if the above exercises increase my happiness in 12 weeks.

Perhaps trial one (or all of the above) yourself or get the How of Happiness and find your own tools to trial. Good luck!

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