Happiness Workout

I was in church yesterday, where the Pastor highlighted a gentleman who regularly ran in marathons.  He reflected that the first time that he tried running, he could only run 3 miles, but through training 3 times per week he increased his distance to 26 miles over a 6 month period.  Then the Pastor posed the question as to whether we could do the same with happiness?  Could we have a “workout” that could significantly increase our happiness over six months? 

The answer to that question is yes.  As it turns out there is research that suggests activities that one can do to increase ones happiness.  And there is good reason to do it; happy people tend to live longer, and more fulfilling lives.  Try the following for 30 days and see if you don’t see a difference.  These task are not difficult but will really increase your mental, physical, and social fitness levels (others have done it and you can to).  Pause for a moment, and imagine what it would feel like to be happier.  Now consider doing the following daily…

1) Keep a gratitude journal writing down three things that went well that day

2) Mindul meditation for 10 minutes per day, you don’t have to clear your mind totally, just don’t hold onto thoughts and increase your awareness of the present moment.   It is good to begin this by focusing on your breathing which should be deep and slow. 

3) 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (which can be broken up over the day); as an alternative don’t sit for more than 60 minutes without getting some movement.

4) Perform one act of kindness for yourself, your family, or those around you (smile, write a letter of thanks, express appreciation for another.  consider getting some ideas by reviewing the Citizen Report Card and take steps to get all A’s :)

If you would to hear some entertaining presentations on happiness check out the links below.  Each is less than 15 minutes and have been enjoyed by over a million people each:

TED – Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

TED – Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

As an act of kindness, please consider sharing your insights on this web-page, which is a way to be of help to others : )

These acts of kindness speak to the notion of social fitness, which describes what we do that has impact on those around us as well as our planet.  To this end I wanted to leave you with a funny video concerning the group Improve Everywhere, it may give you ideas on how you can spend your time in ways to put a smile on someone elses face, enjoy…

TED – Charlie Todd: The Shared Experience of Absurdity  :)    Lol

 

Comments

  1. Will Morris says:

    Very good words of advice ! Having a daily goal will turn into a weekly goal.

  2. Sue Helderop says:

    Great article! Thanks so much for the reminder!

  3. Carre Livingston says:

    Thank you for sharing this website with me. I felt better both emotionally and physically after concentrating on the “positive” and “good” things in my daily life. Going to work and pulling out “good” and “positive” is going to be a challenge, but I never say no to a challenge! :-)

    I also joined a game called “Words with friends”. Since I started my career 13 years ago, I noticed my friend count drop significantly. Re-acquainting with friends was on my top 10 list of things to do, but I never got around to it. Well today I started connecting with some old friends via the above game.

    I am also going to pass these videos on to my superiors so that the rest of my “crew” can watch them on our next training day.

    Thanks again!
    Carrie

    • James Blessman says:

      Thanks for your post. If you have an apple product, the person in the second video actually has a free game called “superbetter” that I am finding both interesting and helpful. I also have an app called SMARTwords :)

  4. Karen says:

    Nice article. The joy of The Lord is my strength and it is He that turns my sadness into joy and my midnight into day.
    Be blessed!

  5. Lynn says:

    As a therapist, I often hear people say, “I just want to be happy.” That is what we all desire, but don’t have a practical way to start the journey toward happiness. I like the fact that you provided some basic and practical instructions that support both mind and body participation as well as the connection with self and others. Very good post.

    • James Blessman says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Consider checking out the game “SuperBetter” mentioned in the second video. I have been using it for about a week and find it interesting and useful.

  6. SHERITA CAMPBELL says:

    thank for the info clearing your mind especially of he negative and reminder to reach out to someone else.

  7. John Lee says:

    Love your spirit and advice Dr. Blessman.

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