I’ve been using and researching an app recently called Happify. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well it’s designed, and the quality of the science behind each activity. And best of all, it’s fun to use!
Five Ways to Happiness
The researchers at Happify have looked at the evidence and founds 5 ways to boost your long term happiness.
Savour - This is most closely related to mindfulness. It’s about taking your time to enjoy your daily pleasures. Enjoy a delicious meal. Stroll in your local park, noticing the sights and sounds. You can also savour past experiences and future dreams - that’s not often done in mindfulness exercises, but can also be beneficial. What happened last week that you’re happy about?
Thank - This is about taking the time to reflect and be grateful in different ways for what’s going well in your life. What have you been grateful for this week?
Aspire - This is about dreaming about your future goals and taking steps to make them happen. This is the one where I had forgotten about the research. Taking time to dream, set meaningful goals linked to your values and strengths, and taking action towards them is very much linked to happiness. Where do you see yourself in 6-months time?
Give - Kindness is at play here. Helping other, either directly or anonymously, is the order of the day. Who are you going to make smile today?
Empathise - Taking time to think about another person’s life and putting yourself in their shoes. This can help create greater compassion too, as you don’t want to see others suffer. Who’s annoyed you recently? Try imagining you were in their position - how would you feel?
Take Action - Aspire for More Meaning!
Today, let’s focus on the area ‘Aspire’, since I so often write about living in the moment and letting go of goals. But the right goals can be great to - especially meaningful ones.
Think about what you do that’s most meaningful to you. What’s most inline with your values? When do you really feel proud of what you’re doing? Look out for the common elements and make a list.
Now, think about which activities you could do together, or involve, with other people.
Finally, make a plan to do what you may normally do alone, together with a friend, acquaintance or colleague from work.