Secrets for Living a More Positive Life
Deep down inside, you know that life itself is a great gift. Even though this is the case, and you can instinctively feel the intrinsic value that life has, sometimes you may feel empty, listless, unmotivated and even depressed. The good news is that you are not alone. Many people from every walk of life wake up experiencing negative emotions, and they feel this way regardless of how much money they have in the bank. It would certainly seem that worldly riches are not the route to simple happiness. If worldly possessions cannot produce true happiness, what can?
The Non-Material Source of Happiness
While it is true that we all need material resources such as food, clothing and shelter in order to survive, this is not the answer to how to be more happy and confident in life. A study led by Nobel Memorial Prize-winning Princeton Psychologist Daniel Kahneman suggests that, regardless of income or wealth, most people spend about the same amounts of time in good or bad moods. This finding suggests that money and possessions alone do not have the power to create positive emotions in our minds on a moment-to-moment basis.
Actionable Steps for True Happiness
What factors do have the power to create the positive day-to-day emotions that are the foundations of happiness? A growing body of research points to intrinsic qualities such as kindness, compassion and generosity as the factors that are actually capable of making you and those around you happy. If you want to know how to be more optimistic and happy, practice these three actions:
1. Mindful Meditation. This is the practice of meditating to become more aware of your thoughts, emotions and environment. Done properly, this can help you to perceive the difference between your thoughts, your emotions and your true self. Once you achieve this ability, you will be able to detach yourself from moment-to-moment events and realize that life is neither good nor bad: It simply is what we perceive it to be.
2. Active Listening. This is the practice of listening to others with your full attention and compassion. By focusing on what other people are thinking and feeling, and by putting yourself into their shoes, you can get past the temptation to be judgmental, and you’ll likely begin to see that we are all very much alike. This technique has the power to dramatically improve your relationships, and positive relationships are one facet of true wealth.
3. Loving Someone. As humans, we have a great need to give as well as receive love. By finding someone special to love unconditionally, you will activate parts of your mind that are critical to true happiness and also critical to living an optimistic life.
These actions form the first steps on your journey to greater happiness and satisfaction.