What makes Americans happy? Do we even know? When was the last time you even wondered about your level of happiness? Unless we make time to evaluate our levels of satisfaction in life, we move from moment to moment, year to year without noticing whether we are happy or not. Here are a few simple techniques that can improve your mood, your levels of happiness, and your overall mental health:
1. Start Saving $$$ – Financial concerns often top the list of problems. By addressing them, you can help yourself to feel more secure about your future, confident about your ability to pay your bills on time, and in control of your spending. It’s never too early to start. Begin by saving just a small amount from every single paycheck. Some employers offer automatic deposit into a variety of accounts. By having additional savings you face a more stable future where you don’t have to worry about where the money is going to come from for essential expenses.
2. Hold Meaningful Conversations with People – Recently I made a point to eavesdrop at a restaurant for the purpose of discovering what kind of conversations people had. To my surprise, many people didn’t seem to know what having a meaningful conversation meant. One would start out talking about a topic that meant something to the. When they paused, their dining partner responded. Only they didn’t respond to the topic initiated by the first speaker. Instead, they introduced a brand new topic that had meaning to them. Back and forth it went, like a tennis match, but without any meaningful exchange of ideas. They were talking to talk, but neither one listened to the other. Having meaningful conversations really improves our mental health and builds strong relationships. Notice your next conversations and see how meaningful a stranger might find it.
3. Stop Procrastinating – It sounds so easy. Two simple little words, and yet one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Procrastination keeps us from reaching our full potential. And we give ourselves all kinds of excuses for continuing to procrastinate, which makes the problem even worse. The best way to change this tendency is to break the task down into steps and identify the smallest step you can take that would have an effect on whatever task you have been avoiding. Once you do you will eliminate feelings of guilt, you’ll reduce your stress and improve your self esteem. The hardest part of any task is starting. Once you start, maintaining the momentum becomes easier and easier.
4. Glass Half Full or Half Empty – If you can be more positive about everything in your life, you will be much happier and have greater feelings of satisfaction with regard to your life. Most people are pessimistic and see the glass as half empty. This is often due to how we have been raised, but the good news is that you can change. Just decide to be more positive within reason. Being overly positive in times of tragedy or sadness is not only inappropriate, but can have adverse effects on the situation.