Happiness, elusive yet sought-after, is often considered the ultimate pursuit in life. In the midst of our daily struggles, it’s easy to believe that success in our careers or the achievement of certain milestones will bring the joy we crave. I invite you to reconsider this conventional wisdom.

“Happiness is, in fact, an inside job. It comes from within”. Everyone possesses the potential to be happy and fulfilled. You just sometimes need a little push and a guide on how to get there.

How can we improve our mental wellbeing and incorporate healthier habits into our lifestyle?

Set Goals to Better Yourself

happiness
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Begin with a nightly ritual for your wellbeing. I love The Three Blessings Technique. Science tells us that we have a substantial 40% influence on our positive emotions, regardless of our genetics or life circumstances.

At the end of each day, I prioritise taking a moment to reflect on three positive occurrences. Why did they have a positive impact on me? Writing them down enhances this process. It gives you a record which you can look back on when your week maybe hasn’t gone as well as it should . This simple nightly ritual primes the mind for a positive night’s rest and nurtures gratitude, significantly enhancing overall well-being.

The Three Blessings Journal

This “intervention” was first trialled in the US Army. Sergeants were asked to record something good that had happened to them every day. in the ‘three blessings journal’. Each day they shared what they had written down. It was feared that these grizzled NCOs would consider this intervention as psychobabble. However, across regiments this exercise received an anonymous 4.8/5 approval rate.

In one study, Martin Seligman (the father of positive psychology) implemented this one happiness enhancing strategy to a group of extremely depressed people on a psychiatric ward. Although many of this group had difficulty leaving their beds, they logged on to a website where they were asked to recall and write down three good things that had happened that day.

Everyone managed it. Recording things like a call they had received from a family member or that the sun had come out that day. This exercise lasted for fifteen days. The group’s results were objectively tested. The majority went from, “severely depressed to mild to moderately depressed.” 94 percent of them reported they had experienced relief. It is a very powerful tool.

The GPS of Life

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Goals are like the GPS of life. They give us purpose, structure, and a reason to get out of bed – even on Mondays. And guess what? They’re not just about the grand finale; science tells us it’s the little victories along the way that reinforce your commitment to the end goal.

Push yourself to engage socially with others, encourage collaboration and build a network of support. In times of challenge, goals act as anchors, offering direction and purpose. Setting and achieving even the smallest, most meaningful goals will uplift your mood and push you to do better.

Time Management

Time management, a perpetual struggle for many, finds a solution in well-defined goals. Breaking down monumental tasks into manageable sub-goals alleviates the overwhelming feeling of an ever-expanding to-do list. Utilise this strategy to prevent overwhelm amidst the busy lifestyle you live. Taking one step at a time is key to keeping a level, stress-free mind allowing you to focus better on your business.

With goals, you have something to look forward to, and once you have accomplished what you set out to do, the incredible feeling of satisfaction cannot be replaced and you become more confident in your abilities. You did something for you!

Finding Tranquillity   

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Navigating the whirlwind of entrepreneurial endeavours can be overwhelming. Amidst the chaos, prioritise mindful moments. Whether it’s a quiet break in the office or a brief escape to a tranquil spot, spend a minute or two solely focusing on your breathing. If it’s safe to do so close your eyes shut out as much distraction as you can.  This simple act provides a much-needed pause, reduces stress levels, and enhances your ability to navigate the demands of the startup journey. Regularly practising this will give you stability and allow you to tackle anything knowing you can regulate your emotions.

Meditation

Meditation emerges as a powerful tool for enhancing self-control. If you are new to this or simply feel you do not have the time to meditate start with 5 minutes and build it up to 20, you can even do it while walking. The minimum is simply focussing on the breath and if thoughts come up note them as thoughts and just return to concentrating in the breath. By doing this consistently you become better able to put a pause into your automatic responses to triggers which allows you to make better choices opening the doors to a calmer self where making healthier choices in all aspects of your life becomes a lot easier!

Strategic avoidance of situations demanding excessive self-control is an effective approach. Cutting down on routine daily decisions, inspired by leaders like Obama and Zuckerberg, with their narrow clothing choices, conserves mental energy for more critical tasks.

It also turns out that the happier you are, the more successful you become, and the happiness levels of those around you will also increase. Your health, fitness and longevity improve. All these life-changing things happen because you feel better: you become more content, more peaceful and even joyful. It’s all about implementing these small effortless things into your daily life which broaden and build your happiness and that of those around you!

Healthier Habits by Being Mindful

happiness
Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Be aware of your inner self and what you already possess within. It’s a low-effort approach that involves recognising and appreciating your innate abilities without the need for exhaustive struggle. The key lies in taking a moment to notice, and incorporate mindfulness in brief intervals, a practice fundamental to enhancing engagement.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness, rooted in Zen Buddhism, has transitioned from its origins in the 1970s to mainstream culture. It’s incredible to see the influence of Jon Kabat Zin, whose “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) system has reached diverse settings, from prisons and hospitals to schools and the military. Mindfulness has significant benefits, even in the busiest of schedules. Beyond reducing the stress response, regular mindfulness practice improves overall well-being and even exhibits an anti-aging effect. It increases telomerase, an enzyme crucial for maintaining DNA structures associated with cellular aging. It is literally a no-effort anti-aging strategy outshining expensive lotions and potions!

Let’s have a minute for a time out together, find a quiet space, choose a positive word or phrase, and focus on slow breathing while repeating the chosen word. Capture the essence of mindfulness.

You can purchase a copy of ‘The Lazy Guide to Happy’ by Beverly from Amazon.

You can find lots of self-care ideas throughout The Wonderment. Don’t forget to join the conversation on social media.  You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.

Beverly Cripps
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Barrister of 35 years Beverly Cripps from Hove, East Sussex, has recently become a global best-selling author, with her debut book ‘The Lazy Guide to Happy: Effortless Joy for the Time-Crunched and Nearly Burned Out’. Alongside her career as a Barrister, Bev has built a business as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Evidence-Based Positive Psychology and Resilience Coach, working with people to share her knowledge and techniques on how to manage the intricacies of stress and relentless schedules - something she has been immersed in for several decades. Bev is on a mission to help people to be happy and let them know that whatever their backgrounds or whatever their circumstances have been, there is an opportunity for them to learn the tools that will help them to thrive and be happy.

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About Author

Barrister of 35 years Beverly Cripps from Hove, East Sussex, has recently become a global best-selling author, with her debut book ‘The Lazy Guide to Happy: Effortless Joy for the Time-Crunched and Nearly Burned Out’. Alongside her career as a Barrister, Bev has built a business as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Evidence-Based Positive Psychology and Resilience Coach, working with people to share her knowledge and techniques on how to manage the intricacies of stress and relentless schedules - something she has been immersed in for several decades. Bev is on a mission to help people to be happy and let them know that whatever their backgrounds or whatever their circumstances have been, there is an opportunity for them to learn the tools that will help them to thrive and be happy.

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