Our brains are not wired to keep us happy. Instead, it is designed to keep us safe by looking out for possible and potential threats. The thing it cared most about is our survival. For instance, if you were to walk too closely to the edge of a cliff to have a closer view of the beautiful sunset, your brain will activate the fight, flight, or freeze responses almost immediately. It does not pay too much attention to the stunning scenery or your enjoyment of it. It works from a negative bias, and, consequently, we become the opposite of happy if we lean too much towards that tendency.
To cultivate happiness into our system, we may have to reset our baseline and train our brains to look out not just for the dangers but also for the pleasants. To do that, we need to plant the right seeds into our thought processes to create the right balance. However, it does take dedicated but delicate practices.
Here are ten simple and doable things we can do daily to cultivate the seeds of happiness:
- Be thankful. Start your day by thanking God and counting your blessings.
- Be positive. Not every hurdle is bad. It could be an opportunity to something greater.
- Be conciliatory; you don’t have to fight and win every battle.
- Be mindful when comparing yourself with others.
- Be resilient when failing, but humble when succeeding.
- Be endeavoring to improve by making constant adjustments for growth.
- Be affectionate to people who love you unconditionally and forgive those who do not.
- Be considerate and not judge too quickly. Wrong does not always necessarily mean bad.
- Be generous and kind, even if others are not. See and do the positives.
- Be prudent. Live within your means. If your output is more than your input, you will find yourself feeling kaput!
Striving to live a happy life doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. It’s all about having the right balance. Don’t negate your brain’s primary function but be cautiously optimistic instead.
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”― Abraham Lincoln
“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” – Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 6:10)
Fred Tokè aka Dr. Tokèmon
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reposted with permission from the author.