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The mindful art of nurturing happiness

For many people, happiness is never constant. There are days when we feel good but there are also days when we feel blue. This is normal, according to experts. It is therefore important to learn how to nurture happiness in our lives so there may be more joyful moments.

One of the longest-running studies on happiness, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, has proven that to sustain happiness, it's crucial to prioritize important matters and let go of trivial concerns, such as dwelling on the past and fixating on failures.

The same study also found that people who nurture close relationships are generally happier. Connections with others create mental and emotional stimulation, which boosts our mood. That means we increase happiness in our lives whenever we nurture positive relationships with others.

Time and again, studies have shown that a mindfulness meditation practice, even for a few minutes per day, can positively impact a person’s happiness. Mindfulness and meditation are both linked to the idea of presence or being in the moment.

We have to be realistic, however, and manage our expectations. Scientific research suggests that exerting excessive effort to achieve happiness can sometimes lead to feeling worse than before. Iris Mauss, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, led a study on this.

The experts’ advice? Don’t set unrealistic goals. Instead, adjust your daily routine to include activities that make you happy. Spend more time with people we love, people who stimulate us and make us feel good. A supportive network is crucial to our overall well-being.

And try to remember that whenever we need a positive boost, it will always help to pause, stay calm, and breathe. Slow and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress, and allow us to relax. Sometimes, all it takes are a few mindful minutes to transform a blah day into a happy one.   

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I needeed this so much today. Thank you so much.

Michael

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