I read a lot of articles online that state things like “Practice gratitude to be more happy” or “Meditate for positivity”. I think that it can be misleading to suggest that it’s one or two key things or silver bullets that will bring you closer to happiness. I think there’s a lot of ingredients that work together for your positivity.
I think that having overflowing, rambunctious levels of positivity are key to feeling super happy. I think that to get these levels of positivity means that three things in your life are firing on all cylinders. You must have a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy soul.
- Overall good health, so no illnesses, regular pain etc
- Excellent cardio fitness (eg. the ability to run fast for decent lengths of time)
- Physical strength (lifting heavy weights with compound exercises and progressive overload)
- Excellent flexibility (through pilates and yoga)
- Know how your body can affect your mind (eg good powerful posture can make you feel more powerful and more confident – see Amy Cuddy’s research)
- Positive rather than negative thoughts (language and self-talk is key)
- A sense of confidence
- A sense of competence (being good at a range of things, particularly classic life skills)
- A sense of achievement and accomplishment
- Constantly learning and improving
- Searching for newness and new experiences
- A bias to action
- Resilience and some grit to push through obstacles and frustrations
- Strong, positive, nurturing personal relationships
- An ability to love deeply and to be able to accept love
- Connection to nature
- A purpose (or what the Japanese call Ikigai)
- An enjoyment of beauty
- Wanting to do the right thing
- Being kind
- A bias to laughter
- Giving and generosity
- Delight and enjoyment of the little things
This is a working theory. I’ll add or amend it as time goes on.
Let me know what you think of this in the comments!