How to create more happiness and joy in your life

Photo by Alexandro Espinar

Researchers are finding that people who prioritize happiness, have less depressive symptoms and fewer negative emotions. This is not about trying to be positive and joyful all the time. That can actually backfire.

If you are always trying to be positive and optimistic you tend to get exhausted and more frustrated. As a result, you tend to feel more down and unhappy.

Prioritizing happiness is about allocating time to fully enjoy an activity.
See it as a time to charge up your happy energy so it will last longer. The goal is to focus on maximizing and making the most out of the experience.

How to maximize your happiness

1. Schedule happy times

Allocate a day that you are going to invest in creating more joyful activities.
Depending on the activities this could take from 2-3 hours or half a day. The chances of you completing the maximizing happiness exercise increases if you schedule it in your calendar.

2. Find three positive activities

Write down in your calendar three activities that you enjoy doing and that you want to do more.

Alone happy time

For the first activity chose something that you enjoy doing on your own. This is just for you. Pick something you love doing and makes you feel positive and energized.

Together happy time

For the second activity think about connecting with a positive relationship. Pick an activity that you can do with someone else. Contact the person and schedule it.

Meaningful happy time

For the third activity select something that is meaningful to you. Think about connecting with your values and building more hope about your future and the world.

3. Journaling

The final step to maximizing your joy and build more optimism is to reconnect with the positive memories you created. On the same day, write down how was your experience with the three activities. Reflect on how it went and what you learned from the whole exercise.

One quote

Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

– Roy T. Bennett

One question

What positive and joyful activities do you want to spend more time doing?

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