7 Habits to Maximize Your Happiness in Challenging Times
Reduce Stress & Maximize Your Happiness During Challenging Times
The COVID-19 pandemic has put us all in a challenging position. It’s hard to believe that the Happy Entrepreneur Online Event was only a few months ago. But I’m happy to be back with you all, and offer some new expert insight into how to reduce your stress and increase your happiness habits during these challenging times!
You may be thinking: Is happiness even available right now? Can you benefit from boosting it in this time of crisis? What is a "happiness habit" anyway?
The answer is YES, YES and I'll get to that shortly!
Believe it or not, there are small tweaks (habits) we can make throughout our day that have a surprisingly large impact on our baseline levels of happiness. Since happiness increases resiliency, motivation, creativity, optimism and problem solving, increasing our happiness levels will also help us manage stress and anxiety as we live and work through a pandemic. That in turn, will allow us to take more positive actions towards our work-life wellbeing.
Now, I certainly don’t mean to simplify the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic, nor the latest horrific, violent, and devastating acts of injustice and brutal deaths of countless Black lives here in America. That is why, I believe these habits are imperative to incorporate in our everyday lives. I know that nourishing our happiness will enhance our mental toughness in the face of adversity. Research shows that bringing more happiness into our lives has far more benefits than merely feeling good. If you contribute on your own individualistic level to make this world a happier place, you will make a difference on a collectivistic level.
Furthermore, I realize that this challenging period affects some more than others. Together, we can enhance our psychological immunity through evidence-based skills and simple, scientifically proven habits. Why? Because these habits have been shown, time and time again, to make a difference in the day-to-day quality of life for ALL those who follow them. The more you’ll practice both existing and new habits, the more you’ll gain their accumulated benefits to boost your well-being. Happier people are also kinder, more inclusive and open minded. They are people who are more likely to find solutions to societal issues. In times of so much turmoil, it's important to watch and build the right "mindset" so we can be an active part of the solution to our problems.
Today we start with an easy and available habit to improve. But the topic of creating lasting habits which leads to lasting behavioral change is complex, and one which I will expand on in future time.
I’ll be sending you an email series on habits starting today, where you can learn to reduce stress and increase happiness so you can better:
Combat stress more effectively, and reduce anxiety and depression
Build a stronger immune system, both physically and mentally
Live an overall healthier lifestyle, such as increasing your energy levels
Enhance your decision making skills and creative course correction
Strengthen your social support through connection with others
Expand individual and team productivity with a sharper mindset
Common sense doesn’t always translate to common practice. Having said that let’s move to one obvious easy to practice and extremely significant habit.
DAY 1: Today's habit is all about Improving Your Relationships
Many scientific studies are searching for the aspects of what make people happier. The one constant factor that stands out is our strong relationship with others. Not only have strengthening relationships been found to make us happier, they have also been found to make us healthier. And in challenging times, isn’t that so very important?
It is a scientific fact that the distress you experience during these challenging times will decrease by actively increasing your good social connections. The significance of good social relationships can be summed up as: Other People Matter!
Note to consider: Though government officials and media use the term ‘social isolation’ during this pandemic, perhaps it’s best to address it as ”physical isolation”. After all, it is the physical isolation that will help us better control the spread of the pandemic, but not our social isolation.
With that in mind: How can you increase your social relationships to boost well-being while maintaining the physical distance you need?
Here are some examples:
Schedule Zoom calls with relatives or friends. Discussing real life issues or small talks.
Be considerate while engaging with those you may be “quarantining” with. Being physically distant is harder for some than others.
Consider that your views of the latest violent acts in America might be different than others. (Even those close to you.) Be compassionate and get engaged despite the difficult dynamics that co-habitating 24/7 may bring.
Focus on supporting and accepting other's pains and opinions, while contributing to the conversation of change.
Today's Habit This is the relationship I will boost today and how: ____________
If you feel like sharing this habit with me, I would love to hear what you are working on. Please fill out the Happiness Habit form by selecting the button below. At the end of this habit challenge I'll be sharing my favorite happiness habits that I've collected!
I hope you'll join me on this journey of developing Happiness Habits!
Dr. Tal Leead, Psy.D.
Food for Thought
Did you know that loneliness and social isolation are as dangerous for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Keep that in mind next time you are finding another ‘excuse’ not to reach out.
Remember: Little Habits, Big Difference
Can you think of anyone else who could benefit from a bit of a boost right now? Please forward this email or share with your friends!