I am currently taking a Positive Psychology class, and it has been amazing so far. I keep telling everyone it’s more like group therapy than a class. We don’t just sit there and learn facts and theories. We talk about life and how we can apply these strategies we learn to our own lives.
Anywho…this has inspired me to do a “Happiness Challenge.”
Every Tuesday, I will post a new challenge to increase happiness. And these will most likely be little things, but guess what? Research shows these little things can make a big difference. And why Tuesdays? I don’t know about you, but to me…Tuesdays suuuuuck. Almost worse than Mondays, so I figured I’d bring a little happy into our Tuesdays!
One of the things we constantly bring up in the class is how we have to make a conscious effort to increase our happiness. It’s true, we have to work at it! If we don’t try, if we don’t change our thoughts, if we don’t change our behaviors, our level of happiness will not change either.
Our environment has a strong influence on our beliefs. There was a study done in 1979 by Ellen Langer where men above the age of 75 were placed in a 1959 themed resort for a week. The entire environment was set up to represent the time period of 1959 – newspapers, music, ID badges, etc. Essentially this was supposed to make the men feel young again.
Results showed that these men had greater concentration, attention and memory skills, better posture, eyesight, hearing and flexibility, and after going back home they were more self-reliant and self-sufficient. Overall they acted younger. Why? Because our environment shapes who we are.
So what can we do to create a more positive environment for ourselves?
- Create an organized, clean work space for ourselves – I always feel better after I clean off my desk!
- Put fresh flowers in the house
- Play music
- Put up inspirational quotes
- Allow more natural light into the room
- Buy and light a nice smelling candle for yourself
I put fresh flowers in my room this week, and cleaned up the little sitting area in my room. Usually that white chaise ends up being used for clothes, wash baskets, purses, bags, etc. I’ve been making an effort to keep that spot clear from now on. I love that little corner of my room
What you will do this week to make a more positive environment for yourself?