Try a Little Tenderness

Over the past several years, I’ve spent a lot of time studying how to change behaviors to create happiness in life.  There are a lot of different tools you can use that will help you build a stronger foundation so happiness and resilience becomes part of who you are.

Let’s face facts.  The past couple of months have been hard.  There’s a ton of negativity swirling around.  At this point it feels more tornadic (honestly, I just had to Google that to make sure it was a word). Friends say, do or post things that hurt others’ feelings.  Everyone is quick to judge the motives of people they know and love.

This nation, our communities, friends and families are polarized.  Nobody is going to fix that anytime soon but there are a couple of things that we can do to try to help make our world happier.

  1.  Practice Kindness–This week, when emotions are running high, do something nice for somebody else.  It could be giving someone a compliment or helping somebody out of a jam.  When you practice kindness, you double the benefit.  You make somebody feel good and you feel good for having done a kindness.
  2. Avoid Negativity–Turn off the news.  Hide the vitriol on your news feed.  And for the love of all that is holy, don’t read the comments on any article you find on a news site.  There is so much good going on in the world. Focus on that.  There are a ton of positive news sites you can look at; The Good News Network, Positively Positive and Huffington Post Good News (and of course, Happy Fix). If you want to feel positive, you have to feast on positivity.
  3. Take Action–The best way to change something is to do something.  If there is a cause close to your heart, get involved.  Can you volunteer?  Lead a fundraiser?  Help to raise awareness?  Ruminating on the problem isn’t going to make it go away.  Taking action will.
  4. Listen for Understanding–If you truly care about your connections and your relationships, actively listen to people.  Instead of judging what they say, try to understand what they are saying and why they may be saying it.  If you are not sure, ask.  Listen to the answer without judgment.

At the end of the day your happiness is up to you.  You can choose to fill your time doing positive or negative things.  And while’ I’m no physicist, I do know that negativity can be neutralized with your positive self.  What steps will you take to bring happiness into your life?