Happiness can take place now, you just need to really want it. Studies have proved that when programmed for survival, our brain tends to register more the negative aspects of life which it perceives as a treat. Hence, the necessity of cultivating our happiness. And this is precisely what is offering Elsa Punset in Le livre des petits bonheurs (Edition Solar, to be published on the 13th of September). This professional when it comes to personal development the author of the best-seller, The book of small revolutions, lists the small tips on how to be happy from yesterday until today. Practical exercises.
Get ready for the worst
You are anxious about a project or a situation? Consider the worst case scenario, this will avoid for you to be disappointed or angry. Your are considering leaving your man/job, but you feat the consequences. In the worse case scenario, what could happen? By projecting yourself this way, either the story turns into a fiasco, but since you had prepared yourself, you anticipated your reaction and knew how to behave comment. Or then, everything goes smoothly and you can take a big breath.
Without frustration, there is not pleasure
Theorized by Seneca, this technique consists in choosing to be deprived of something for a short period. Stopping alcohol or Coca light, eliminating the Uber app, cancelling a Netflix subscription… during one moth. First by stopping this habit, you will see that it’s very possible to cope with the lack thereof. Morality, you don’t really “need” it. Secondly, after this forced abstinence you pleasure will be enhanced.
Put yourself in the place of others
You don’t understand why your BFF is not speaking to you since you organized a small dinner party without her. Rather than harass her with reproaches, try to understand her reaction. You know the rule “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” If you were in her place, objectively how would you have felt? Note that your judgement can be biased when angry. So before thinking about it, try to calm down!
The technique of the tummy twister
Anger, sadness, rancour, deception, frustration… how to evacuate these negative emotions that are eating you up from the inside? Easy. Write down on a piece of paper everything that is worrying you: your target ghosted you, your n+1 nabbed your idea, you can’t seem to loose those extra 3 kilos… List black on white all your nuisances. Done? Roll up the piece of paper in a ball and throw it in the dustbin. Even more radical, you can burn it. You will feel much lighter.
Muscle your happiness
Happiness is like a muscle, you need to exercise it. According to Dr. Seligman, ring leader of positive psychology, “people can choose how they think. We aim at flexible and lucid optimism.” Start training now. In the evening, before going to bed, list in a special notebook 3 positive things that happened to during the day and the reasons everything went well. This way, you encourage your spirit to focalize itself on positive aspects. To be repeated during one week and more if this works for you. And as Epicure taught us, remember that your happiness is based on your willingness, so choose to be happy!
Le livre des petits bonheurs, Elsa Punset, Solar, 258 pages, €18.90. In bookshops on the 13th of September.