Most people may think that brides are automatically HAPPY!. Why wouldn’t you be? I mean you’re planning and looking forward to the biggest day of you life! We tend to assume that people in situations that look appealing, like having a fiancÃ©, a baby, fancy career or lot of money are HAPPY. The truth is that only 10% of HAPPINESS is based on circumstances, 50% is your genetic set-point (refers to a theory of happiness that assumes we each have a fixed “average” level of happiness), and 40% is based on intentional activities.
I was listening to one of my favorite Podcasts, The Art of Charm, and heard an interview with Neil Pasricha, the author of The Happiness Equation. One valuable point he made is that HAPPINESS isn’t something you “get to,” or “find.” It’s your intentional thoughts and actions that have great deal of impact on your HAPPINESS, not your “status or situation.” I think this is very important to emphasis to a bride because you may feel guilty if you don’t feel HAPPY all the time. The message you get in pictures or images of brides you find on Pinterest or other sites of is that they are blissfully HAPPY. Let me shatter the myth so you can release your shame and guilt. The problem isn’t not having negative thoughts; the problem is we think we’re not supposed to have them. So now you know that your situation doesn’t automatically make you happy. Your deliberate thoughts and actions do. Commit to one of these 3 specific daily actions to increase your happiness:
- Take a Brisk 20-Minute Walk in Nature. As shown published in the American Psychosomatic Society, taking a brisk 20-minute walk daily out performed a group on antidepressants (WOW)! There is zero downside with this action!
- Journal 20 minutes about 1 positive thing that happened today. When you write events down, your mind thinks you’re going through it again. So when you have the positive experience, journal about it, then read it, you get triple affect on the positive thing that happened. There was a famous study from the University of Texas, How do I love thee, let me count the words. Couples either wrote expressively about their deepest thoughts and feelings about their partner or about their daily activates. They found that the couples that wrote about their relationship were 50% more likely to still be dating their romantic partners compared to the couples that wrote about their daily activities. Writing down your positive feelings about your partner a couple days per week will not only make you happy but ensure longevity in your “happily ever after.”
- Committing a Random Act of Kindness. This activity was shown to have the greatest effect on the level of your HAPPINESS than the two above in a famous study from Stanford University. Smiling at stranger, helping someone with his or her grocery bags, make a friend dinner or buy the person behind you in line their coffee. One act per day is all it takes to feel amazing!
Something that can rob you of happiness is being too busy! I’m sure you can relate to this one ladies, working, planning a wedding, maintaining healthy relationships with friends, and spending time with your partner on top of being faithful to your “get ready for the wedding dress” fitness and nutritional plan! Neil Pasricha makes some suggestions on how to stop being too busy. He calls it, Create Space. I also wrote a blog about keeping it Simple to be a HAPPY bride. In Creating Space, Pasricha suggests eliminating or reducing choice, time and access. When we have less choice it makes you happier because it takes the burden of decisions. Reduce the amount of time for all your projects will create happiness because you don’t overthink it, you just get it done! Minimizing access means reducing the portals of communication that people can reach you with. It’s very distracting and time consuming to keep up with texting, multiple emails, social media messages and voice mail. Reduce social media sites, consolidate email accounts and instruct callers to email you instead of leaving a voice mail were some suggestions.
Take the HAPPINESS challenge and do one of the three activities above, or mix them up, every day. Leave comments to share your experiences and results. If you haven’t started my on-line 12 WEEKS TO A FIT BRIDE program yet, get started TODAY!