A clear path to increase your happiness in the age of social distancing
Social distancing has disrupted how we conduct work and brought immense upheaval to our way of life. It has raised anxiety and stress levels to new heights for most people.
It also has stretched others to reinvent themselves and, out of necessity, explore possibilities they hadn’t imagined a month ago.
Whichever camp you find yourself in times of crisis, you must shift your thinking to the positive. People who cope well under tough circumstances bounce back and intentionally work at choosing the right mindset — literally training their brains to become more optimistic. It’s that critical.
To that end, here are five habits you can choose to flip your switch to a more happy and positive state.
1 .Rediscover your purpose
Remind yourself frequently that the purpose of your life is not to work 10 hours per day, five days per week, then retire in Florida. Your true purpose should be to discover your calling in life and bask in the joy of the journey along the way, one step at a time. In the end, your legacy is left to these two questions:
- What impact did I make on the lives of others?
- Who did I serve and make better?
2. Stop your self-defeating thoughts
Life has thrown us an undeserving and nasty curveball. For the first week of the pandemic, it’s fair to say we were all numb and in a daze, trying to make sense of the new world. The important thing is to not stay there and go to bed every night obsessing, questioning, second-guessing, and psychoanalyzing every “what if” scenario.
Corcoran Group founder and Shark Tank mogul Barbara Corcoran has some truth to impart here:
The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.
Be like the most successful people: Bounce back, adapt, chalk the bad stuff up to experience, remember the lesson in the future (because we will get back to normal soon), and don’t dwell on the past.
As you recover and heal from whatever pain has been inflicted on you, having a mindset of putting “the past in the past” releases you from the chains of guilt and analysis paralysis. Face it social distancing cannot be undone. But you can choose to learn from it and move on.
3. Share the joy with another person
We have lived with bad news for weeks — it’s everywhere. So make it a habit to reach out to family, friends, or co-workers and spread the joy of good news. Studies published in BPS Research have found that sharing the good things that happen in your life is the way to happiness. In one study, participants who shared positive experiences with another person at least twice a week were more satisfied with life. Why not make this a habit with those closest to you?
Here’s what you can learn from people who are genuinely expressing joy: They choose every opportunity to share their happiness quotes, funny memes, uplifting stories, jokes, positive books, blogs, podcasts, TED Talks, and good news to pick us up and add color to our lives.
They choose to enjoy life to the fullest and it’s contagious. You now find yourself wanting to be part of their tribe–to soak up their positive energy, passion, and enthusiasm for life. Why not be that person for others?
4. Be around positive people
Want to know the instant solution to being a positive person who attracts others? Simple: Stop hanging around negative people. Like an unwanted disease, they will contaminate the work environment by spreading their negativity virus.
In an New York Times article called “The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking,” the author states that “constant negativity can also get in the way of happiness, add to our stress and worry level and ultimately damage our health.”
When you talk to your colleagues, listen to their natural dialogue. Are they seeing the glass as half empty and dwelling heavily on the worst possible outcome? If so, it’s inherent of who they are at their core. Instead, be around people who are passionate, motivated, optimistic, reliable, supportive, resilient, and who lift you up instead of drag you down.