The Practice of Happiness
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” We’ve all heard that quote in some form or another before. It has a nice ring to it, but what does it really mean? As simple as this quote seems, it actually is a key principal behind the science of happiness. The findings surrounding positive psychology shows that happiness is ultimately a practice which can be executed in many forms. Furthermore, in order to sustain and maintain happiness we need to develop a consistent practice.
The good news is that practicing happiness is actually fun. It’s why we created the 30 day happiness challenge for our upcoming June TheraBox. Notice though, that we said it’s fun – not easy. Keeping a habit or a consistent practice is never easy, but we know you can do it. Why? Because we can do hard things, and we’ve most definitely accomplished much harder things in the past. Need some examples? How about surviving high school? Man, it’s tough to be a kid trying to figure out high school and the adult responsibilities that are coming to you at full speed certainly doesn’t make the process much easier. You survived four years of that, so what’s four years compared to 30 days? Or how about raising another human being for all the mommies out there? That’s arguably one of the toughest jobs in the world, but you’re doing it every single day! So yes. You can do this fun-but-not-easy 30 day challenge because you deserve to have more joy and self love in your life. Whether you’re already on cloud 9 happy, or need a little pick me up – this 30 day challenge inspired by research in positive psychology is yours for the taking.
Positive psychology (also frequently referred to as the study of happiness) utilizes the scientific method to understand how humans flourish and all the emotionally fulfilling aspects of human behavior. It studies the practices, thoughts, and motivations that best contribute to the “good life”. Lucky for us, it’s been a pretty popular subject to study in our decade and psychologists + neuroscientists have been able to identify certain actions and behaviors that enhance our wellbeing and happiness. *Sending telepathic thanks and showing gratitude to all the psychologists and neuroscientists out there right now because it’ll boost our happiness ;)*
We love linking positive psychology and neuroscience together because they just pair so well jointly. Here’s why: Positive psychology studies teaches us that showing gratitude, volunteering, smiling while cultivating positive thoughts, hugging, and other behavioral practices increase joy. Then, neuroscience comes in and tells us that if we repeat a practice everyday for roughly 21 to 30 days, we will literally rewire our brains to take on that habit. Your brain will actually physically change to accommodate whichever practice you put into place. It is completely up to you whether that practice be a positive or negative habit.
The truth is, whether you like it or not your brain is already wired. That’s just what brains do- they wire themselves up based on our actions and thoughts 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, a lot of us have wired our brains up for self-sabotaging behaviors over the course of our life time due to past trauma or negative experiences we’ve encountered. Thus, the wiring of our brains often look like this: negative self talk, criticism, and unhealthy habits. Of course we don’t mean to do these things to ourselves. I mean, who consciously wants a negative brain? Nonetheless, our brain won’t ever stop being the hard worker that it is, and it will incessantly wire itself every. single. day. Pros and cons to this incessant wiring though, because it means that it is never too late! We can begin rewiring it in a positive manner the same way we’ve been wiring our brains all our life: through our thoughts and practices. So let’s begin with this 30 day challenge filled with positive psychology methods to increase joy and make that habit stick because neuroscience said so
The challenge will officially start July 1, 2017 however it really doesn’t matter when you start. Just start. The reason we have an official date is because all of us here at TheraBox will be participating in it too and we’ll be checking in via our private facebook group. The full list of the 30 days of happiness challenge calender will be included in our upcoming June TheraBox shipping April 26. Thus, you’ll receive it in the mail by July 1st.
Here are a few of the challenges that will be included:
Day 3 – Give out 3 big long hugs.
Neuroeconomist Paul Zak explains the simple act of eight hugs a day can increase internal oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is often known as the “love” hormone or “bliss chemical” and has anti-anxiety effects. Fun fact: High levels of oxytocin have been observed in couples in the first six months of a relationship. Yea, remember that honeymoon feeling? You can get that through giving out 8 hugs a day. We’re only asking for 3 big long hugs though, which can also do the trick if they’re big, long hugs!
Day 16 – Smile and send telepathic love to all you see
In a study conducted at Michigan State Univerisity (2011), it was found that people who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts can dramatically and immediately boost their mood. So send those positive thoughts, compassion, and kindness telepathically while smiling to all the strangers and people you come across on Day 16 (and forevermore if you can).
Day 23 – Locate and apply to a volunteer place.
Altruism is not only good for the world, but also good for you. Donating time in a cause you believe in is linked to decreased depression and even a lower risk of early death! Volunteering helps people feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression. In a 2012 study, evidence suggests that volunteering has physical health benefits such as lowering your blood pressure and prolonging our lifespan. Double score!
There’s 27 more challenges not listed in this blog post, but all are short and quick ways to boost happiness. We hope you will join us on this challenge. Reserve your June TheraBox today, and join our private facebook group! See you soon!
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