Cake can make you happy, there is no news there but if you think about it in a particular way you can translate that happiness into lasting wellbeing. Luckily, it’s not hard to do and with a little bit of practice it can become a habit.
Great cake or any other feel good moment can build lasting happiness, well-being or what positive psychologist, Professor Martin Seligman would refer to as Flourishing. The trick is to take time to dwell on the “goodness”. It sounds simple and of course it is, but how many of us pass by everyday things that are beautiful, inspiring or just plain awesome without taking the time to really take it all in?
The relatively new discipline of positive psychology focuses on what it takes to thrive. The research so far suggests that focusing on appreciation (things that went well) and gratitude, support human wellbeing. In this case “flourishing” includes not only feelings of happiness but overall life-satisfaction and resilience.
Psychologists broadly agree that people have different capacities for happiness. Some of us are just wired for happiness where as others are naturally less joyful. The good news for everyone is that we can all increase our level of wellbeing by using a few simple but powerful techniques.
A technique with a growing weight of research to support it, is to do a daily “what went well” review of the day. Other practices include expressing gratitude, and doing something for someone else. To make this work for you long term it’s best to convert such practices into habits.
Building a habit means change and change takes time, perseverance and commitment. If you are ready check out these 3 Steps to Successful Change