Happiness. It’s wonderful, it’s fleeting, it’s what we’re all striving for. How can we get more happiness in our everyday lives?
Kelly Michael is co-founder of Human Link, a new company using psychological expertise to help companies build strong organizations where staff flourish.
Kelly said as well as just feeling good, happiness benefits our overall wellbeing.
“If we think of happiness as the experience of positive emotions, such as joy and contentment combined with a sense that life is good, it’s meaningful and worthwhile.”
Kelly said the work of psychologist Barbara Fredrickson shows us that when we experience positive emotions, our awareness broadens, and we increase our creativity, resilience, and problem-solving abilities.
“It can impact our physical health and our physical health can improve too,” Kelly said.
Where to look for happiness
Kelly said happiness isn’t the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it’s more like the rainbow itself.
“It’s actually the day-to-day small moments. When we chase quick feel-good factors, I don’t think we build long-term wellbeing or happiness.”
Wellbeing is very complex. However, there are small things that we can implement over time to make significant positive differences in our lives.
Kelly’s advice to improve wellness
Look at wellness holistically (and get a good night’s sleep)
“When we look at physical health, we’re talking about movement. We’re talking about nutrition and hydration, and we’re talking about sleep,” Kelly said.
“Sleep is critical on so many levels. Not only in my ability to focus and perform, but long-term for my longevity and my long-term health, things like cancer have all been linked to lack of sleep.”
Remember to move (and breathe)
“Every 60 minutes just move. You might go for a walk to the bathroom, have a bit of a stretch.
“You can also mindfully breathe every hour, just to stop for a moment and take four deep, slow, steady breaths,” Kelly said.
“We’re all capable of doing that, but we don’t do it. And yet it can make a huge difference to how our energy is throughout the day.”
Label your emotions
Kelly said it’s important to make space for difficult emotions.
“Sit down and say, ‘okay, how is it I’m feeling right now? I’m feeling afraid and I’m feeling worried.’
“The act of labelling our emotions, particularly the unpleasant ones, can help take the sting out of them.”
Self-care: Is it just a buzzword?
For Kelly, self-care is pretty much whatever you want it to be. And it’s definitely important.
“Engaging with your hobbies, engaging with good people, building your social connections is critical is an absolutely critical thing at this point in time in history,” she said.
“Work out what brings you joy and chase that.”
Create your own gratitude practice
Kelly advises giving yourself some mental space first thing in the morning.
So instead of grabbing your phone the second your eyes open, why not get specific around what you’re grateful for? Kelly says there’s a “deeper level” of gratitude we can aim for.
“It’s not just, ‘I’m grateful that it was a sunny day.’ Well, I’m grateful that it was a sunny day because it allowed me an opportunity to go for a walk or it allowed me to sit down and have a coffee with a friend’,” she said.
“It’s about really getting specific around our gratitude.”
Not-so-random acts of kindness
“Can you do something kind for somebody else? Can you tell somebody you’re grateful for them?” Kelly said.
“That’s going to have a huge impact, not only on the person that you’re being kind to, but on you as an individual.”
See Kelly’s presentation at the LiveTiles Love Your Work online work/life conference here.
Keep staff wellbeing in check with LiveTiles Vibe
LiveTiles Vibe is a new employee check-in tool. Vibes are easy to use, fast, and confidential. Make sure your staff are feeling connected and engaged, whether they’re at the office or working from home. Human Link have provided their psychological expertise on every Vibe card in the system.
Find out more here.