With just six simple questions, you can boost your daily happiness in less time than it takes to finish a cup of coffee, according to the BBC’s “How a daily 10-minute mental exercise could boost your happiness”.
BBC – Future – How a daily 10-minute exercise could boost your happiness
Whether you have been diagnosed with mental illness or not, daily stress can easily wear away at your happiness in life. In today’s stressful world, one possible solution to enduring stress and living a happier life is called “positive psychology. Sandy Mann, a lecturer at Central Lancashire University in England, introduces ways to incorporate positive psychology into the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Mann recommends asking yourself the following six questions as a way to increase happiness in your daily life. These six questions are based on a vast amount of scientific research and involve re-evaluating yourself during small moments in your daily life.
- 1: What experiences, even mundane everyday events, have brought you joy?
- 2: What accolades or feedback did I receive?
- 3: When was the moment when you felt genuinely lucky?
- 4: What have I accomplished, no matter how small?
- 5: What makes me feel grateful?
- 6: How have I expressed kindness in the past?
Mann’s recommended mental exercise is to ask yourself the above six questions each day and reevaluate how you have felt throughout the day. By taking a little time each day, he says, it is possible to slowly change the way you think about yourself. When we are feeling down, it is easy to lose sight of the right path for ourselves, but by focusing on our daily happiness and gratitude, these six questions are a way to keep us from losing ourselves in stress and depression.
According to Mann, these six questions do not guarantee that you will experience any immediate benefits, but they may help you cope better with difficult situations that may come your way in the future. Associative memory can make us feel gloomy when a bad event occurs, and we tend to remember other unfortunate events and feel stressed. In other words, Mann’s six questions are a daily training exercise to help us look at ourselves and immediately switch to the positive when negative events occur, rather than endlessly fretting over daily stress.
The sixth question in particular was set based on the latest research on kindness. The latest research shows that selfless behavior not only increases the well-being of those around you, but also improves your own mood. For example, spending a little money to help a stranger leads to a much greater level of happiness than spending the same amount of money to treat yourself, according to Mann, who proposes six questions based on this scientific evidence.
Although the six questions are based on scientific research, Mann argues that they will not cause dramatic changes and that people who suffer from depression need to seek professional medical care. However, he says that those who have not been diagnosed with severe clinical symptoms, but who feel stressed or feel dark and depressed on a daily basis, can return to a more upbeat mood by reevaluating their days with the six questions.