5 Ways to Feel Happier Every Day (and Get More Productive Because You’re Happier)

Some big-picture components of happiness are long-term endeavors to improve. But there are also surprisingly simple “evolve your state of mind” things you can do to increase feelings of happiness in the short term.

You can take active steps to increase your feelings of happiness every day — and let those feelings make you more effective in all you other goals and endeavors. One example? Think of the “STAGE” verbs — savor, thanks, asipire, give and emphathize.

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To me, happiness is the ultimate goal.

I don’t at all mean to minimize the importance of goals like achievement, service to others, morality, excellence, and others. But our mix of these other goals is rolled up into what it takes to be happy. So for each of us in a highly personalized way, realizing happiness means, by-definition, we’ve achieved “enough” of our other goals.

And, greater day-to-day happiness makes us more effective in pursuing these other major goals. It also gives us more longevity to do so.

So, happiness is both a product and a cause of achieving other goals.

Some big-picture components of happiness are long-term endeavors to improve. But there are also surprisingly simple “evolve your state of mind” things you can do to increase feelings of happiness in the short term.

And, consciously seeking happiness is like getting started on fitness. A purposeful, modest start builds its own momentum, man.

“S.T.A.G.E.” FRAMEWORK FOR INCREASING HAPPINESS

A company called Happify suggests a “STAGE” framework of five simple things you can do to improve happiness, anywhere and anytime. They are:

SAVOR the world around you, and the experience of life, by actively making note of the good stuff. Being mindful of beauty, good news and other positives makes people more optimistic.

THANK others, yourself, and the world itself for the good things. Expressing gratitude boosts happiness.

ASPIRE with a sense of purpose and possibilities . Focusing on positive future states makes the present feel like a better place. AND, it helps achieve that even-better vision of the future.

GIVE of yourself and your resources. Giving is great for the recipient, but research shows it’s even better for the mental state of the giver.

EMPATHIZE with others. Empathy is recognizing others’ view of the world, taking it yourself so you can understand it, and then effectively communicating to them that you’ve done this. It does great things for relationships. And relationships, in turn, do great things for you, man.

Here’s a short article from Happify with more detail.

FITNESS & HAPPINESS: A MUTUALLY-REINFORCING RELATIONSHIP

This wouldn’t be an OlderBeast article if I didn’t make a plug for physical fitness contributing to mental wellness and happiness.

Please think about the fact that your regular workouts are a great time and mental environment to do these happiness-enhancing things. Especially the savor/thank/aspire ones, which are more of internal-mental functions and less about direct, immediate action with others.

 

“Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” (Grateful Dead, Scarlet Begonias—click to listen)

 

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Fitness Setbacks: You WILL Overcome! (Here are Suggestions to Help)

As 40+ guys living in the real world of work, family, and our own not-bulletproof anatomy, setbacks to fitness and nutrition plans are inevitable.

In the last decade, mine included plantar fasciitis (foot/heal pain), a strained rotator cuff, and sporadic right knee pain…not to mention crunch times at work that constrained exercise as effectively as any injury.

With “experience being the best teacher,” the OlderBeast tenets of fitness variety, workout/recovery sequencing, and personal time prioritization help minimize such setbacks. But still, they’ll happen – so here are a few suggestions for dealing with injuries and fitness interruptions in a way that minimizes impact, and even gets longer-term benefits from them.

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Midlife Crisis? Nah…It’s Just the Starting Point for Your Longest Run.

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Among all concerns, perhaps the biggest is the most subconscious and hardest to recognize:

At or beyond life’s halfway marker, we’re uncertain what our life ultimately will have meant.
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OlderBeast’s call – for you to double down on overall body-and-soul health – is to help maximize this opportunity. We’ll come back to that. First let’s take a deeper look at this “Meaning” concern.

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The OlderBeast Way to Fitness, Nutrition & Joy for 40+ Guys

40+ men are less well-served by existing “fitness and health” media than women and younger guys.

I created OlderBeast to address this gap. If offers friendly advice and occasional inspiration from a “regular guy” who built up important insights and results-producing approaches, via his (my) own experimentation and life experience over the last 13 years.

To help you get started, I’ve published a free e-book: The OlderBeast Way. I hope it helps you thrive, brother.

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Warning: Your Gym or Exercise Class is Suffocating Your Soul

The OlderBeast fitness philosophy for the second half of a guy’s life is about spreading our focus across endurance, strength, flexibility and balance.  You can work on all those things in your gym, and do exercise classes that cover those bases, too.  So no disrespect intended to the great gyms and classes out there (nor the teachers and trainers who work there).

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