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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Why “Solitude + Exercise” is a Key Wellness Formula

One of the great things about certain types of exercise is that we can address two vital questions with one single action: Am I getting enough physical exercise? Am I getting enough high-quality solitude?

I’m willing to be the Oracle of the Obvious sometimes (just ask my wife or kids) But I won’t belabor the “why exercise?” question here.

But let’s discuss “why solitude?” and also “why is exercise time especially good solitude?” These should be prominent themes for any guy doubling down on body-and-soul health.

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Get Back, Man…to Physical Things You Once Thrived On

I think we all recognize—if we really stop and think–that we lose some precious things as we move through life. Do you have something you “used to” do, that was really good for you physically and mentally…but which you don’t do anymore?

However natural and understandable this is, it has multiple adverse effects we don’t want:

⇒ Physical: we lose the contributions of that activity to our ongoing quest for endurance, strength, flexibility and balance – and the diversity of movement that’s so important to all-over fitness

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Turning 50? Here’s Fitness & Wellness Inspiration From an Unusual Source.

I made a new friend recently who’s into astrology. I don’t mean just the “horoscope” kind of astrology. I’m talking about the heavy-duty kind, which considers your time of birth and exactly where astronomical bodies were at that moment.

When I told her I’d turned 50 a few months ago, she mentioned something called the “Chiron Return” which makes turning 50 a major watershed in life. Not just by marking another decade, but by unleashing a transition in priorities and an evolution of how we resolve to live the rest of our lives.

To me, this is all pretty “out there.” But I feel (as with some people’s belief in ghosts): who am I to be so sure these things don’t exist?

And besides, I’ll take life lessons and inspiration wherever I can find them. The ideas associated with Chiron Return are highly relevant for 50-ish guys doubling down on body-and-soul health. Or guys that will be 50-ish before long…or ones that were not so long ago!

So indulge me for two or three minutes, brother. Read on and see if this stuff is useful to you in your quest to maximize the decades ahead.

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Self-Image for 40+ Guys Should be About Looking YOUR Best

If you’ve read OlderBeast before, you’ve seen the mantra “feel great, look your best, keep getting happier, and live long.” That’s what I want out of fitness, nutrition and wellness. I hope it resonates with you too, man.

“Feel great” and “live long” are self-explanatory. But there are non-obvious aspects of “look your best” and “keep getting happier,” so it’s useful to discuss these. This post is about “look your best.”

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