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  • Writer's pictureAparna Sinha

How to be Happier in Life

Imagine a year dedicated to the pursuit of happiness—a journey filled with laughter, self-discovery, and the quest for a more vibrant life. That's exactly what 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin encapsulates. The author dedicated one year of her life to bringing about greater happiness into her life and calls this her ‘happiness project’. The book brings about a lot of scientific research along with the author’s personal experiences to take the readers on this journey.

From tackling everyday challenges to savoring the simplest pleasures, 'The Happiness Project' offers a roadmap to a more fulfilled existence, and in this video, we're delving into the most compelling takeaways that will make us re-think about the way we view and create happiness in our lives.

This book has captivated the hearts and minds of millions. With over 1.5 million copies sold and translated into more than 35 languages. It spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list, captivating readers with its relatable and transformative narrative. The author calls this book not a book or a blog but a movement.

Here are some of the author’s conclusions from the book, in other words from her one year of happiness project.

1. Happiness is within: The author says that she saw some people in her life escape on vacations to get away with worries and to find happiness. However, for the author, the case was different. Neither did she have a schedule that would allow her to take vacations nor did she want to reject her life. She wanted to change her life without changing her current situation by finding more happiness in her own kitchen. She knew happiness was right here and she needn’t go anywhere for it. And just during that time, she found wisdom in a at a dinner with friends which said ‘look for happiness under your own roof’. This sentence in itself is so deep in meaning.

2. Importance of rewards and acknowledgments: Rubin shares a story about her daughter's experience with a gold star. Her daughter loved receiving gold stars at school and decided to create her own system at home. Rubin used this as an example of how simple rewards and acknowledgments can bring happiness and motivation, even in adulthood.

3. Exercising: The author continued to explore the habits she changed and tried to invite greater happiness in her life like exercising, stretching and becoming more energetic.

4. The Clutter-Clearing Experiment: Rubin delves into the impact of physical clutter on our mental well-being. She discusses how tackling clutter in your living space can lead to a sense of order and tranquility, ultimately contributing to your overall happiness. She also decluttered her home, especially the wardrobe and said that removing the outside clutter built more internal free space for her for happiness and creativity to flow smoothly.

5. The Power of Growth: The author shares with her a line from William Butler Yeats that says ‘happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing’. The author says that it isn’t goal attainment but the process of striving after goals that bring growth and thereafter happiness. She says that her research revealed that challenge and novelty are key elements to happiness. When we do things like learning a new skill, enrolling in a course, meeting new people we feel happy because these require more work from the brain evoking more intense emotions.

Along the same lines, she says that starting a blog and entering into this unknown territory brought a lot of happiness into her life. The author also shares her own insecurities and how her inner critic was stopping her from launching a blog. Her inner self asked her questions like if she was sounding too preachy, too egocentric. But then she thought that if she has to get anything accomplished, she needed to keep moving forward. The author says that challenge brings happiness because it expands your self-definition. One becomes larger. New identity brings new experiences which increase happiness.

She realized that this growth would ask from her to push herself causing discomfort. She realized that in order to have more success, she needed to have more failures and she also realized that she didn't try because she was afraid of failure.

6. The importance of expanding our social circles, being kind hearted, and avoiding gossip. By making new friends, showing generosity, and steering clear of gossip, we not only improve our own lives but also contribute to a more positive and harmonious environment for everyone. the book quietly points out the value of friends and connections. While working on ourselves matters, having people to share life's ups and downs with brings a strong sense of belonging and happiness.

7. The Paradox of Giving: One of Rubin's insights revolves around the paradoxical nature of giving. While the act of giving can often be selfless, it also brings about a sense of joy and satisfaction to the giver. She explores this concept and how acts of generosity can positively impact our well-being. Acts of kindness not only help them but also release "feel-good" chemicals in us. It reminds us of the joy that comes from making a positive impact.

8. Taking care of yourself and setting limits is important too. Often, we forget ourselves while helping others. The book highlights the need to do things that make us happy and recharge, which benefits both us and those around us.

9. "The Happiness Project" also highlights the idea of being thankful. Taking a moment to appreciate even the little things in life can boost our happiness. The book suggests that focusing on gratitude shifts our view, helping us find contentment in the present.

The One-Sentence Journal: In the book, Gretchen Rubin introduces the concept of a "one-sentence journal." This is a simple practice of jotting down one sentence each day to capture a highlight, a reflection, or an emotion. This practice helps to cultivate mindfulness and a sense of gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of each day.

10. Another key point is mindfulness – staying in the here and now. The author says worrying about the past or future adds stress. By practicing mindfulness, we can cut down on anxiety and feel happier.

From finding joy in the small moments to fostering connections and practicing kindness, Gretchen Rubin's book reminds us that happiness is within our reach, waiting to be embraced. By incorporating these takeaways into our lives, we have the power to create a meaningful shift towards a brighter and more fulfilling existence.

So, let's embark on this journey together, armed with newfound wisdom and inspired to make positive changes that resonate far beyond ourselves. If you found these insights valuable, don't forget to give this video a thumbs up, share it with your fellow happiness seekers, and subscribe for more empowering content. Here's to a life infused with gratitude, joy, and an unwavering commitment to our own happiness. Thanks for joining me today – remember, happiness is not just a destination, but a wonderful and continuous journey.

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