"If I lose weight, I’ll be happy."
"If I’m happy, I can lose weight."
Which statement is true? The first one might seem right, but it’s really the second one that’s accurate: When we’re happier, we tend to make healthier decisions, including those that lead to weight loss—such as getting our recommended eight or so hours of sleep, moving more, and eating well. It might seem that happiness is the reward for hard work like losing weight or exercising regularly or organizing the house. But if you focus on identifying, nourishing, and expressing happiness now, you're more likely to succeed in your goals. While your outlook on life is to a large extent genetic, 40 percent of your happiness is in your control, created by your own actions and choices.
But how can you “get happy,” exactly? One proven way to go: making the conscious decision to do things you enjoy and that make you happy.
Not sure where to start? Here are some pleasurable moments that might resonate as "good things" for you:
- Getting a hug from a child
- Being absorbed in a great book, movie, or music performance
- Making a delicious meal
- Watching a sunset or moonrise, and feeling awe at the beauty of the natural world
- Being able to walk a mile without stopping
- Enjoying Sunday morning coffee and the newspaper