The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary
The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary

The glory of acquisition starts to dim with use, eventually changing to boredom as the item no longer elicits even a bit of excitement.

The lynchpin of consumerism – the tacks that hold the entire system together – is this message: you need to change what you are/what you look like/what you have/what you put into your body. And social media has provided a really handy ‘ keep up with the Kardashians ’ vehicle.

The paper presents powerful evidence that random acts of kindness and gratitude practices elevate well - being, big time. This ‘contradicts the idea of an unchangeable baseline for happiness’ the paper reports.

Tags: gratitude

People often mistakenly think that you just “ choose ” to be happy , ’ says Dr Korb . ‘ But that’s not how it works . You have to choose things that make you happy . ’ And the clincher is , he says , these things are frequently not what we are told will make us happy . They’re oftentimes ordinary drudgery , rather than extraordinary hedonism . They’re things like meeting deadlines , going to the gym rather than swerving it , not eating junk and not spending your disposable income on designer trainers .

Life is so constructed that the event does not , cannot , will not , match the expectation . - Charlotte Brontë

What isn’t as widely known is that some experts think that only 50 per cent of our happiness is pre - determined , while 10 per cent is circumstance , and the remaining 40 per cent is influenced by what we do ( ‘ intentional activity ’ ) . And one of the ways we can change that malleable 40 per cent is undoubtedly : gratitudes . There are hundreds , maybe even thousands of studies that back this up .

a ‘ thank you ’ letter delivered a happiness boost to the sender that lasted a whole month .

‘ Some research shows that gratitude letters can be even more powerful than lists , ’ says Professor Lyubomirsky . ‘ Even if you don’t send them to the people they’re about , the letters are often complex , detailed and rich . ’

Tags: gratitude

Just as a photographer finds a focal point in a picture, and gets it pin-sharp, blurring the rest of the scene, that’s what we can do too. Fuzz the bad; sharpen the good.

Gratitude is just a way of adding to your invincible summer , a mental utopia all of us have the power to create . The existentialist Albert Camus wrote about an “ invincible summer ” that exists in all of us – deep positive memories that can carry us through difficult times.

Tags: gratitude

‘ The research participants who had the ability to lean fully into joy only shared one variable in common … gratitude . They practised gratitude … I get so busy sometimes chasing the extraordinary moments that I don’t pay attention to the ordinary moments . The moments that if taken away , I would miss more than anything . ’ Brené Brown , The Call to Courage , Netflix

The pleasure of acquisition is greater than that of possession . Look at the clothes in your wardrobe . D’you remember the day you bought them ? The day you put that jumpsuit – or that shirt – on in a changing room and thought ‘ this is going to change my life ’ .

Tags: consumption, hedonic adaptation

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not ; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. - Epicurus

Being consistently angry is your nervous system saying : my boundaries are being crossed , I’m unhappy , and sod this for a game of soldiers .

‘ Simply naming an emotion is powerful , ’ confirms neuroscientist Dr Korb , ‘ because the mere act of naming uses language , which brings the prefrontal cortex ( PFC ) online . The PFC can then reduce the intensity of the emotion . ’

Tags: emotion

Note: Name emotions

Whenever you’re next inside the eye of a stressful storm , repeat after me : ‘ One day this will be a story I tell people . ’

Tags: challenges

Things that are not necessarily fun in the moment , later turn into precious anecdotes .

Tags: type two fun

We’re not supposed to be happy 24 / 7 . It’s spectacularly ordinary to feel sad occasionally .

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received about ‘ ordinary ’ relationships , was this belter . ‘ Lower your expectations of people , and up your gratitude , and you’ll find your relationships improve immeasurably . ’ It altered my very foundations , like a subtle seismic shift which alters continental plates irrevocably .

There is no such thing as easy street.

‘ People mistakenly think happiness is the absence of negative emotion , ’ says Dr Korb . ‘ But if you’re always trying to avoid negative emotions , you won’t do anything important . The cost of doing something of value is almost always hard work . Focusing on the value , rather than the cost , is the key . ’ We have to get willing to be uncomfortable , he says , rather than trying to steer towards easy street .

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

The brain is like velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.