Happiness- we all want it. Some people are said to be blessed to have happier genes. For the rest of us, it is a skill that we can cultivate deliberately.
There are vast differences in the way people perceive their own level of happiness. Some international comparisons are quite revealing. The World Happiness Report shows that happiness levels depend not just on health and financial security, but also broader perceptions of one’s social support, personal freedom, generosity, and other less tangible metrics. Some less tangible metrics are perceptions regarding the role of the elites, such as government or business corruption, as well as the recent experience of emotions.
The results are not necessarily hugely surprising. In North America, Canadians score as the happiest bunch, against Haitians at the bottom of the list. In South America, Uruguayans win, and Venezuelans lose. In Africa, Mauritians are the happiest, and Zimbabweans the least satisfied. In Asia, it’s the Taiwanese who are the happiest and the Afghans are at the bottom of the ranking. In Oceania, it’s the Kiwis who win; and in Europe, it’s the Finns. Europe generally scores the highest on this comparison.
Unless we can all emigrate to Finland, what can we do? Relying on external conditions to feel happier requires a lot of luck, while we have more control of our internal state. The starting point of any change is always awareness. We can begin by checking in and taking stock of our current thoughts and feelings. Many of my clients find it easier to enlist some digital help when their life coach is not around, and here are 3 apps promising to do just that. You will begin to recognize your moods and maybe even find ways to enhance them.
Mindfulness-based interventions are becoming mainstream for stress reduction, but it also works to increase your ability to live in the present moment and to notice positive feelings in life. Headspace is a fantastic choice for mindfulness meditation novices. It aims to help users live a happier life in just a few minutes a day.
The app has audio covering many areas, including health, performance, relationships, etc. Gamification has been used to encourage users to complete a level before moving on to an advanced section.
To measure your stress level, they have included PSS- Perceived Stress Scale. The PSS is a widely used psychological instrument for measuring the perception of stress. The questions in the PSS ask about feelings and thoughts during the last month, and how often one felt or thoughts a certain way. This knowledge helps users to become more aware and to regulate their stress.
iMoodJournal allows you not only to track your mood but to track more than expected: your sleep, medication, anxiety, energy levels, cycles, and more. Long mood records can be kept, and tags can be used to keep things simple. You can even attach selfies and observe how much your mood affects your appearance.
iMoodJournal uses all that data and provides you with charts to identify factors affecting your ups and downs. With the history of your mood chart, you may recognize patterns and get surprising insights into yourself. You may also discover correlations between mood and measurable essences like medication, sleep, etc.
Feeling anxious is normal, however, it might steal our joy if we don’t pay attention to it. Worry Watch aims to make your worries fade away with a simple four steps process:
1. Record: Write down whatever is bothering you. Its Anxiety Tracker captures your anxious thoughts with a great level of detail.
2. Reflect: Once past the worry, reflect upon whether the outcome was as bad as worried.
3. Reason: As you provide data to the app, it creates charts and analyzes your thought patterns with statistical insights.
4. Refute: Finally, based on the recorded data, it makes you realize that most of your worries are unwarranted, you can learn to challenge your negative thoughts, triggers, and patterns.
It does take some practice to take control of our emotional state and to become happier in life. Some form of journaling helps us uncover facts about ourselves that otherwise stay hidden from consciousness. These apps will help you take the first step to develop a habit to better understand yourself. With practice, the quality of your life will improve. Just be patient. It’s one thing to identify your blind spot; it’s another to be able to look at it with gentle awareness and to find solutions. And if you need more help on your way to be happier, find a quality life coach or work with us.