November 6, 2013Last updated on November 5, 2016
Okdork Readers: This is a guest post by my close friend Adam Gilbert. Adam is the Founder of MyBodyTutor, a service he created 7 years ago to help people eat better, lose weight and get in amazing shape. I’m a client and I can’t recommend his service enough.
Adam has helped me to change the way I think about food and exercise along with many other things.
I love the way he thinks. He mentioned a few Happiness Triggers he has set up, and I invited him to write about them here.
The idea of a happiness trigger is to set something up now that will trigger happiness in the future. Similar to Positive Triggers, Happiness Triggers are created specifically to recall happy memories and to make life a little bit better now and in the future.
3 Main Categories:
1) Memory/Positive Association
2) Anticipation (for it’s own sake)
3) Where we spend the most time
Recently I traveled to Italy. The trip was amazing, but I wanted to find a way to let the good times (keep) rolling. During the trip I found ways to create happiness triggers to remind me of the trip long after I was back in NYC.
I asked for an extra bar of soap and took it home with me. Now every time I shower I think about the vacation. I also took the pen from our favorite hotel. Every time I write, I think about my trip to Italy.
One of the hotels we loved had an email newsletter so I signed up for it. Now, every time I get it, I’m reminded of the hotel, my experience, and the joys of room service. 🙂
I took the room keys as well. (Hotels don’t mind if you do this.) And now, I use them as bookmarks. We took tons of pictures. We also wrote detailed descriptions of the prior day during breakfast every morning.
This was a fun activity in and of itself but it’s helpful because after a few days or so everything starts to blend together. After we returned home, I created an Italy album that I leave on my coffee table. Every time I pick it up, it creates happiness.
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Here are some more ideas for you.
1) Candles can be very soothing. Keep your favorite candle nearby to trigger happiness.
2) Make the background on your phone and/or computer a picture of something or someone you love.
4) Leave your iPod/iPhone on your favorite song and the radio on your favorite station.
6) Anticipation is a very powerful way to create instant happiness. Set up things to look forward to such as trying a new restaurant at the end of the week.
7) On that note, use everyday occurrences as a source of anticipation aka happiness. Andy Warhol said, “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” (Click to Tweet)
A) When a close friend texts or emails you and you know it’s going to be funny, don’t read it immediately.
B) When you get a new magazine or something fun in the mail wait a few days before opening it.
C) Don’t watch all your favorite DVR’d TV shows all in one night. Space them out. Or binge on them but plan it in advance so you can look forward to it.
D) Save a blog post you want to read until later on in the day.
The idea is to enjoy the anticipation. Having things to look forward to makes us happier now.
8) You know how you can smell something and it can bring you right back to a certain time of your life? We can use that to our happiness advantage.
A) I mentioned above that I like candles. Why not get a candle that smells like something you love?
B) I love the beach, summer and sun. What encompasses all three of those things? Suntan lotion! They actually make spray that smells like it. I spray it every now and then.
C) If you loved how you felt during a certain time in your life and wore a certain cologne/perfume why not use it now? It’ll bring you right back.
Bonus: Listen to the music you listened to during that time.
9) Invest in really comfortable socks and underwear. Usually, the first things we put on are our socks and underwear. Why not invest in socks and underwear that feel amazing when you put them on. Instant happiness.
10) We spend about ⅓ of our lives in bed. There’s nothing like getting into bed and loving the way the sheets and blankets feel. Why not invest in getting high quality sheets and blankets. Instant happiness once you get into bed.
11) Phones have favorite people lists so you can easily contact your VIPs. Why not have a wall or table of pictures with your favorite people? (Noah does this on his wall, and it’s very cool). Every time you walk by, it’s hard not to smile.
12) Calendar invites are powerful. You know the Hump Day commercial? As old as it is, it still makes me smile. Every Wednesday, I get an email that sends me a link to it. Once that really gets old, I’ll do something else.
13) If you have a memorable experience jot it down in a journal. The more specific, the better. We underestimate how quickly we’ll forget things. It’s always fun to look back on it.
14) Use IFTTT to send yourself a weekly (or daily) text message with a positive note or quote that you love. Or use it to send a note at sunrise every morning. (For example, you can have have a scheduled text message that asks, “What are you grateful for?” This will remind you to focus on gratitude.
Gratitude changes your attitude. (Click to Tweet)
These are some ideas to get you started. We might not all agree on what happiness is but if you’re looking for more of it, these are fairly simple and fun ways to get more!
Leave a comment below and share your own favorite happiness trigger. One person
will get got a 30 minute call with Adam to customize a diet and exercise plan. Check out more about Adam (@MyBodyTutor) and his program at MyBodyTutor.com.