4 simple secrets to living the good life

4 simple secrets to living the good life

Happiness…it should be part of your life.

Happiness…it certainly should be part a “good life”.

Living a good life is a phrase used to describe happiness in a more comprehensive way…not just positive emotions but also, positive relationships, meaning and more.

And here are 4 simple secrets to living your good life via Eric Barker: 

Much of being an adult is about controlling your emotions — or even dampening them.

But in the end, you want all these adult-y things you do to lead to positive emotions, right? “The good life” is all about how you feel.

Yet feelings aren’t very welcome in the workplace and they’re not taught much in schools. So as adults we get plenty of practice in controlling emotions but little info when it comes to boosting them.

How do we learn about feeling good and connecting with others? I decided to call a guy who has the answers…

Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology and the director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. He’s an expert on emotions — so much so that Pixar had him help with the development of the film Inside Out. His excellent book is: Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life.

Dacher has found that much of what makes you feel good and improves your relationships comes down to some simple things we all learned as kids. Stupidly simple things. But that’s why we forget to do them more often — they’re just so basic.

But just because they’re simple doesn’t mean they’re not powerful. They’re way powerful. Godzilla-in-a-pissy-mood powerful. And the other benefit to these things being so simple is you have no excuse not to do them more often, lazybones.

Alright, let’s get to it. Here’s what Dacher says we need to remember…


You have a happiness muscle. No, there isn’t a machine for it at the gym, but when you use it, you feel good and your stress levels plummet. It’s called the “orbicularis oculi.” It’s the muscle around the eyes that flexes when you give a big, genuine smile.

It doesn’t make you happy, but the more you use it, the happier you’ll be. (Crow’s feet later in life are a small price to pay for joy, I promise you.)

Some people might be thinking “So what? Yeah, smiles show happiness. Big deal.” Actually, Dacher had a similar skepticism years ago. He knew smiles were important, but he had no idea just how important…

Ravenna Helson did the longest study of women’s lives that there is: The Mills Longitudinal Study. They followed 110 women who graduated from Mills College in 1959 and 1960. (In fact, they’re still following them more than half a century later.)

Could the smiles in the women’s graduation photos predict anything about their lives decades later? Ravenna was curious to know. Dacher wasn’t. It seemed silly to him that one photo of one smile could predict someone’s future like a crystal ball. But Dacher is a nice guy, so he helped anyway…

And the study would become one of the most important he would ever be involved in. What was the result? Here’s Dacher:

The warmer the woman’s smile, 20 and 30 years later she was feeling more accomplished in her goals, she was handling stress better, she was getting along better with other people, and she was more happily married.

No, don’t race to the attic to find your graduation photo. There’s something more important you need to do: give yourself more reasons to let out a huge smile each day. Chances are it might make your next few decades much better.

(To learn the 7-step morning ritual that will keep you happy all day, click here.)

Are you smiling? Good. What’s the next dead-simple thing you need to do more often?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE