Got a calendar, wall planner or diary nearby? Good. Because it could hold the key to being more satisfied and happy in life.
Now don’t roll your eyes; we’re not going to tell you to scribble down an inspirational quote for every day of the year, or to go all Bridget Jones and spill your emotions out on the page (although if that makes you feel good, go right ahead).
Instead, we need to talk about something called ‘prioritising positivity’ and how it can change your life for the better.
According to new research, the way you schedule and structure your day-to-day life has a significant effect on your wellbeing.
For the study, 235 adults aged between 21 and 65 had their overall wellbeing measured, along with how much they valued happiness and how much they prioritised positivity — that is, whether they sought out positive emotional experiences when choosing how to organise their days.
Interestingly, the researchers found those who valued happiness — i.e. they 'agreed strongly' with phrases like “How happy I am at any given moment says a lot about how worthwhile my life is" and “If I don’t feel happy, maybe there is something wrong with me” — were more likely to experience negative emotions and depression.
Meanwhile, those who prioritised positivity — agreeing with statements like "I structure my day to maximise my happiness" and "What I decide to do with my time outside of work is influenced by how much I might experience positive emotions" — were associated with a more positive level of wellbeing and life satisfaction. (Post continues after gallery.)
This suggests the success of pursuing happiness is largely influenced by how you approach it. So often we perceive happiness as something that just 'happens' or is bestowed upon us — 'if I lost seven kilos, I'd be happier' or 'if I could just find a boyfriend my life would be so much happier'.