Levo League shares with us the secret fundamentals of everyday happiness, even if it's just a little at a time.
I recently came across a study that talked about the effects of experiencing awe. The study found that people who feel a high from awe — not one induced by synthetic substances — turn out to be nicer, better people. I mean nicer and better as in those who have ethical decision-making skills, those who are generous, and those who have positive values (and I'm pretty sure we all aim to be that way).
Lately, this is something I've been striving to achieve. It starts with my morning routine — a few minutes of child's pose while thinking of five things I'm excited about for the day ahead — but this was not always the case. I used to be sort of a Negative Nancy — always focusing on the worst aspect of a situation instead of the good. And most of it was focused toward myself, not on those around me. My journey to becoming a more positive person began recently. After moving across the world to Sydney, Australia, from the US and spending a fair amount of time by myself, I realized that I wanted to be the person who people like, who people want to be around; the person who brightens a conversation, not the person who's stressed out all the time and always preoccupied with negative thoughts. Even though I moved to Australia for my career, the Nancy in me is going on a permanent vacation.
I wish I could say it's been an easy process, but appreciating the beauty and awe in the world around you is a conscious choice, and it's taken a new continent to help me understand that. In Sydney, you never know when you're going to see something so ridiculously cool that you can't help but stop and stare. I cannot count the number of times I've walked around the corner, only to be smacked in the face with a gorgeous view of the Sydney Opera House. It's a massive structure that continuously makes your mind go, "Is that really real?" The more this happened, the more it finally made me realize that I needed to stop and see the beauty in my daily life. After my first week in Sydney, I made a pact with myself to never get used to the view, to appreciate it every day.
After that moment of clarity, my time and my days in Australia only got better. There are a few things you can't not do when you visit Sydney. Climbing the Harbour Bridge is one of them. Generally, I'm not a fan of touristy things, but the view from the top of the bridge spans all the way to the ocean. As you climb the outside of a metal structure, 141 meters above the massive harbor, you feel so small in comparison to the rest of the world. Each skyscraper, monument, boat, and person looks like it's from a miniature dollhouse. Up there, I was reminded of the same emotions I had when looking at the Opera House: "This is awesome." That feeling is addictive in the best possible way. It makes you want to be happy, grateful, and aware of other things that can bring you that same euphoria.
But you don't have to travel across the world or be suspended 400 feet in the air to experience awe. Whether it's a local marathon that you're watching or a colorful flower box you see on your way to work, there are beautiful and incredible things around you every day that shouldn't go unnoticed. Pushing away the negative thoughts and appreciating the beauty around me took me a long time to get the hang of, and I refuse to let this new sense of confidence falter. I challenge you to do the same.
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- Drake's 5 Comebacks For Dealing With Rude People
- How Motherhood Changed My Definition of Success