Almost three years ago, I suffered from an injury after the London Marathon. I got excluded pretty much from every sport for a long time. It was too harsh for a guy who couldn’t imagine his life without new challenges and competition. 

It was then when I came across a great teacher of yoga ashtanga. I remember when he told me to practise every day, and I would be amazed by how my body and mind can change. For a rational guy like me, it sounded crazy, but I gave it a go. I know it was one of the best things that could have happened to me from today’s perspective.

I was reminded of that story over the weekend when I listened to a great podcast episode about happiness (The surprising truth about happiness)

Laurie Santos is a well-known psychology professor from Yale University – author of the hugely popular online course (Science of well-being). 

It turns out there are a few very simple things we can do to boost our happiness level.

Here are the main things she recommends:

  • Connect with others. Despite the perception that we stay more connected thanks to technology, we are actually losing a real touch with other humans (60% of college students in the US report being lonely). Research proves that real conversation makes us much happier. 
  • Reduce your phone consumption. It will improve not only your focus but also an overall sense of satisfaction. 
  • Help others. Do something nice to another person, donate money, get engage in charity. Research proves doing something for others, improve our well-being much more than treating yourself. 
  • Be more present. Meditation, conscious breathing, yoga or popular recently in Poland – ice swimming… whatever one prefers to come back to the present moment. 
  • Practise gratitude. Notice the positive things happening in your life (e.g. through journaling). 
  • Concentrate on things we can control and accept things which are beyond our control. 

Back in 2018, I couldn’t do anything about my injury. Yet, after accepting the situation, I could still make it work very well for me in the end.