Happiness is fleeting for most, especially when we wake up to see the headlines in the news and scenarios playing out on the global stage. But now, experts say there is one simple thing you can do to feel happier this week.
You can reduce the daily, mentally exhaustive grind by adding this one, simple, and brief task to your daily to-do list. According to Psychology Today, talking to old friends satisfies our “deepest emotional needs for connectedness. It’s not only that we feel more comfortable with them (which we do) but that they know how to make us feel good. At another level, old friends can also validate your sense of self. They accept you for who you are, flaws and all, and reinforce your own identity as a person who matters.”
So simply, pick up your smartphone, and instead of using it to get into arguments on social media, or talk to people you’ll never actually meet, use it to call an old buddy and catch up – without the digital screen as a distraction. Simply talking to another person, specifically, an old friend can boost your happiness for the entire week.
A strikingly low percentage (34%) of people actually use their smartphone for its original intent: making a phone call. More than likely, many of us believe we are “connecting” with old friends because we are “connected” via social media. We also believe we are “making” new friends because we can see them and interact on social media platforms. But often, there are no shared life experiences. Reading posts and seeing updates hardly ever satisfies a human’s need for “connectedness.” Moreover, using texts or instant messages that lack tone and sincerity only exasperate the disconnection. Instead, we need the “emotional” connection that only comes through real interaction with them.
So here is the challenge: This coming week, spend a mere 15 minutes each day to reach out to at least one old friend by phone. It could really boost your happiness, according to psychologists. The trick though is to actually use the phone function and call them.
Do not send a text message. Do not send a Facebook message. Do not send a Snap. Do not use any other social media platform. Use the phone function on your smartphone to dial the number of your friend and let it ring. Plan on spending 15 minutes to have a very informal chat. Tell your friend you were thinking of them because of something that reminded you of them. You don’t need to spend hours on the phone with them. Just the sound of each other’s voice will provide tremendous gratification to both of you boosting your happiness for the week.
The sound of an old friend’s voice, the rehashing of a great story, hearing about new achievements, and other things all will bring you comfort and joy if you allow yourself the time to disconnect, focus, and really connect by phone. If nothing else, it will give you perspective and remind you of the things that are really important in your life.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.