Centre for Confidence and Well-being

Skip to content

Have a Beautiful Day

Professor Martin Seligman, in his book 'Authentic Happiness', describes methods that we can employ to increase momentary happiness in our lives.

Set aside a free day this month to indulge in your favourite pleasures. Pamper yourself. Design, in writing, what you will do from hour to hour. Use as many of the techniques below as you can. Do not let the bustle of life interfere, and carry out the plan.

Three concepts that can help you increasing the amount of momentary happiness in your life are: habituation, savouring and mindfulness.
Habituation - rapidly repeated indulgence in the same pleasure does not work, so how you spread pleasures out in your life is crucial. You should inject into your life as many events that produce please as you can, but spread them out, letting more time elapse between them than you normally do. Try to find the optimal spacing that keeps habituation of your pleasures at bay. Surprise, as well as spacing keeps pleasures from habituating. It is worth five minutes each day to create a pleasing little surprise for your spouse, your children, or a colleague. Such acts are reciprocally contagious. 

Savouring is the awareness of pleasure and the deliberate conscious attention to the experience of pleasure. Five techniques that promote savouring:

1) Sharing with others - tell others how much you value the moment
2) Memory building - take mental photographs or a physical souvenir of the event
3) Self-congratulation - don't be afraid of pride
4) Sharpening perceptions - focusing on certain elements and blocking out others
5) Absorption - let yourself get totally immersed and try not to think
Mindfulness is the principle of shifting perspective to make a stale situation fresh. Meditation can help slow down the mind which can help give mindful attention to the present.

Centre Events Previous Centre Events External Events Carol's Talks