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What if becoming truly happy is simpler than you think?
Let’s face it – we’re all chasing happiness in some way or another. We spend our lives trying to minimize our discomforts while investing in what makes us smile. In fact, even animals are instinctively driven away from pain and toward enjoyment.
We all want to be happy, but we don’t all know how to get there.
But that’s where some simple daily steps can help.
Did you know that self-rewarding behaviors will increase your odds of feeling fully happy? Or better yet, have you heard that there are tips and tricks to using your brain’s pleasure-producing chemicals for you instead of against you?
Reach your full potential for happiness (and take control of your life!) with these 10 easy ideas:
1.Listen to music.
Nothing influences your emotions like hearing your favorite song on Spotify. Music really does affect us like nothing can! That’s why it’s so beneficial for us to set aside just a few minutes each day to listen to songs that boost our mood.
2. Cultivate gratitude.
What good things do you have right now? Things that might come to mind are food to eat, a friend or two, or a warm place to sleep. But really, most of us have so much more. Think of the cup of coffee you sipped when you woke up this morning, or the way the clouds rolled in to water the grass last night. Remind yourself of the good things you experience around you, both big and small, instead of focusing on the things you lack.
3. Get outside.
Whether it’s pulling weeds, taking a walk, or lying in the sun, your spirit needs fresh air in order to thrive. Letting your mind and body soak in the serenity of nature can do wonders for your outlook on life.
4. Manage your mind-chatter.
Because your thoughts lead your emotions, stressful thoughts can cause you to feel stressed. So, use your inner dialogue to your advantage! Dwelling on things that make you happy will lead to deeper happiness. What are your happiest memories? Who do you love most? What made you laugh this week?
5. Make progress.
Research has shown that humans draw happiness from making progress toward goals. As a result, one of the most powerful ways to “trick” your brain into being happier is to work toward something you want to accomplish. This can mean running an extra mile, learning a new word in Spanish, putting a few pieces into a puzzle, or learning a new scale on the piano. Even small steps toward a goal will trigger feelings of satisfaction.
6. Spend time with others.
Back in the day, it was hard to find time to spend by yourself, but we’re more isolated these days. We chat with people online, text, and spend a lot of time alone. It’s important to have a meaningful face-to-face conversation once in a while.
7. Forgive quickly.
It’s hard to be happy when you’re holding a grudge. Forgiveness gives you the opportunity to let go of what’s hurting you and to hold tight to what’s helping you. However, forgiveness isn’t always synonymous with giving someone a second chance. Protecting yourself from further hurt is a way to protect your happiness, too.
8. Embrace optimism.
This means having a hopeful, yet reasonable outlook on life – not a “just be happy” attitude when the going gets tough. Studies have shown that an optimistic perspective produces a more consistently happy mood than a pessimistic perspective. We choose to view events either in a positive or a negative light, and the way we see reality impacts our daily joy.
Here’s the thing – sitting in a chair all day can be absolutely detrimental for your mood. Our bodies were made to move! If you’ve been sedentary for most of the day, take the opportunity to go for a walk or bike ride. A little exercise can go a long way to change how you feel for the better.
In today’s day and age, this happiness tip is easily the most difficult and the most rewarding. In the midst of your busy schedule, take the time to relax at least once each day. Therapeutic relaxation can include taking deep breaths, doing yoga, taking a nap, meditating, spending time outdoors, or doing something you enjoy. Stress is a major obstacle to happiness, so relaxation makes happiness more accessible and achievable.
All in all, you don’t need a million dollars, a yacht, or even a full-time housekeeper to be happy. By putting a few simple habits into practice, you can be happy right where you are – every day.
What will you do today to enhance your happiness? Comment below!