Although there are many things in our lives that we have no control over, being happy is not one of them! “We’re not slaves to our genes, and we don’t have to wait for someone else to do something good to make us feel better.” Sonia Lyubomirsky, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, theorizes that 50% of our happiness is determined by genetics and only 10% by major life circumstances
That means an impressive 40% is generated by our daily thoughts and actions. With numbers like that it is certainly worth considering the following methods to “get happy”.
1. Be Curious. Inquisitive people are more likely to derive pleasure and meaning from any given day, according to a study published in Motivation and Emotion.
2. Think Fast. Since depression is characterized by slow thinking, it only stands to reason that speeding up the activity of your brain could give you a mood boost. In a study published in Psychological Science, when subjects read statements quickly they felt happier, more energetic and more creative afterward.
3. Give Thanks. Expressing gratitude has been shown in numerous studies to improve your mood. Try starting your day each morning by reflecting on all the things you’re grateful for.
4. Change Your Mental Tape. Often we develop negative thoughts about ourselves. Stop and think a minute about that thought and how you can turn it into a more positive thought. Exp: (Old thought) “I’m a slob.” To (New thought) “My house is cluttered, but pretty clean.”
5. Don’t Dwell. Rehashing things from the past or worrying about thefuture-worsens and lengthens periods of depression and can make a bad mood more intense.
6. Talk to Strangers. Interacting with a stranger is a sure way to improve your mood. “It’s a strong social norm to be cheerful around someone we don’t know, to make a good first impression. And when we act cheerful, we begin to feel that way,” says Dunn, who conducted a study with couples in which she found that people rated their moods much higher than they’d expected after interacting with a stranger, as compared to with their partner.”
7. Do A Good Thing. “If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” preaches the Dalai Lama. A study at UC Riverside, also conducted a study and determined that gestures as small as doing your roommate’s dishes or buying a friend dinner can enhance your mood.
8. Shift Your Social Network. Watch out for Debbie Downer, because her negativity can be contagious. (it’s called “emotional contagion”).“You’re unfortunately stuck with some people, such as an annoying boss or family member- but you can adjust the mix in other areas of your life so you’re around those who boost your mood more,” says Christine Padesky, clinical psychologist at.
9. Work It. It’s no secret that exercising and eating well can make us feel better- what’s new is proof that it doesn’t take much. “A brisk five-to-ten-minute walk is all you need to get a mood benefit. No sweat required,” says Robert Thayer, professor of psychology at California State University Long Beach. Experts say there are a host of factors at play, including unleashing of the feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain; psychologically, it allows for a break from the stress in your life.
10. Drink Up. It’s very simple, dehydration makes you lethargic, and Water restores energy levels. We’re typically most dehydrated when we wake up, so two eight-ounce glasses of water in the morning is a great answer to morning gloom.
11. Create a Greenhouse Effect. If you foresee a stressful period in your life, buy your self some flowers to boost your spirit.
12. Add Background Music. “Music can affect the pleasure center of your brain,” says neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, a professor at McGill University. And the positive effect can last even after the music is over as long as it’s something you enjoy.
With all these “happy solutions” there is no excuse to be down in the dumps! So, GET HAPPY!!
To Your Happiness,
Please share what you do to get happy. I would love to hear from you!
Megan Tull is an Entrepreneur Success Strategist, Transformational Leader in Business and Life, an Author and an International Speaker. Megan is CEO and Founder of Silverlining Concepts, LLC, a business coaching and consulting firm that specializes in innovative and transformational training and workshops for entrepreneurs, CEO’s and small business owners.
She has a new book called The Passion Belief Method- Own Your Value and Earn Your Worth in Business available on Amazon and your favorite book stores. For more info about Megan and her services visit –www.megantull.com for more info on her book and to receive a free sample chapter visit- www.passionbeliefmethod.com