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How can you be happier right now? Happiness is a continuous state of quiet joy that exists in the moment from the inside out. It is not only a state of mind but a skill. It is what it means to love ourselves, love our day, love our lives. We often wonder what can we do to boost our happiness? Here are 8 ways to help you be happier even if things aren’t perfect right now.
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”~Unknown
- Learn How to Feel Better about Yourself – You wouldn’t practice doing the dishes to get better at math. And you wouldn’t learn another language to exercise more. To be happier, you’ll likely make more progress by focusing on the skills that are most closely linked to happiness. Some suggestions are imagining your best self, noting your positive qualities and/or identifying your strengths.
- Get more sleep – Sleep-deprived people generally remember more negative words than positive? As one of the most researched topics in the area of happiness, sleep is the perfect place to start. Your brain needs that time to rest and recharge.
- Take a Walk Outside – Whether it’s our own backyard, local park or a trip to the seaside, being in nature does something to us. It has been proven to lower stress levels and increase our general happiness. In fact, research has shown that just 20 minutes outside every day can boost your mood, expand your thinking and even improve your memory.
- Be Kind – A little kindness goes a long way. This could be as simple as sending a thank you note to someone who has been kind to you. Or perhaps, buying someone a cup of coffee. These random acts of kindness don’t have to cost much money; it may just be holding the door for someone who has their hands full, or you could volunteer.
- Meditate – Meditation can actually help to rewire your brain. Taking a few moments to intentionally breathe and relax can quiet overactive and stressful areas of your brain and thicken the areas responsible for joy and pleasure.
- Explore gratitude. Much has been said about gratitude but I’ve heard that you have to be a really smart person to be truly grateful. It is morally and intellectually demanding. It’s easy to focus on all of the work you have to do and all of the things you aren’t doing right. It takes real effort to focus on what’s going good.
- Journal – Every day, journal for five minutes about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours. Try to make it as detailed as you can. Since your brain is not very good at telling the difference between something that you’re visualizing and something that you’re experiencing, when you relive a positive experience by journaling about it, you get a positive double impact from that experience.
At the end of the day, happiness is about how you interpret what’s in front of you. How proud you are of the way you live your life. How willing you are to enjoy simple pleasures, even if things aren’t perfect.
By practicing some of the suggestions for ways to be happier now above, you are training your mind. When your mind thinks that lots of good things are happening to you, it has a tendency to start scanning your environment for the positive, instead of looking for the negative. Since we see what we look for, this means that you’ll begin to notice more of the good things that are going on around you. And when your attention is placed on the things that are going well in your life, you feel happier.
If you are like me and you learn best from doing, here is a cool happiness workbook that you can use to get you started in the right “happy” direction.
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