Hand drawing unhappy and happy smileys on blackboard

1) Count Your Blessings Daily: Adopting an “Attitude of Gratitude” creates the “Habit of Happiness”. Make a list of all the wonderful things you appreciate. Having trouble? Make a list of all the things you’d miss if they were gone, starting with being alive and having your health (and even if you’ve problems, they could always be worse so for that be grateful). Practicing gratitude and being positive doesn’t make problems go away but it does give you a much more effective frame of mind in which to deal with them. Surrounding yourself with visual reminders (photos, mementos) of good times/close friends, whatever brings forth a positive association, can help.

2) MOVE: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Enough said? Physical vitality gives you the energy you need to live a full, happy life.

3) Get Outside: A change of scenery is a frequent mood booster as is spending time in nature.

4) Practice Optimism: Train yourself to become an optimist. Your world view is more malleable than you might think. While it may be challenging to control the thoughts that come to mind, you certainly have the power to control the thoughts that STAY in your mind. Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman, a pioneer in positive psychology, contains excellent techniques for focusing your thoughts in ways that serve you best and guide you toward the life you want.

5) Utilize Body Language: Often emotions follow actions. Smile and you will feel better. Keep your head up and your shoulders back. One study showed long-stride, arm swinging walkers felt happier than those who shuffled and stared at their feet.

6) Boost Human Contact/Relationships/Touch: We all need the human touch and a wide network of supportive social relationships is linked to both happiness and long life. Invest in those who call out the best in you, who challenge you to be your best. Be sure to return the favor and do the same for them. Massages and cuddling your pet also help as does reaching out to help others, giving back, and mentoring. When you help someone else solve their problems, you tend to forget yours!

Closing Quotes:

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abe Lincoln

“When you feel worried and depressed, consciously form a smile on your face and act upbeat until the happy feeling becomes genuine.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier