WHAT HELPS YOU BE HAPPY?
It’s a myth that you are hardwired to be happy or not. Research now indicates that just isn’t the case – there’s evidence that you can learn to be happier by forming certain habits.
You can start taking steps to being happier today. There is no need to wait until all the perfect conditions are met. For example, having more money will not necessarily make you happier, and you do not need a high income or an amazing IQ to be happy. Nor do you have to be married or to have children. It’s an “inside job” that has more to do with how you react to things than to exactly what happens to you.
One of the best things you can do is to learn to notice things you are grateful for, and to express your gratitude. Some people find it useful to keep a gratitude journal. Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” instead of a habit of complaint can make a really positive difference to your mental health!
Learning to forgive and let go instead of holding grudges is not only good for your relationships, it’s good for your overall happiness.
Practice random acts of kindness, and you’ll not only spread happiness, you’ll feel happier yourself.
Make a point of savoring joyful events. Give your full attention when your grandchild smiles. Feel the warmth when someone holds your hand. Really taste the delicious meal, and take joy in the company. Be here now for the good times, and cherish the memories later.
Another finding from research into the science of happiness is that exercise makes a big difference. Exercising regularly helps set your body up to receive happiness, so to speak, by releasing anxiety and tension.
Good sleep matters at lot to your mental health. People who get good sleep have stronger immune systems and are generally happier.
Sex is generally good for your mental health too. We are meant to enjoy touch, and release “feel-good” hormones when we get it. Even hugs can help.
Also, listening to music can make us feel happier, by promoting the release of a neurotransmitter (dopamine) associated with feeling good.
If you’re not feeling happy now, remember to hold out the possibility of happiness for yourself. Moods can change for the better, especially when you encourage yourself by using some of the ideas I’ve outlined here. Working with a counsellor can make a big difference too, to help you explore and reshape your attitudes and to help you stay on track. Let happiness into your life today!