While there are certainly external factors and situations beyond our control that affect how we feel, we are still in charge of how we choose to react and feel about these situations. Here are just a few simple practices to help you score more happiness points.
1) Be content with what is.
Santosha. The practice of not having what we want but rather wanting what we have. This practice is a core yoga teaching and is echoed throughout many spiritual traditions. Simply, what is is amazing.
What if today you reminded yourself you have enough? That you are enough? Try it out and watch what happens...
2) Smile. Repeat.
This is one contagious practice that should spread! Whether we acknowledge it or not, our emotions spread. Being around an upbeat person can put us in a sweeter mood! In fact, psychological research often talks about how people subconsciously mirror one another’s body language when together. So why not be the catalyst?
Remember, what we do with our faces affects our brain. Want to feel happier?Put a little more grin into it! Bonus: Give someone a compliment!
3) Move, you sexy thing!
Exercise and movement is not only good for our heart, it’s good for our happiness levels too! Exercise boosts neurotransmitters in our mind and improves self-confidence. And, it doesn’t have to be a 90-minute yoga flow.
As little as 30 minutes of movement over the day yields happiness benefits. Groove your body and watch your mood improve!
4) Hug it out!
Touch and physical contact is powerful. In fact, research suggests that a 20-second hug can release the same bonding chemical (oxytocin) found in mother’s milk. Wow. And, it gets better. Scientists prescribe eight-hugs-per-day as a quick route to happiness! How sweet it is to be held.
Training ourselves to notice the good, and then appreciate it, has profound effects on our happiness and health. Gratitude works. It becomes a form of meditation where we learn to refocus the mind towards our experience of the present, rather than rumination or worry.
This has profound impact on our stress levels and overall happiness. And, it doesn’t cost a thing. Watch your ‘thank yous’ today. Aim to find at least three things every day to deeply appreciate. Before too long, not only will your relationships feel better, but you’ll feel better too!