Are you happy? The question seems simple enough. But if you really take the time to assess your level of happiness, you may find yourself unbalanced and wondering exactly how to fix it.
The truth is that a happier life means a lot to different people. According to the 2016 Harris Survey of American Happiness, only a third of Americans reported being truly happy. Also, a General Social Survey identifies what’s called “happiness inequality” in the United States, meaning that levels of happiness in our country differ based on race, gender, and economic conditions.
While we all want to be more positive, few of us know how to bring more joy into our lives while letting go of our negative thoughts. Fortunately, if you follow these tips on how to be happy. In addition, you’ll discover that life satisfaction may be more within reach than you think.
It’s a good idea to pay it forward.
Being kind to people as well as being generous to others stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain, which are responsible for the release of endorphins. This is what’s commonly called ” the helper’s high,” according to researchers from the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) located at the University of California, Berkeley.
“I know life already feels too hectic, so the idea of adding more to your plate seems ridiculous,” says mental health expert Kryss Shane MS LMSW. “However, sometimes doing for others can bring a sense of peace and a new perspective to your own life.”
Shane suggests you use something you’re skilled at to assist. If you’re a baker take cookies for the staff at a local hospital. If you love shopping Find an organization that takes toys, winter coats, or other things for those living in your area who are unable to pay for these items. Maybe you’re a pro at giving tips. Visit the local high school and propose to coach an academic team or a sports team. “By combining what you love to do and focusing on those in need, you get to see how your talents can bring happiness to others.”
Recite affirmations to combat negative emotions.
“Affirmations are statements or propositions that declare true,” explains author Shawngela Pierce, who studies naturopathic medicine.
On how they can make you happy, published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Journal. In that journal, scientists looked at what happens in the brain when people practice self-affirmation and assessment.
Bring nature into your home.
Your mind isn’t all that needs a happiness makeover. Brightening up your home and incorporating more natural elements, such as plants, wood, organic soy candles, or wallpaper covered with scenes of nature, can be the key to greater health and happiness. Or, you know, you could tune into Queen Marie Kondo’s cleaning show on Netflix to freshen up your house.
Read a book
As if you needed another excuse to stick your nose in a good book. In a study, researchers concluded that reading six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 68 percent.
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