We know happiness can predict health and longevity, and happiness scales can be used to measure social progress and the success of public policies. But happiness isn’t something that just happens to you automatically. Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships. You can be an absolute expert within the field of finding happiness and still need a little help yourself.
Here are some of their go-to moves when you need to feel happy –
– Conquer Negative Thinking
All humans have a tendency to be a bit more like Eeyore than Tigger, to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It’s an evolutionary adaptation — over-learning from the dangerous or hurtful situations we encounter through life (bullying, trauma, betrayal) helps us avoid them in the future and react quickly in a crisis.
-Do some deep breathing
Taking a few large breaths can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, a part of your overall nervous system that’s responsible for lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Taking a few deep breaths is also a way to get out of the head and into the body. A deep-breathing exercise can be a small, easy way to slow down and change “how we think and feel.
-Don’t try to stop negative thoughts
Telling yourself “I have to stop thinking about this,” only makes you think about it more. Instead, own your worries. When you are in a negative cycle, acknowledge it.
-Let yourself feel bad
It might be tempting to squash your terrible mood by suppressing that negativity, but you’re actually not doing yourself any favors. Let themselves feel whatever emotions that pop up.
– Challenge your negative thoughts
Socratic questioning is the process of challenging and changing irrational thoughts. Studies show that this method can reduce depression symptoms. The goal is to get you from a negative mindset (“I’m a failure.”) to a more positive one (“I’ve had a lot of success in my career.
-Writing about oneself and personal experiences — and then rewriting your story — can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. (We already know that expressive writing can improve mood disorders and help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, among other health benefits.)
-Take a hike
Maybe not literally, but at the very least get outdoors. Each expert said they rely heavily on this activity as a way to improve mood.