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5 Positive Living Tips for a Happier You

Aug 27 2019

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Believe it or not, only 10 percent of overall happiness comes from a person’s circumstances, while up to 40 percent is determined by their attitude and actions! Though positive psychology is a relatively new field in the scientific world, it has already revealed several ways we can create more happy, fulfilling lives. Here are five insights and exercises you can try today.

1. Gratitude

Positive psychology research shows gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude means actively expressing appreciation and thankfulness. It not only inspires more positive emotions, but it is also shown to improve health, relationships and even make people live longer! Some ideas for practicing gratitude are:
  • Writing down three things you’re grateful for everyday
  • Verbally expressing appreciation to other people
  • Considering all the things that make a moment or experience possible. Something as simple as writing this blog required electricity, a computer assembled overseas, and information traveling through the internet in the blink of an eye (just to name a few things.) It’s pretty amazing when you think about what we have. 

2. Mindfulness and meditation 
   
The key ingredients of mindfulness are living in the moment and being non-judgemental of your thoughts. Taking ten minutes a day to just unplug and check in with yourself free of distraction (or, if you prefer, following guided mindfulness meditations which can easily be found on Youtube) can really make a positive impact in your mental health and sense of self. 

3. Invest in relationships

When it comes to our happiness, other people are crucial. A study conducted by positive psychology researchers Ed Diener and Martin Seligman found that the most important characteristic shared by the research subjects who were happy and showed the fewest signs of depression were "their strong ties to friends and family and commitment to spending time with them." If you put effort into building close relationships, you are well on your path to being a happier person

4. Listen to uplifting music

Music can be a powerful tool in increasing happiness. Researcher has found that positive music can even match the anxiety-reducing effects of massage therapy. Try to listen to a couple of feel good songs before you start your day and it may surprise you how your mood improves.

5. Monitor your thoughts 

According to positive psychology, we would do well to learn that not every thought we have is true or worth our time and energy. This is especially true of A.N.T.s, Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are negatively framed interpretations of what we think is happening to us, and they can influence mood, stress, anxiety, prevent personal growth. When you have a negative thought, be critical of it and ask yourself some simple questions. Is this thought true? Is there another explanation or another way of looking at things? What advice would I give someone else who had this thought? Don’t let your brain make things worse than they are.