Have you ever been around someone that was truly positive, that seemed to make the best out of everything? They have that "it" factor that can't be faked. Others want to be around them because of the happy energy that they give off. How do they do this? It actually isn't very complicated, but ingraining the habits that lead to happiness takes time and effort. Here are a few tools to train your mind to be happier each day:
Look at the big picture
You can experience happiness more easily when they do not let small things ruin your day. Have you ever had small events throw you off like a traffic jam making you late, the barista getting your coffee order wrong, or someone at work making an snide comment? Take a deep breath, take a step back and see the big picture. Try to experience gratitude. Sure, traffic is making you late to the office and that stinks, but somewhere someone just got into a bad accident on the way to work. Someone out there can't afford that cup of coffee that wasn't made correctly. Taking a look at the big picture will help you keep things in perspective and improve your mood.
Savor victories, even the small ones
When you savor what you did right and don’t beat yourself up for what you did wrong, you will find a much deeper place of contentment. Your mind can always find something to criticize. Be careful - what you look for your mind will find. Lets say for example you gave a presentation at work or school. Your default might be to ask yourself what went wrong. What if instead you asked yourself what went right and what you learned so you can improve? It is okay to do a little constructive criticism, but make sure you acknowledge the positives.
Turn problems into opportunities
Happiness and fulfillment come to those that make the best out of the worst situations. Have you met someone that seems to find the silver lining in just about anything? Every problem can definitely seem like a problem if you view it as such. However, if you look at the problem as a check in with where you’re at and what you need to learn to do better next time, it is not a mistake- it is simply a stepping stone to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to make “mistakes” and learn from them.
Pursue meaningful goals
People that live a fulfilling life that they enjoy have connected with their purpose in life. From there, they are able to pursue goals that fulfill themselves. It is extremely important to ground yourself in what makes you feel alive and what sets your soul on fire. Just getting through the day and waking up to do it all over again is not how life it has to be. Make a goal and then make a plan. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Surround yourself with positive people
Ever heard the saying “you are the summation of your 5 closest friends” or “you become your environment”? It is true! When you are around the same people frequently, you tend to adopt how they think, how they treat people, what they strive for, and other behaviors. Even if you do not know it’s happening, this is occurring subconsciously. Be very intentional with those you hold close and pay attention to how they make you feel and how they support you. Entertain the idea of telling your friends your craziest dreams and passions and imagine how they react. Will they support you? Will they joke about it? Will they shut the idea down? Will they be excited as you are and ask how they can help? Replacing toxic people with positive ones with in turn make you a more positive person.
Yes, yes we have all heard this one, but it really is true! Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that essentially give you a natural high. In addition, exercise helps you release toxins that could be dampening your mood, improves circulation to bring more nutrients to your brain and gut: the two brains of the body that house the feel good hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, and it increases oxygen to your brain that helps you think more clearly and elevates mood. You don't have to go out there and run a marathon every day (thank goodness). Do a physical activity you enjoy and even invite a friend to bond with them. Try hiking, walking, lifting, restorative yoga and Kundalini yoga.
Genuinely connect with others
Being present and connecting with the people right in front of us is essential for happiness in this busy modern day society. Technology has largely disconnected us from deep human relationships. Ask your best friend or a family member to coffee, phones shut off in the bag, and just focus on the conversation and each other. It is absolutely magical!
Studies have shown that those who enjoy their job the most- regardless of the job, are able to find "flow." What is flow you ask? It is a state of consciousness when you are not thinking about anything else and you are completely present and invested in what you’re doing. An example that people are more likely to relate to or understand is athletes. Whether you played a sport or watched sports on TV, during an important time during the event you will notice they are 100% concentrated and in the moment: nothing else matters. That is true flow. Try to limit distractions and focus on what you are doing in the moment.
It is perfectly fine if some of these tips do not resonate with you(if they all do then great) but give them a shot! Even if you want to start with one, one of these practiced consistently is much more powerful then trying a few only sometimes. Really hone in on what you want to accomplish and how you want to live your life and these tools will make it happen. It is okay to slip back into your old way of thinking sometimes. These practices don't become habit overnight. Remember that each new interaction and each new day is another opportunity to start fresh and improve yourself as a person.