It doesn’t take a whole new routine to instill a dose of happiness into your day—but it does take a little self-awareness.
1. Be grateful for the good & the bad.
Research shows grateful people are happy people. It’s also important to understand that happiness is not the absence of negative feelings. Gratitude is a focus on the present and appreciation for what we have now, rather than wanting more. Embracing gratitude, as a state of mind, can have a positive effect on all aspects of life including our happiness and overall satisfaction.
Up your mood by taking a moment daily to think of your world with gratitude. Start a gratitude journal or take a walk in nature paying attention to all the gifts around us. Think of a person that helps you on a daily or weekly basis – a spouse, parent, friend, pet, teacher, cleaner, or babysitter.
Quiz: How grateful are you? Take the Gratitude Quiz published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
2. Flex your creativity muscles.
Do you have a passion or hobby? It doesn’t have to be a formal activity, simply engaging in creative thinking can enhance well-being by enhancing cognitive flexibility and problem-solving abilities. A recent study out of New Zealand, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology explains that creative activities can trigger an “upward spiral” of well-being.
“Practicing an art — no matter how well or badly — is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” – Kurt Vonnegut.
Make some space in your day to create, even if it’s just for the sake of it. Try exploring unique textures or even natural and recycled materials to make something for your home or a friend. Looking for some tips on how to add more creativity to your daily life? Read this list of 101 creative habits to explore.
3. Get connected, Stay connected.
Being a part of something larger than yourself can help bring perspective as well as a sense of belonging. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that feeling like you belong and generally feel close to other people is a core psychological need; essential to feeling satisfied with your life. The pleasures of social life register in our brains much the same way physical pleasure does.
So take the time to nurture a friendship that is important to you. Make an extra effort to show you care, send a card, make a plan to have lunch, or give them a call and really listen to what they say. Smile and say hello to a stranger. Tell a story when someone asks how your day is going. Notice how you feel when you share something with someone new.
Struggling and need support? Join a support group and talk to others that can relate. Find your tribe: support.therapytribe.com – a free online support community brought to you by TherapyTribe.
Tip: Check out the wellness tracker. It’s a simple but powerful tool designed to help you remember the promises you make to yourself. As you complete wellness activities your tree will blossom, and so will you!