Did you know that when we’re happy, it turns on all the learning centers in the brain? Science shows that our energy rises, our intelligence rises, and we become up to three times more creative and even 31% more productive!
Nurturing positivity in our daily lives not only feels good but also improves our relationships, our work, our health, and even our parenting.
How We Used To View Happiness.
For decades, most of us have believed that happiness is the reward we get for doing our best. For example, if I work hard at my job, then I’ll be successful, and then I’ll be happy. Or, if I work hard at being a good parent, or work hard at our marriage, then I’ll be successful, and at the end of the day, I’ll finally be happy.
Well, the new research in positive psychology shows that it works the other way around! We become more successful, more patient parents, or kinder in our relationship when we are happier and more positive – first.
In other words, happiness and positivity fuel all the other outcomes in our lives. We become more accomplished, we’re more pleasant to be around, and we even appear to be more attractive when we are happier!
Here are four simple steps you can try to boost your positivity.
First: Smile More!
Start living the 10:5 rule. This means that when you’re within ten feet of another person, smile, and then when you’re within five feet, say hello!
Simple, right? But it really works!
Smiling stirs up a chemical reaction in our brains that boosts our mood, reduces stress, helps our immune system, and even lowers our heart rate.
And get this, even a pretend smile can trick our brains into thinking we’re happy, so you get some of the health benefits. Crazy, right?
Plus, smiling is contagious, so remember, smile more throughout your day and especially when you’re with other people.
Second: Use Journaling to Recognize and Review the Good in Your Life.
Studies have shown that happiness can increase by thinking about and jotting down at least one positive experience in the last 24 hours. Others have shown that writing down three specific and different things you are grateful for each day boosts gratitude and happiness.
When we do this consistently, we are literally rewiring our brains to notice more positives in our world, and when we jot it down, it allows our brain to remember it and relive it.
The principle is this: We remember what we review and rehearse. So go ahead and try rehearsing the good stuff that happens in your mind, then cement it in your brain by writing it down. And a bonus outcome? Studies show it can lower levels of pessimism and worry! So write it down to change the frown.
Third: Take Care of Your Body.
This probably won’t surprise you, but our exercise, diet, and sleep patterns can make a huge difference in our well-being. Making a few tweaks in these habits can boost our happiness, our patience, our energy, and our attitude!
We all know we need to do it more. But did you know when we exercise, it basically teaches our brain that our behavior matters – and it releases all kinds of positive neurochemicals that can decrease anxiety and stress by up to 20%? Both huge factors in our ability to practice positivity!
And, of course, you know what it’s like to get inadequate sleep at night. If we don’t get enough or it’s poor quality sleep, it can make us irritable the next day, and this gets even worse when we fail to eat healthy foods.
Want to boost your mood and attitude and become a happier parent and partner? As crazy as it sounds, start with a good night’s sleep, twenty minutes of movement, and more fruits and veggies.
Fourth: Start Your Day in a Positive Way.
We live in a society where we’re bombarded with negative news. Studies are showing this is taking a harmful toll on our minds and moods. In one study, watching just three minutes of negative news in the morning led to a 27% increased chance of people having a bad day.
The principle? The positive or negative mindset we adopt first thing in the morning sticks with us all day.
So instead of the mindless social media scroll, try starting your day with exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, prayer, a gratitude journal, a positive quote, or other helpful habits.
When we try to make too many changes at once, they can be overwhelming and less likely to stick. So, there’s no need to try to tackle all of these habits at once!
Instead, use the law of little things to your advantage. Choose one of these habits to get the ball of positivity rolling! As you do, you’ll accumulate small wins that boost your mood and spill over into your parenting and other relationships.
As a bonus, the other habits will then come that much easier.
Whether it’s smiling, journaling, changing up your morning routine, or tweaking your diet, exercise, or sleep patterns, give one happiness hack a shot! Start with three days, then go to seven days and you’ll feel a difference.
After a few weeks, you’ll be hooked—and feel more positive!
Want More Help?
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