Optimism is more than an attitude, it’s a state of mind. While it’s difficult to evade pessimism every now and then, the real challenge is to find the silver lining when the going gets tough. With 2014 now here, however, it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and make small changes to help practice positivity. There are ways in which you can learn to be a happier person overall, which lead to a healthier, more fulfilled life.
Ring in the New Year with a fresh slate: While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, it does help to think of Jan. 1 as a clean page to write on. This is only page one of 365. Vow to be happier now to help integrate optimism as a natural, patterned part of your life. Fun fact: 49% of Americans believe their fortunes will improve in 2014. You can be one of them by turning your negative thoughts into positive ones.
Find one thing to be happy about each day: Whether it’s something as simple as delight in eating your favorite meal for lunch, or something larger scale, such as earning an A in a difficult class, revel in how joy feels. Bliss will come you when you discover and highlight the parts of life that bring a smile to your face.
Meditate, exercise, eat healthy, and soak up Vitamin D: We all know it’s important to take care of ourselves. Yet, what is the correlation between healthy living and happiness? Fifteen minutes per day of sunlight or Vitamin D supplements prove to offer people healthy light therapy. Additionally, a healthy diet and regular exercise expose us to a clarified lens, which upholds a positive demeanor. By relieving stress and feeding your body healthy nutrients, you will feel happier in no time!
Linger on the positive moments: According to neuropsychologist and author, Rick Hanson, our brains are wired to detect negativity. He explains how our brains absorb negative experiences rather than positive ones. Thus, brains react more forcefully to pessimism compared to optimism. For this reason people generally form stronger bad memories, rather than good ones.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can all learn from this medical news by lingering on the positive moments we do experience. Rather than allowing our brain to register and absorb pessimism, we can combat negativity by surrounding ourselves with positivity and lingering on these moments as much as possible.
Reset your happiness set-point: Research shows we all have a happiness “set-point.” This refers to our level of well-being, dependent upon our genetics, coupled with the personality traits ingrained in us early in life. While it sounds as though our set-point is a predetermined state of mind, think again. Set-points can be reset.
Psychology Today proves that the most well-known and efficient way of resetting your happiness set-point is by unleashing compassion for others. Altruism causes an increase in happiness because we are creating value for others. Volunteering, being a mentor, or working in the service sector are just a few ways to help others, which has been proven to increase happiness in you, too.
Twenty-somethings, happiness is a state of mind. Make it yours by forming some of these happy habits in the new year!