Guest Post by Courtney Gordner, DEG Contributor
Have you ever met someone who just seems to be inherently happy all the time? It might appear as though he or she has a great life, but that’s really not necessarily the situation. You might be surprised to learn that you can be just as happy as your happiest friend by making a few small lifestyle changes. Happiness is a choice, and if you make these small lifestyle changes, you can make happiness a habit.
1. Practice Smiling on a Daily Basis
Smiling has a surprising number of physical and psychological benefits. If you’re having a bad day, try slapping a smile on your face and see what happens. When you smile, you’re telling other people you’re happy, even if you’re not.
Throughout the day, people will interact with you in a more positive manner since they perceive you as happy and warm. This will enable you to be in a happier mood since most of your daily interactions will be warm and friendly.
2. Stand Up Straight
It’s a proven fact that when you stand up straight, you’re more confident. If you’re slouching and slumping all the time, you’re not taking up a real “presence” in your daily interactions, which will put you in a rotten mood.
When you stand up straight, you’re lengthening your spine and allowing more airflow to pass through your body, which will allow you to take deeper breaths. Pull your shoulders back and you’ll see a real difference in your attitude within seconds.
3. Set Aside Five Minutes of “Appreciation Time” Every Day
Have you ever taken a minute to sit back and reflect on all the good that is happening in your life? If you haven’t, take some time to do this and meditate on your reflection. If you do this for five minutes a day, you’ll find yourself being feeling calmer, more optimistic and happier overall.
4. Learn a New Hobby
Learning a new hobby is a great way to make happiness a habit. When you learn, you’re stimulating parts of your brain that are instrumental in serotonin production and the release of endorphins. Some popular happiness-inducing hobbies include cooking, painting, building and crafting.
Some people even will go back to school to learn a new course of study such as businessadministration or art history. Regardless of what you chose to do, your hobby will keep you occupied and motivated, which are two crucial parts of being a happy person.
5. Allow Negative Thoughts
Too many people are used to repressing their negative thoughts on a regular basis. This, however, can prove to be extremely harmful to your overall sense of happiness and well-being. Humans are meant to feel a wide variety of emotions, and when you repress negative emotions, you’ll see that they’re manifested in different ways such as stress or physical pain.
Once you accept your negative thoughts, you’ll find that you’re able to let go of these thoughts and move on from them sooner than you would if you were to just hide them away.
6. Make a Point of Exercising
You’ve probably heard this before, but exercising is absolutely crucial to maintaining a sense of happiness on a daily basis. When you exercise, you’ll release endorphins, which will naturally boost your sense of happiness. The more you exercise, the more you’ll crave exercising, which means you’ll do it more.
If you often find that you feel “too busy” to exercise, try to work exercise into your daily routine. Want an arm workout and some cardio? Mowing the lawn is a great way to get both! Doing simple chores like this can not only make you more productive, but give you the exercise you need.
7. Reframe the Way You Think
A lot of unhappiness is derived from our thoughts and how we perceive certain events to be bad or unfortunate. One way of making happiness a habit is to reframe the way you think about certain events that are out of your control, such as hitting bad traffic on the way to work. Instead of thinking that your day is going to suck, you could choose to focus on the fact that you’ll get to finish your audiobook before walking in the office that day.
Perception is reality. If you start to see things in a more positive light, you’ll find that you’re living a more positive life overall.
If you take the time to implement even one of these steps in your life, you’ll see the difference in your happiness change almost instantly. Remember: happiness is a choice. If you choose to make happiness a habit, you’ll have to work at integrating these new lifestyle changes into your daily life. Once you do so, though, you may not be able to go back. After all, happiness is addictive!
Courtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist who loves to write. While she enjoys writing about a variety of topics, internet marketing and social media are her favorites. You can read more from her on her blog, Talk Viral or connect with her on Twitter, @CourtGordner, Pinterest and Google+.