Who is the happiest person you know? Who’s that one person in your life, be it a colleague at work, a longtime friend or family member? The person who always seems to be wearing a smile and radiating positivity whenever you see them?
Now answer this: Do you envy that person or are you annoyed by them?
We may not all go through life thinking everything is sunshine and rainbows, but there are ways to turn a sour mood into a positive outlook without much effort. And since happiness is scientifically proven to help us feel better and live longer, anything that improves your mood and brightens your day is worth doing. Here are some simple tricks to try:
Simplify Your Life
Feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list or the slog of everyday life can easily darken your mood, but you don’t have to let it. Whenever you feel like you have too much on your plate and there aren’t enough hours in the day, take a break to enjoy life. It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day stresses and obligations that we sometimes forget to take in our surroundings and do something we love. Make sure to go for a short walk outside, get in a workout at the gym, cook dinner with your spouse or simply turn your brain off for 15 minutes of quiet time. You’ll be surprised how quickly your spirits will be lifted.
Train Your Thoughts
We’re oftentimes our own biggest critics. A constant dialogue of negative thoughts running through your head can make achieving happiness seem impossible at times. But it doesn’t have to. By developing great self-awareness of what clouds your mind, you can take control of your inner dialogue. Then create a more positive attitude from the ground up. Practicing positive mindfulness can help not only quiet those bad thoughts, but also boost your self-confidence. In all, it will help improve your mood in the process.
Smile More Often
It may seem simple, but a smile doesn’t just send a message of happiness to the person you’re looking at. Even if you’re feeling down, a smile will release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, all of which promote inner happiness. A smile doesn’t cost you anything, but it’s incredibly valuable.
Foster Your Relationships
As human beings, we need other people to not only survive but to thrive. We are our happiest when we’re surrounded by loved ones and interacting with people we care about. It’s critical to make time to build and sustain strong, meaningful relationships with the people we love. This is so that we can, in turn, feel loved and happy.
Laughter Truly is the Best Medicine
Finding the funny side of a difficult situation can be incredibly hard sometimes, but doing so will pay huge dividends to your outlook. Research shows that humor enhances pleasure and positive emotions in life decrease social anxiety and trigger positive social communication, all of which equates to you being in a better mood and more equipped to tackle whatever obstacles stand in your way.
Stay in Motion
The human body isn’t designed to sit at a desk all day. Staying in one position for too long is not only physically taxing, but mentally as well. Your body affects your mind more than you think and if it’s feeling sluggish or lethargic, it’s difficult for your mind to feel anything else. That’s why moving throughout the day, even if it’s something as simple as getting up to stretch or walk around the office, and devoting time to exercise greatly influences your happiness.
“Happiness is a choice, my choice” – Donna Hague, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group (HVVMG) offers its members award-winning coordinated care with a speedy referral system. HVVMG has 45 primary care physicians. They also have a panel of two hundred medical specialists across Southern California’s High Desert, as well as the mountain communities. HVVMG is dedicated to a spirit of excellence and has a locally based members service team. HVVMG is part of the Heritage Provider Network.