These days, everyone is dealing with stress in one form or another. Whether it is work-related or parenting concerns, the current political and social climate, these and many other factors can take its toll by dragging down one’s mood or overshadowing the good. It’s time to increase your bliss! All it takes is a bit of awareness, incorporating a few simple daily tasks and small changes in your surroundings to increase positivity and boost your happiness!
Start Each Day With a Smile
Smiling is commonly recognized as a universal sign of happiness, so why not do it often! Did you know that the mere act of smiling reduces blood pressure, lowers stress hormones, and boosts your mood? Not only is smiling contagious but according to a British study, the happiness level that a smile can bring to our brains is estimated as equivalent to that of having 2,000 bars of chocolate.
Connect With Others
As social creatures, it appears to be common sense that interacting with others would increase our sense of well being and lead to feeling happier, but scientific studies confirm this idea. When asked to document social interactions with connections of varying degrees of closeness, the study results showed that those people that interacted more had a stronger sense of belonging and happiness. From a quick visit to your neighborhood supermarket cashier or an intimate lunch with your sibling, any regular human interaction is sure to raise your level of joy, so get out and connect regularly.
Decorate Your Personal Space
Color has an enormous effect on mood and how individuals feel. Light and neutral colors are more soothing and bring about better vibes. Take a look at the colors that surround you in your work and personal spaces and make small changes to bring about more happy feelings. Decorative imagery can do wonders as well. With a few cheap canvas prints of your favorite photos from places you’ve visited or people you love, you can not only personalize your area but also evoke good memories and a sense of serenity.
Practice Gratitude and Reflect on Blessings
According to famed scientist and inventor, Nicola Tesla, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” The higher the vibration of our feelings, the closer we are to happiness. Gratitude is an emotion that naturally brings about happiness because it runs at a high vibrational frequency. Therefore, the more you count your blessings and practice being in a state of gratitude, you are raising your vibration.
Happiness and exercise are similar in two notable ways: both are independently associated with boosting the immune system, and with the release of endorphins. When endorphins are released, it results in feelings of happiness. Exercise also increases antibody production by as much as 300 percent, so in addition to being happier, getting a daily workout makes one healthier.
Taking a daily walk in the fresh air or visiting your gym can take up a small part of your day and prove immensely beneficial to keeping that smile on your face. Interestingly, bicycling is becoming more accessible with more bike sharing stations in Hoboken, NJ, and around major cities in the United States like New York and Jersey City as more and more people find pleasure in bike riding, even if they do not own one.
Studies have shown that meditation is a wonderful practice to increase feelings of happiness. According to Psychology Today, meditation has the power to reset your happiness set point, thus turning you into a more joyful person and literally rewiring major areas in your brain. This may in part be due to meditation’s similarities to what we traditionally perceive as being exercise, namely breath control, focus, and the tuning out of external stimuli. Just a few moments throughout the day of quiet meditation can make all the difference to your transformation to a happier person!