Being happy is good for your health. Of course, a state of happiness isn’t always too easy to find. To this end, here are some great ways that researchers have proven people can use to alter their mindset and emotional state.
1. Each evening, think of three good things that happened to you during the day. Think of why they happened. Turn them over in your mind. We do this all the time to negative events, and it creates chronic anxiety and worry. What would the difference be if we did it for positive events? An inability to stop smiling? You don’t have to limit yourself to three good things; concentrate on as many as you want. Let your mind soak in the good memories.
2. Work with a psychologist or doctor on a questionnaire to figure out what your personal strengths are. Select your five greatest qualities. Every day for a week, take each strength and apply it in a new way to your life. If you are curious or love learning, for instance, apply it in a new way. The exercise is meant to help people use their major strengths in a way that gets them involved in satisfying activities. This has proven to be beneficial and takes a bit more imagination than number one. It’s a challenge we can all easily rise to if we take the time.
3. Don’t just enjoy the great things in life, those things that are just thoroughly enjoyable, but actually savor them. The stream of hot water from the showerhead on your skin. A moist bite of carrot cake. A swim. A chapter of a book that was truly amazing. Savoring these things will instill positive thoughts and memories in you.
4. Take a pad and paper and write down what you want to be remembered for. What’s most important — what kind of person do you want people to remember? Experts think this can help you bring your daily activities into line. Where should the importance lie? Here is where you can spend the most energy and concentration.
5. Experimental: this one is still being conceived, but what if you tried to do random acts of kindness for strangers. Even friends? For two months, what if you got in the routine of holding doors open, helping someone pick up things they dropped, this kind of thing? Or wash dishes you never used? This behavior could improve your self-image and lead to positive interaction with people, which will in turn rub off on you.
What works for one person may not work for the next. With happiness at stake and, as a result, the strength of your immune system, perhaps trying these types of things is worth it.