Tips for Developing a Happy Outlook
Happiness is about making progress- not necessarily a simple goal. Happiness typically means that we find satisfaction, a sense of joy, a sense of a meaningful life, and contentment- despite all of the problems that come our way. No one is elated all the time, but there are some that seem to be more fulfilled and are more fortunate than some others.
However, studies reveal that true happiness has little to do with having lost of things or being comfortable- so, what does this mean- what is happiness and how can we achieve it?
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Following, you will find some tips on how to develop a happy outlook in life.
Change Your Thoughts
Experts have found that people naturally remember negative experiences, but often quickly forget the positive ones. However, thanks to what we know as neuroplasticity, we actually have the ability to change the way our brains function. You really can train yourself to be happy by seeking work that is self-actualizing and doing things that you consider to be fun.
You can also learn and practice mindfulness. This means that you actively occupy your mind with positivity. Work on your goals, hum a tune, pursue a hobby to create a happy effect on your body and mind. Focus on the present without judging what is going on or yourself. This will help you learn to be more compassionate to yourself and others.
Appreciate the Small Things
Learn to focus on the small stuff by taking a photo, writing in a journal, making a short video, or making a social media entry. Take notice of a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Pay attention to the rainbow after a storm or the butterfly gliding across the bed of roses. This will help to activate the “happy” centers in your brain because you are acknowledging the beauty of the little moments and making them memorable.
Focus on the Positive in Everything
You’ve probably heard that you get what you look for- this is definitely true. Therefore, you need to make it a habit to look for the positive in everything that happens. This is great for your overall happiness, your physical health, and your immune system.
If you do have a bad experience, consider it a learning experience. Sure, it can be quite tempting to allow those experiences to bring us down and sometimes we may not be able to immediately find something good about a situation/experience. In these cases, it’s critical that we think about them as something to learn from for the future.
Always Be Optimistic
Have you ever considered why winning the lottery really doesn’t make people happy? Scientists in the 1970s followed people who won the lottery and the results were that one year after they were no happier than those who had not.
This is referred to as hedonic adaptation, which indicates that we have a “baseline” of happiness that we return to- no matter what happens in our lives. There are some of us that have a higher baseline than others- which is partly due to genetics and partly due to how we think.
Positive, optimistic thinking is a piece of our overall satisfaction with life and can make our relationships- both work and personal- much better. Of course, optimism is much more than just having positive expectations. It’s a way to interpret things that happen to us in a positive light.
On the other hand, pessimism explains the world in internal, unchangeable, negative terms. When you have an optimistic outlook, you believe that anything is possible.
Always Actively Practice Gratitude
Tons of research has proven that gratitude is good for you- it helps to decrease occurrences of depression and anxiety and helps you to be more positive. In addition, practicing gratitude has been proven to increase happiness.
There are some of us that are better at naturally being thankful about what happens to us and what we have. However, even if you’re not a “natural” when it comes to gratitude, you can train yourself to be grateful.
You must first avoid looking at things and people as if you “deserve” something. Of course, you should never put up with being disrespected or mistreated- but you should try to take things as they are without feeling like you’re entitled.
Be sure to share your gratitude with those around you. Saying thank you- even briefly- can give someone else a sense that you appreciate them. Plus, when you share your gratitude, you remind yourself what you are thankful for.
Of course, practicing these are no guarantee that you’ll always be happy and have a life filled with sunshine and rainbows. However, it can definitely make things better for you. When you change your attitude, you can change your life. Try it- you’ll be surprised at what happens!