“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” (Marcus Aurelius)
Happiness begins with our thoughts. Here are six cognitive-based methods you can use to develop a happier outlook on everyday living:
1) Surround Yourself with Positive People
A great way to feel happier is to build relationships with people who are happy themselves and who will cherish you for your unique abilities and personality. When you are appreciated for being yourself, you can’t help but feel like smiling.
2) Never Underestimate the Power of Play
It is said that when we are little, we smile approximately 400 times per day. That is because we are encouraged to play and be creative! Allowing yourself time for favorite activities with friends and loved ones can go a long way in making you feel worthwhile and whole.
3) Live In The Present
The happiest people are grateful for the “now” of every moment. Try to live your day in a way that makes you appreciate the absolute present, without worrying too much about the past or the future. This is easier said than done, but this mindset can make a huge difference in your views on life!
4) Smile Until You Feel It
A smile does not always have to be the result of a perfect sense of happiness. Making yourself smile, even when your energy is low, can have you feeling noticeably better within a few minutes. And don’t worry about the “fakeness” of a forced smile; it is a proactive way to help yourself out of a negative mood.
5) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Happy people excel at letting the little things go. A common question you can ask yourself when worrying about something is, “Will this matter a year from now?” The brain plays tricks on us, so it is important to put worries in their proper perspective.
6) Act Instead of Thinking
Get up and do things instead of ruminating on “what-ifs” in life. The fact is that everything you experience is uncertain, and sitting in deep thought does very little to answer the questions and doubts that distract us from living healthy and happy lives. Get outside, get exercise and work towards your dreams instead of talking about them.
And while the mind plays the largest role in determining our happiness, we must also remember to treat our whole bodies with the same care that we give to our thoughts. If you want to feel your best, make sure you are getting enough sleep and nutrition in addition to examining the way you think!