Want an instant happiness hit? I’ve got your back.
Keep reading for my seven go-to (and proven) strategies for increasing your happiness levels.
Seven proven strategies for increasing your happiness
Become aware of your body language
Did you know that 55% of all communication is done through our body language? But it’s not just the outside world that is affected by how we carry ourselves, it turns out our brain also takes cues from our body language too. How we move and position ourselves directly impacts how we feel.
Next time you’re feeling upset or generally down, check what’s happening with your posture. Chances are you’re probably hunched over and moving in a way that matches your mood.
But what if next time you felt Debbie Downer creeping, you became aware of your posture, straightened up, took a deep breath, lifted your head and started carrying yourself like someone who is on top of the world? Well, you’d actually start influencing how you feel and then, get this, start feeling like someone who is on top of the world! Cool, huh?
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll be surprised how powerful it can be. Give it a try by picking someone you feel embodies the qualities you envision for your life, and the try to model their body language while you’re walking down the road, or even sitting down to do some work.
You may have heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. And while the scientific jury is still out on that one, there is one thing we know for sure: the emotional payoff for smiling is way more than that for frowning.
In fact, it’s been shown that smiling makes the body release small bursts of dopamine, regardless of whether we’re faking it or smiling genuinely.
Try it some time, especially when you’re feeling off. Allow yourself a smile and you’ll see how much faster you’ll turn the corner and find your way back to the positive side of things. Seems so obvious, yet look around on the street and you’ll generally see quite a shortage of smiles. Time we get involved and display more outer happiness to the world. Like attracts like.
Get your meditation on
It’s funny; our thoughts play such a huge role in our life. They’re always running, one after another, like a train that doesn’t have a station to stop in. And as a result, most people have so many thoughts, all the time, that they never actually realise that they’re separate from them. That they’re not their thoughts.
I believe that one of the first steps to mastering your mind is to realise that you HAVE a mind to master in the first place.
Once you realise that, and then understand that you can train and control your mind, the next question is: “How do I even begin to tame this beast!?”
The National Science Foundation estimate that, on average, we have up to 50,000 thoughts per day, so it’s natural if the idea of taming all of these thoughts can seem like a very daunting task.
Thankfully people already discovered the answer to this problem thousands of years ago, but interestingly enough the western world only started to catch on in the last 50 years.
Meditation is an ancient technique that can best be described as the ultimate mind hack for less stress and more happiness.
Realising you have too many thoughts, you can begin practicing this skill, which is essentially cultivating a state of conscious awareness where we witness our thoughts, but also choose not to engage in them.
Within a very short time you can control your inner state by resetting your emotions back to a calm and happy place daily. The answer to most modern mental ailments is already here, it’s just about bringing it to the people in a fun and easy to understand format, which is why we created the Mindspo Online Meditation Video Course.
Breathe deeply and calmly
Our breath controls our life. Stop breathing and we cease to exist. So it makes sense then that breath can be an extremely powerful force, considering how important it is to our survival.
By manipulating your breath, you can start to manipulate your entire state of being. For instance, did you know hat breathing into your chest is associated with stress and tension? So if you force yourself to breathe slowly and deeply into your stomach instead, you will immediately begin to calm down and relax.
Body hack, life hack.
Get some sunshine
By now, you’ve probably seen or heard that a sensible amount of sunlight is good for us. Sunshine boosts Seratonin Production, which is your ‘Happy Hormone’, but that’s not all. Studies have revealed that exposure to sunlight (which provokes vitamin D production) can reduce our risk of developing several cancers and other chronic diseases like osteoporosis, type II diabetes and multiple sclerosis. According to recent research, it can even help prevent and reduce depression and other mental disorders.
There’s a reason people always draw the sun as a smiley face!
Tip: A good rule of thumb is to get between five and 15 minutes of sunlight a day (without wearing sunblock) at least three times a week. Be mindful of not getting too much though (skin cancer, y’all.)
Use positive affirmations
The way we speak to ourselves plays a big part in determining how much – or little – we enjoy this experience we call life. The thoughts that race through our mind run a permanent commentary over every situation in life, and they can easily turn heaven into hell. But it also works the other way around. If the thoughts you’re entertaining on a daily basis are spurring you on, complimenting you and encourage you to achieve more, then you’ll have a great time in your existence.
However If you’re feeling stuck – or don’t know where to start – then positive affirmations can help ground positive ideas and principles into your consciousness.
You can apply these affirmations in many ways, like writing them on a wall, setting phone alarms with messages, or you can remind yourself to play some inside your mind on repeat in certain situations.
For instance, “Peace begins with me” is a fantastic affirmation to repeat the next time you’re feeling angry or stressed. Or play ‘i choose happiness, success & abundance in my life’ inside your mind on the regular and see the way it changes your perspective.
It’s all about exercising a little bit of control over the conversation in your mind, and the best way to influence that is through repetition.
When was the last time you were truly thankful for all of the brilliant things in your life? As humans, we tend to have a negativity bias, which means we focus more on all of the bad stuff, rather than the good stuff, it’s a survival mechanism.
For example, have you ever been given feedback on a project or work you’ve done, and amidst the, ‘You’ve done great!’ there was one tiny piece of constructive criticism? And so naturally, that’s all you can think about. What you did wrong. That’s negativity bias, and that’s why we need to consciously work on developing an attitude of gratitude.
Science has shown that gratitude not only improves psychological wellbeing, by physiological wellbeing too. You can check out the full benefits of gratitude here.
Hope you put some of these tips into good use!
Have any tips you can share for how you boost your mood when you’re feeling low?
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