Secrets of Can-Do Happy People
Take a lead from those who wake up on the sunny side
Think of the happiest people you know: They may not be the richest, best-dressed or even the most intelligent but they do share common ways of thinking and acting that give them an extra spring in their step. How can you become more chipper? Just follow these five simple steps from Noah Blumenthal, author of Youre Addicted to You: Why Its So Hard to Change and What You Can Do About It.
Pretend Every Day Is ThanksgivingIdentify the aspects of your life for which youre most grateful whether its relishing the new gig you just snagged or simply hearing the words Mommy, I love you from your kids each night. Reflect on the events of the day or go farther back in the week or month if you wish, suggests Blumenthal. The point is to identify something new each time or repeat the constants that are important to you. Your worries and troubles will be that much more manageable when you look upon the best parts of your life with gratitude.
Recall the Perk-Ups of the Past DayOn your worst days, theres plenty to grumble about the car broke down (again), you fought with your husband and you were criticized at work. But even though many people pay far more attention to the worst experiences of their day, even lousy days can contain good experiences, says Blumenthal. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, rack your brain for an activity that brought you joy that day a walk in the park with your daughter? A late-night gab with your best gal pal? You may just find that theres a bright spot to every day.
Pat Yourself on the BackWhat did you do that made you stand up a little bit straighter today? Identify a task you accomplished that brought you pride, whether it was the fantastic batch of cookies you whipped up for the neighborhood potluck or a great paint job on your peeling garage door. This exercise forces you to look at yourself and recognize that you do something well every day, notes Blumenthal. After a week of focusing on your most positive elements, youll feel both capable and confident.
Plan a Joyful ActivitySpend your morning routine thinking about your future by planning to do something that will bring you happiness that day, encourages Blumenthal. It can be a productive act like repotting your house plants or spending 20 minutes relaxing in the bath. By keeping a happy experience on your to-do list, youll have something to look forward to every day.
Spend Time With Someone Who Makes You SmileSocial interactions are known to reduce stress and boost your self-confidence, life satisfaction and overall happiness. Plan to see or speak with someone who makes you feel good. Identify the people who bring you genuine
happiness, Blumenthal suggests. When you do, create more occasions to spend time with these folks and reduce your exposure to those who act negatively. The next time you spy the irritating neighbor who always compares your kids to hers coming up the block? Its OK to go out of your way to avoid her!