4 Ways To Get Happier - In Seconds!

I've always been a big believer that we can find joy in the “small stuff.” Whether it's a good belly laugh or literally taking time to smell the roses planted in the garden, there are plenty of things that can make us smile - but we don't always notice them.

Psychologist Dr. Fred Bryant says too many of us feel unhappy because we tell ourselves that we’re “too busy” to do the things we enjoy. But lots of research shows that people with a happy outlook tend to recover more quickly from illness, and live at least 7 years longer, on average! So, here's a list of what the experts say can make us happier - in a matter of seconds:

  • Share a happy memory. Call or email a friend, and talk about a specific experience you had with them that made you happy. Studies show that sharing happy memories is one of the most powerful ways to strengthen our social connections, and magnify feelings of joy.
  • Focus your senses. For example, the next time you take a bite of chocolate, close your eyes and savor the taste on your tongue. Dr. Bryant says shutting out some senses, while focusing on others, helps heighten our enjoyment of positive experiences. And it can even make fleeting happy moments seem to last much longer!
  • Think about how things in your life could be worse. Our expert says too many of us have the “grass is greener” mentality where we think our life would be better if we had something other people have – like a bigger house, or a fancier car. But upward comparisons like that will only make you feel deprived. So instead, think downward - about what you have that others don’t - or how your own life used to be worse than it is now.
  • Lose yourself. In other words, put on a funny movie, and laugh out loud like it’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen or turn off the lights, and listen to your favorite music in the dark! Research shows that our feelings of happiness are greatest when we’re 100 percent immersed in something that brings us joy.

Remember, it's okay to crack up at a funny joke or take the time to enjoy that delicious cup of coffee at breakfast. Because eventually, all of those little things can add up to a pretty happy lifestyle.

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