Whether you wake up on the right side of the bed every morning, or you’re known as the “Debbie Downer” in your group of friends, feeling constant happiness and contentment can sometimes seem like the impossible task. This is especially true when things just aren’t going your way — for instance like spilling something on your favorite shirt, getting a flat tire, or having your babysitter cancel at the last minute. It’s easy to find yourself in a foul mood when these types of unexpected incidences occur. But trying to keep a positive attitude will not only make you more enjoyable to be around, it can also help your health. One study found that people who reported feelings of optimism and high self-esteem were less likely to get sick than those who reported negative emotions.
If you need some help turning your frown upside down, we tracked down our favorite happiness and wellness experts, authors, and bloggers to learn how they stay focused on the positive, no matter what happens throughout the day. Find one of their tips that speaks you and try it today!
Following a plan can help you prioritize a cheerful outlook on a daily basis. “Just like some people need to put extra effort into their workouts and meal plans in order not to gain weight, I need to put extra effort into my mental health,” says Kelsea Brennan, life and relationship coach. “It means there are certain exercises that I do every day to stay ‘happily fit.’ I will either make list of what I am grateful for or think a loving thought about myself or someone else. When I can get these thoughts on paper, even better. Writing strengthens thinking.”
Share time with a buddy to get a mood boost, whether it’s connecting via phone, email, or even better, an in-person get together. “Even on my busiest days I will always find time to cook dinner, make a phone call, have lunch and do whatever possible with someone I cherish,” says Nitika Chopra, talk show host and founder of YourBellaLife.com. “The presence of my loved ones around me is non-negotiable to my happiness.”
Remember how you felt the last time you selflessly helped someone? They were probably extremely grateful and made you feel that your effort was appreciated. “There’s no better feeling than giving a gift for a special occasion, but we can choose to extend that service-minded attitude in all aspects of our lives by giving freely of ourselves as much as we can,” says Eric Paskel, certified yoga instructor, founder of Yoga Shelter. “Ways I practice this are by letting someone get in front of me in line at the store, giving up a parking space to another, or letting go of ‘my plans’ to help someone through a tough time. No smile has lasted longer than the one that comes from helping another.”
Repeating a positive mantra out loud or in your head can remind you of specific happiness goals or help keep you levelheaded when the going gets tough. “Tell yourself, ‘Happiness is not dependent on outer situations, circumstances, or people,” says Dr. Susan Shumsky, author of Instant Healing and 9 other best-selling, award-winning books. “Happiness is within me, in the center of my being. I am happy now and always.’ If you’re feeling overwhelmed, say in a clear voice, “I am in control. I am the only authority in my life.”
No matter what kind of foul state you’re in, connecting with your breath is one of the easiest ways to come back to the present moment and feel better — fast. “When it comes to feeling calm, the best tool I have yet to come across is breathing,” says Jon Rhodes, clinical hypnotherapist in the United Kingdom. “Whether you feel stressed or anxious, breathing always becomes quick, shallow and erratic. To reverse stress or anxious feelings … concentrate on breathing slowly, deeply and evenly. After just a few seconds you can calm down, no matter how stressed you were.”
Read the full article on DailyBurn.com.
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