One of my favorite yoga teacher ends each class with the reminder, "Yogi homework every day: make at least 10 people smile". While it can be easy to shortcut small acts of kindness and self-care, research on mental wellness shows that sending positive vibes wires your brain to stay happy. Whether it’s a quick moment as you’re going through the motions or a concentrated effort incorporated into your daily routine, try these 5 stay happy habits to improve your mood - permanently.
1. Give Compliments
Ever stare at that girl in line at the grocery store with amazing boots, coveting, while never bothering to tell her how much you like them? Why not let her now? It’ll make her smile, and as we all know, smiles are contagious. There’s something satisfying about making someone’s day. Plus, it’s the law of attraction, once you’re smiling and feeling good, chances are someone will pay it forward and pay you a compliment next.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
When we start thinking negatively, it’s easy to start losing sight of the positives and thus a snowball effect starts to happen. Once a day, whether it’s in the morning when you wake up or before bed at night, jot down a few things you are grateful for. They can be general or things that happened that day. This will help you maintain perspective and feel grateful for your blessings no matter what comes your way.
3. Look at Negative or Painful Experiences as Lessons Learned
Inevitably in life we are going to go through some rough patches. Rather than beating yourself up over mistakes made, or seeing time as wasted, look at these experiences as an important lesson you will grow from. These tough times will shape you, strengthen you, and teach you more about yourself than anything else in life. So take a deep breath and consider what you learned from this unfortunate experience, and what you’ll take away from it moving forward.
4. Stop Complaining.
Keeping in line with the whole “negative downward spiral” concept, complaining only perpetuates negative thinking. It also projects negative vibes, which no one wants to be around. When a problem or unfortunate circumstance arises, rather than talking about why it sucks, start thinking about how you can solve it or move past it, and talk about that instead. Think you’re not a complainer? Challenge yourself: no complaints for one week. You’ll be shocked how hard it is! But also how other people respond to your lack of negativity.
5. Lower Your Expectations and Notice the Small Things.
Sure, everyone dreams of grand gestures and huge moments, but so many small acts of kindness and happy moments are lost in between if we set our expectations too high. We’re not suggesting to “settle” or accept less than you deserve, but just to be reasonable and set attainable goals and expectations of others. This way, when those little acts of kindness happen, you won’t miss them. Appreciating these little moments will, naturally make us more grateful and lead to a happier, more positive outlook on life.
Try adopting these 5 habits and watch how much joy is all around you! Here’s to a happier you!
Any meditation practice will have a positive and profound effect on your mental wellbeing, if practiced regularly.
Meditation not only calms the mind but also physically changes the way your brain operates, training it to think slowly & reflectively.