12 Ways to Feel Happier

Follow these 12 straight-forward strategies to enhance your quality of life.

(1) Counting your blessings: Expressing gratitude for what you have (either privately, through contemplation or journaling, or to a close other) or conveying your appreciation to one or more individuals whom you've never properly thanked.

(2) Cultivating optimism: Keeping a journal in which you imagine and write about the best possible future for yourself, or practicing to look at the bright side of every situation.

(3) Avoiding over thinking and social comparison: Using strategies (such as distraction) to cut down on how often you dwell on your problems and compare yourself to others.

(4) Practicing acts of kindness: Doing good things for others, whether friends or strangers, either directly or anonymously, either spontaneously or planned.

(5) Nurturing relationships: Picking a relationship in need of strengthening, and investing time and energy in healing, cultivating, affirming, and enjoying it.

(6) Doing more activities that truly engage you: Increasing the number of experiences at home and work in which you "lose" yourself, which are challenging and absorbing.

(7) Replaying and savoring life's joys: Paying close attention, taking delight, and going over life's momentary pleasures and wonders – through thinking, writing, drawing, or sharing with another.

(8) Committing to your goals: Picking one, two, or three significant goals that are meaningful to you and devoting time and effort to pursuing them.

(9) Developing strategies for coping: Practicing ways to endure or surmount a recent stress, hardship, or trauma.

(10) Learning to forgive: Keeping a journal or writing a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment towards one or more individuals who have hurt or wronged you.

(11) Practicing religion and spirituality: Becoming more involved in your church, temple, or mosque, or reading and pondering spiritually-themed books.

(12) Taking care of your body: Engaging in physical activity, meditating, and smiling

For additional information on happiness visit www.thehappinessinstitute.com

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