Practice Daily Gratitude
Expressing gratitude has been shown to do more than improve your mood. People who write down a few positive things about their day are healthier, more energetic, less stressed and anxious, and get better sleep.1
The key is to make this a regular habit and to do it with intention. Think about creating a small gratitude ritual. For example, every morning when you have your coffee, try thinking of three things that you appreciate about the previous day. Or make it a habit to jot down three positive things about your day before you go to bed at night. Your three things can be seemingly small (a beautiful flower you saw during a walk) or big (the fact that you’re healthy). In fact, science shows that it’s the small everyday experiences that make us happier, compared to big life events.2
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Happiness is contagious. A landmark 2008 study found that living within a mile of a happy person boosts your own happiness by 25%.3 If you’re feeling down, reach out to a friend who generally has a more positive attitude. Your brains have mirror neurons that will literally mimic what another person is expressing, so when you need a bit of positive infusion, connect with those who share it.
Practice Regular Acts of Kindness
Research has shown that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves and doing small acts of kindness increases life satisfaction.Even the smallest nice gesture can make someone’s day. Here are a few easy ways to show kindness:
- Hold the door open for someone behind you.
- Say thank you and mean it when you pick up your next cup of coffee.
- Donate clothes to a local shelter.
- Help an elderly neighbor with yard work.
- Bake a dessert to share with your coworkers.