"Simple Things To Make Your Life Happier and Healthier"
You probably know that laughter, hope and optimism make life more enjoyable, but some of us seem to be wired for seriousness, sobriety and pessimism instead.
Recent research shows that genetics may have a lot to do with the level of happiness you experience on a day to day basis. Some people are naturally giggly, cheerful, and happy go lucky, while others are a bit more somber.
However, there are still plenty of things you can do to influence how you feel each day.
Your genetics may determine your happiness "set point," the level of happiness that you naturally feel, but your thoughts, choices, and actions still determine how much time you spend
above or below that point.
In these difficult times, feeling hopeful can seem like challenge even for natural optimists... so here's a list of simple things you can do to give your attitude a boost:
1. Do what you love
You already know what you enjoy doing -- if you can find a way to make a living at it great, otherwise consider spending time doing it as a hobby or just for fun.
Spend one or two hours this week doing something that you truly enjoy.
2. Make time for family and friends
Spending time with people you love and enjoy has a relaxing and soothing effect. You'll feel wanted, respected and loved, critical emotional experiences for good living.
3. Watch a good comedy
Nothing flushes away stress like a good laugh. If you don't have time for a full-length video, find a five-minute funny video on YouTube.com ...
Or check out the "Headlines" from The Tonight Show...
4. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself
Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that things aren't as bleak as they seem. Repeat a positive mantra like "Today is a good day," "I'm having fun today," "I'm a great (insert occupation) and I do my job well," or "God works all things for the good of those who love him."
5. Each day make a list of 10 things you are thankful for
Try not to repeat the same things every day. Spend a few minutes thinking about the items on your list and realize how good you've got it.
As long as you don't over-do it, exercise has an effect similar to chocolate because it releases endorphins, which generally have an uplifting effect.
7. Challenge yourself
A challenge makes us alert and self aware, which has an energizing effect mentally and physically.
8. Be spontaneous
Whether it's going out to a movie on a whim or wrestling with the kids in the living room, being spontaneous and playful is exciting and energizing.
9. Laugh daily
Laughter triggers your body to create more antibodies and hormones that build up your immune system.
10. Find ways to release tension and stress
If you bottle it all up, stress and tension will eat away at you and make you susceptible to all kinds of illness and health problems. A punching bag or dart board with a picture of your boss on the bullseye make great stress relievers.
11. Play games
Games get you out of your normal rut. They allow you to exercise your brain in a non-threatening situation and to explore new patterns of thinking. Don't get too serious about the games you play, they're supposed to be fun.
12. Play in the world of a child
Children are magnets for joy, creativity and laughter. Get down on your knees and let them show you how to play.
13. Wear something unusual, goofy or bizarre
Too often, we dress to impress. Purposely wearing something unbusiness-like or downright goofy can help you relax, release tension and free yourself to just be you.
14. Reward yourself
You do great things. Rewarding yourself encourages you to do more great things and builds up your self-esteem.
15. Make a funny movie
Camcorders are relatively inexpensive and everyone can think of something funny to do on camera. It's a creative output that encourages laughter. Post your video on YouTube or MySpace to share with others and make them laugh too.
16. Post jokes, cartoons and funny posters around where you can see them
These things encourage laughter and a light-hearted spirit.
17. Reward someone else
Nothing feels better than making someone else feel special and appreciated, even if it's just a simple smile and "Thank You" for a job well done.
Pick 3 or 4 of your favorites and DO them over the next week.
Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You