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17th Nov 2012

Got the Blues? Here are Five Ways to Boost Your Levels of Happiness

Are you feeling a bit down in the dumps lately? Why not perk yourself up with one of the following tips for instant happiness?

We all know that being happy is good for our health. Happiness promotes peace of mind, calmness and it encourages us to have a positive outlook on life.

During the dark months of winter, we can sometimes feel a bit miserable. Maybe it’s the weather, the lack of sunlight or the stress of the approaching festive season, but the colder months can take their toll on our levels of happiness.

If you feel like you’re in need of a positivity boost, here are five simple ways to get a quick happiness-injection. Warning: the following information may cause good feelings and cheesy smiles.

1. Start smiling: No matter where you are or what you’re doing right now, start smiling. Even if you don’t feel like, just allow a grin to form on your lips and keep it there for as long as you can. Did you know that forcing yourself to smile actually tricks your brain into thinking that it’s happy? Keep that smile on your face for a few minutes and we guarantee it’ll turn into a genuine one pretty damn quickly.

This is a good exercise to try every time you start feeling a little down. Simply smile and feel better. Oh and did we mention a good grin is contagious too? So not only will you be boosting your own happiness levels, you’ll also be encouraging all the people around you to smile as well. Awesome.

2. Turn negative thoughts into positive ones: Negative thoughts are annoying things mainly because once you have one negative thought, you get into a downward spiral and keep thinking more and more bad thoughts. The next time you have a negative thought try to counteract it with a positive one.

For example: counteract “I hate my body” with “I love that my body is always perfectly healthy.” Keep practicing replacing negative thoughts as much as you can. It’ll be hard at first but eventually it will get easier and easier until all you have are good thoughts.

Fake a smile until a real, genuine one starts to appear

3. Describe how happy you are: Like the smiling exercise, this exercise involves tricking your brain. You see your poor brain can’t distinguish between a fake feeling and a real one. Eventually it gets so confused it just turns your fake feeling into a real one (still with us here?).

Start describing how happy you feel: “I am so happy today! I’m full of energy! I feel excited about life! I’m thrilled to be here!” eventually your brain will start making you feel that level of happiness. It works every time, trust us.

4. Count your blessings: The next time you feel a bit down, try counting your blessings. Simply think about all the things that you feel grateful to have in your life. If it helps, write them out. By focusing on all the positives you have in your life, you’ll start feeling grateful and happy and blessed.

5. Cuddle a loved one: Hugs are fantastic for boosting our moods. Did you know that hugging someone else for ten seconds every single day can actually make you live longer?

Grab your man, your mammy or your dog and have a good cuddle – it’ll make you (and the person you’re hugging) feel amazing.