David Schramm with USU Extension shares his happy hacks to have a fulfilling and positive life. For more from David and USU Extension CLICK HERE.
Start your day in a positive way – one study showed watching just three minutes of negative news in the morning makes viewers 27% more likely to report having a bad day. Those who started the day with positive and inspiring stories, on the other hand, reported have a good day 88% of the time. Other ways to start the day off right include exercising, meditating or taking slow deep breaths, eating a healthy breakfast, having positive thoughts, and feeling grateful for specific things or people in your life.
Broadcast Happiness – all of us are constantly transmitting information to those around us, including our families, our children, and our co-workers. The information we broadcast by our face, voice, and body language sends signals that influence how others view and respond to us. Smiling, for example, sends signals to our brain, called biofeedback, to be more positive and happy. Paying attention to what we are broadcasting can affect our mood, attitude, and overall levels of happiness and well-being.
Grow in Gratitude – feeling thankful and expressing thanks are some of the quickest ways to feel positive. You can spend time writing in a gratitude journal about two or three things you are grateful for, writing a letter of appreciation to a loved one or someone who has influenced you for the better, or sending a text or email to someone to let them know you are thinking of them. Learning to savor and appreciate our past and present helps us to flourish and feel positive – not to mention the numerous physical and psychological health benefits!
Find Flow – flow occurs when you are fully immersed and focused in an activity that brings enjoyment. Another term for flow is feeling “in the zone.” Often flow is related to an activity that stretches our mind or body, such as putting a puzzle together, or working at a challenging piano piece—when creativity and productivity work together in our minds. Being immersed in flow can be both difficult and worthwhile. Sometimes the best moments in our lives are not the relaxing passive ones, but the engaging moments when we are so immersed in what we are doing that we may even lose track of time.
Connect with Kindness – results from decades of research studies suggest that one of the best ways to boost your mood is to do something kind for someone else. People who flourish tend to have an outward mindset that searches for ways to make others happy, including random acts of kindness such as opening a door, paying for someone’s meal, or smiling at the grocery store employee.