Train your brain

4 ways to 'trick' yourself into feeling happy

Article

Science has shown you can control your happiness by ‘forcing yourself’ to feel positive emotions. How? You create more positive experiences. There are several ways to do this:

1- Positive thinking

Repeating upbeat, optimistic phrases such as ‘I will succeed’, ‘I’m not afraid’, ‘I am intelligent’ and ‘I am beautiful’ can lead to more happy thoughts.

2- Mindfulness exercises

Practise being fully aware of your environment and the activity in which you are engaged. From mindful observation (noticing and appreciating the tiniest aspects of your environment, say, a raindrop splashing onto a window) to mindful immersion (paying close attention to an activity, be it drawing, reading, even cleaning your bedroom), focusing your thoughts in this way can help to lower stress and anxiety.

3- Gratitude

Keeping a gratitude diary where you say thank you for all the small things in life that make you happy can help to reduce negative emotions such as envy, frustration and regret.

4- Physical exercise

Team or individual, structured or unstructured, sport and general physical activity is shown to boost energy levels and improve your general sense of wellbeing. Outdoor pursuits are especially beneficial as natural light is scientifically proven to enhance your mood.

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