I’m here to teach you how to get happy - fast! According to MSNBC, you may not be able to control the weather or your workload, but you CAN control your mood. The latest studies in the science of happiness have found that we’re not slaves to our genes. Sonja Lyubormirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, says about 40 percent of our happiness is determined by our daily thoughts and actions - the key is to change the way you think. Here are just a few tricks that’ll help you get happy fast:
- Be curious. Studies show that inquiring minds get more pleasure and meaning on a daily basis. Flipping through the National Enquirer or surfing the Internet won’t cut it. Todd Kashdan, a psychology professor at George Mason University, says you should get into activities outside your comfort zone, especially things that take skill. The goal is to get so absorbed that you lose track of time and are completely engaged in the moment. That’s called being in “The Zone.” That activates your feel good brain hormones.
- Think fast. In one study, when subjects read statements quickly, they felt happier, more energetic, and more creative afterward. That was true even when what they were reading was depressing. Revving up your brain puts you in a more positive state of mind, boosting your mood. So kick it up a notch!
- Don’t dwell. Studies show that rehashing things from the past or worrying about the future, makes depression worse and everyday bad moods more intense. So break the cycle by doing something constructive to distract yourself, like going for a run, calling a friend, or playing with the dog. Just make sure you avoid television, because you’ll have plenty of time to ruminate while you’re watching.
If you can change the way you think, you’ll be on your way to REAL happiness!