7 Ways to Feel Happier

Nurturing happiness is a choice.

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Yes, you can choose to be happy. You have the power inside, and only you can create and nurture your happiness. The good news is that there are many effective and creative ways to help you achieve this positive state of wellbeing.

Some are born sunny side up, while others need to put in more work. A study in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics shows that yes, there is a genetic disposition towards happiness. Using twins, they proved that genetics explains 33 percent of an individual’s happiness.

Yet this 33 percent is just one-third of your whole story. As life is a journey offering new opportunities daily, here are seven ways to help you make the most of your day, and perhaps inspire your other two-thirds to get out and dance!

Simply let go!

Each and every mind is filled with a multitude of thoughts. Some can be negative and may even dominate a mindset, according to WebMD. These thoughts then drive your behavior, leaving you in the passenger seat. If your thoughts are making you feel worthless or overwhelmed, they can block you from perceiving happiness, so let them go.

Such feelings mean it is time to clean up your mind and practice mental hygiene. Learn to let go with yoga, meditation, relaxation exercises, or rhythmic breathing. These practices will impede negativity such as anger, resentment, and pessimism, according to marc & angel Hack Life. When you replace these with feelings of serenity, empathy, and gratitude, you will have a recipe for happiness.

A young woman meditating.

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Feel grateful

Feeling gratitude will shift you from a negative mindset into a positive state. Simply make a daily list and include every small thing that makes you grateful. It could be a dog cuddling by your feet, the warm sun touching your face, or eyes that enable you to read. Being attentive and creative with your gratitude list can transform bitterness into happiness.

A woman writes in her gratitude journal.

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When you smile, you light up the world. Even if you feel sad inside, forcing a smile will make you feel better. When you smile, according to Hack Life, you are sending a message to your brain that you are happy. The brain complies by sending out endorphins that make you feel great. And when you smile at others, you make them feel good as well.

A young girl smiles.

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Be forgiving

If you hold a grudge, you may be hurting yourself more than the other person. A grudge can create a negative state of mind and can affect your physical health as well. Clinical psychologist Everett Worthington told WebMD that these ruminating thoughts are like “mental health bad boys.” They can create depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even hives. Best to forgive and forget, making way for a happy state of mind.

A symbol of letting go and forgiving: a woman’s arms are open wide while birds fly freely above.

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Find a friend

Be it having a close friendship or helping others in need, connection is a great way of creating happiness. In fact, the longest study in the world, the 80-year-old ongoing Harvard Study, found that happiness is not found in money or fame. Happiness is fostered in close relationships.

According to the study, having a close friend creates more than happiness. As you age, it delays physical and mental decline and protects from downward swings life may throw your way. Now that the study has covered several generations, researchers understand that positive relationships become a predictor of happy genes.

A group of young friends outside, smiling together.

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Stay in shape

Yes, a healthy physical body can affect positivity, according to Life Hack. If you are physically fit, you will be more energetic. This means you will feel more mentally focused and have more emotional and spiritual energy to fulfill your purpose.

In fact, a study in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry shows that structured exercise is effective in alleviating depression, and the effects are long lasting. When you take care of your body, you will benefit from creating happy hormones. In turn, this leads to feelings of  accomplishment and a higher sense of self-worth, especially if you exercise outside. In short, you may feel happy!

A smiling woman does the plank pose on the sand.

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Choose happiness

Just like focusing on any life goal, make a commitment to be happy and place it on top of your list. Those who learn to become happy value personal growth, according to WebMD. One part of choosing is deciding to be around people who are inspiring and offer you respect.

To nurture a growth mindset, avoid being around people who have negative beliefs and do not let their unhappy feelings seep under your skin, according to Life Hack. Many think they act in a certain way because of the way they feel inside. In reality, the opposite is true; your feelings are a product of your actions. So when you choose to be around positive people and visit inspiring places, you will feel happier.

Father and son, when enjoying time together, affect each other positively.

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