Healthy Living

How to curate happy

It seems counterintuitive: How do you collect happiness in the midst of negativity?

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting you forget about your problems by turning a blind eye to them. (Quick aside: Despite the myth, even ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger.) But still, there’s plenty of positive that can come from shifting your focus away from the negative.

Take a brief break and check out these four easy ways to bring more happiness to your day.

1. Laugh at yourself.
Hands down, I’m my own worst critic. Nothing gets past my critical eye on how I perform on a daily basis. Try easing the stress you put on yourself by finding the humor in your gaffes. Because, guess what? We’re beautifully human. This means we’re bound to mess up somewhere along the way. Take solace in this and, maybe, chuckle at the last time you tripped up the stairs.

2. Find your funny.
Take a moment and ask yourself when the last time was you heard something that truly made you laugh — as in out-loud, stomach-hurting laughter. Identify what or who was able to do that and find all the YouTube videos, GIFs and memes your heart (or stomach) can take.

3. Surround yourself with fun, playful people.
Like my father always tells me, “Don’t stay around vampires if you can.” This is a beautiful, two-fold nugget of advice he’s offered since I was about 10 years old. First, obviously you generally want to avoid Dracula-esque blood-suckers. And second, watch out for “social vampires.” They suck the fun out of you with constant negativity. Instead, share your time with the people who bring you delight and share laughs with you.

4. Smile.
It’s the quickest, easiest and possibly most effective ways to collect happiness. Research shows multiple physical and mental health benefits of smiling. The feel-good endorphins produced in your brain helps decrease stress, lower blood pressure, relax muscles and more.

Do you consciously curate happiness? While it may not solve all your problems, happiness can help offer moments of light in a day of darkness.

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