We have talked about the wonderful reasons why choosing happiness every day of our lives is important to a healthy and worry-free existence.  According to Shawn Achor, author of the book The Happiness Advantage, when we are happy, our body releases dopamine, which doesn’t only give off that cheerful vibe, but also triggers the learning centers of our brain. So when we are happy, our intelligence, productivity and creativity levels are at its peak.

If you are not a naturally positive person don’t worry, it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. According to studies and research conducted by Achor, it takes 21 days to cultivate the habit of being happy. Yes, 21 days. By religiously doing one of five simple activities for 21 days straight, you’ll find yourself happier, smarter, more creative and more in love with life than ever before.

Be gratefulBe Grateful

Write down three different things you are grateful for at the end of the day. Repeatedly doing this allows the brain to retain the good things only, and ignore the negative aspects that happened during the day. Therefore, giving you the warm feels only as you bid the day good night.  

Journal one happy thoughtJournal one happy thought

A lot of things can happen in 24 hours. During a downtime, remember one specific event that made your heart swell during the day and put it down in a journal. Reliving it gives the brain the signal to let the happy hormones flow freely.  

ExerciseExercise

Ah, I am sure you have read this endlessly, if your gym trainer hasn’t repeatedly told you already. Exercising makes the body release dopamine, the happy hormones. So sweating it out is not only to keep you fit, but for all over good vibes, as well.  

MeditateMeditate

Shawn Achor calls it cultural ADHD. We are so hell bent on multi-tasking as this misleads us to thinking that we are more successful in handling our tasks this way. Meditating for a few minutes everyday, even for just two minutes is enough to shift our focus and regroup our zen.  

Random acts of kindnessRandom Acts of Kindness

Carry an elderly’s grocery bag. Volunteer for your company’s charity drive this weekend. Spend an hour or two in a soup kitchen. Do not underestimate the power of doing something for someone. Nothing ups the happiness meter than showing some compassion and knowing that you’ve made someone’s day. It can even be something small like sticking a post-it with “have an awesome day!” on their cup of coffee.   These five things when done regularly could help reverse the brain’s reaction to various situations. It is basically training the mind to seek only the positive side of things. Are you ready to take on the challenge to be the happier, and better, version of yourself? Leave me a comment below and let me know one what activity you are going to try over the next 21 days. Photo Credit: gratisography.com]]>