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How to Feel
Happier

INCREASING POSITIVE EMOTIONS IS ONE ROUTE TO IMPROVED WELLBEING. SO HOW DO WE DO IT? 

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The field of positive psychology suggests that, within limits, we can increase the positive emotions we experience in our lives. Our emotions are only one aspect of what psychologists define as happiness. But the ratio of positive or negative feelings we experience make a difference.

 

While this is partly inherited and baked into our bodies and personalities, there are some ways in which we can encourage more good feelings day to day. Here's how.

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MARTIN SELIGMAN

Authentic happiness derives from raising the bar for yourself, not rating yourself against others.

Ways to Increase Positive Emotions

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About the past

By cultivating gratitude and forgiveness.

 

About the present

By savoring joys and pleasures and incorporating mindfulness practices into our daily lives.

 

About the future:

By working on building hope and optimism.

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LOUISE HAY

It's only a thought, and a thought can be changed.

5 Ways to Boost Positive Emotions

ACCORDING TO RESEARCH

Actively seeking to boost positive emotions and build on the good in life instead of ruminating on repairing the bad is a key contributor to a happier life.

Here's 5 ways that research has shown we can encourage more joy, pride, satisfaction and other positive feeling in our day to day lives, whatever our circumstances.

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being kind

"Doing a kindness produced the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested." - Martin Seligman

Experiences

"Spending money on experiences provides a bigger boost to happiness than spending money on material possessions." (Howell & Hill, 2009)

touch

"Oxytocin may provoke greater trust, empathy, and morality in humans, meaning that giving hugs or other shows of physical affection may give you a big boost to your overall wellbeing and the wellbeing of others." (Barraza & Zak, 2009);

finding happy

people

"Happiness is contagious; those with happy friends and significant others are more likely to be happy in the future." (Fowler & Christakis, 2008);

gratitude

The simplest way anyone can foster more positive emotion is by writing down 3 things they are grateful for, everyday. - Martin Seligman

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TODAY

What is one thing you can do

to build a more positive outlook?