08 May 12 Ways to Wake Up Happier Tomorrow Morning (and Every Morning)
via Readers Digest Canada by Tina Donvito
How to wake up happier
No one can be happy-go-lucky 100 per cent of the time, but some people maintain a gloomy state too much of the time. Even though it’s challenging to be positive, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can set yourself up for more joy with these tips in mind.2 / 13
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Set your mind on being happy
Being happy is not about what you have or what happens to you, but how you react to it. “Happiness is definitely a choice,” says Caroline Adams Miller, a professional coach, speaker, and best-selling author of Your Happiest Life Workbook. “Research on identical and fraternal twins separated at birth, among other studies, shows that at least half of our well-being is directly tied to what we choose to think about and do on a daily basis.”
Another study, the Cornell Legacy Project, surveyed “wise elders” to find out their life lessons, one of which was that waiting to become happy doesn’t work. Instead, greeting each day with a good attitude puts us in control of our own positive mindset.
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Do something for someone else
Wondering how to make yourself happier? Give back. Doing something for others is a great way to boost your spirits—and donating time gives a bigger boost than giving money, according to a study in the International Journal of Happiness and Development.
“We did a study in which we asked people to do acts of kindness—one group did acts of kindness for others, another group did acts of kindness for the world such as picking up litter, and a group did things for themselves, like getting a massage or having a nice lunch,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of The How of Happiness. “We found that only doing acts of kindness for others or the world, especially for others, made people happier.” Whether you volunteer formally or simply shovel your elderly neighbour’s driveway, doing things for others gives you perspective on your own life and helps you feel you’re making a difference.
Do you know someone in your community who demonstrates the power of kindness? Nominate that person for a Reader’s Digest Kindness Award.4 / 13
Call a friend
Humans are pro-social beings, so having real, meaningful relationships in life is crucial to feeling happy. So make time each day to call or connect with a friend or family member. “High quality, close relationships are fundamentally important for well being,” says Brett Major, a researcher in the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology (PEP) Laboratory. Plus, feeling we’ve helped out someone we love makes us feel good as well. Strong ties can also help us feel more secure when something bad happens—research shows those in tight-knit communities fare better when faced with a crisis.
Check out these extraordinary real-life stories about the kindness of strangers.
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