We all know those people that have a perpetual grin and are always spreading cheer. Sometimes, we really don’t like them. Why? Because, it can be a reminder that something is lacking in our lives, and we are just not that happy. Did you know that happier people tend to be healthier, have better relationships, and make more money that the rest of us? It’s not surprising — just 5 minutes of anger or negativity can suppress the immune system for 6 hours. (Read the study here). Cortisol is released when we are unhappy or stressed wreaking havoc on digestion, sleep, mood, etc.  In a 2006 Science Daily study, it was found that happy people reported less colds and fewer symptoms. In this studyconducted by Dr. Karina Davidson and colleagues from the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, happy people had less heart disease.How can you improve your Happiness? It would be great if boosting your happiness quotient was as easy as this Charles Schulz quote “Happiness is a warm puppy”.  It’s true that having pets can improve happiness, but what other things can you do?

  • Evaluate the company you keep.  I have let friendships go because the person was always negative and no fun to be around. Surround yourself with positive, happy souls.
  • Open your eyes to optimism.  Focus on the things that are going right in your day/week/month. Ask yourself what you appreciate.
  • Savor compliments & celebrate your success.  The next time your boss tells you “job well done”, dwell on it.  And toot your own horn to your friends & family.  A well known business coach says that you should celebrate your successes, not just focus on the failures.
  • Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. For each negative thought that enters your mind, recall 3 positive ones.
  • Take a news fast. I avoid watching the local news on TV, as it typically consists of negative stories.
  • Get regular massage.  Massage stimulates the flow of “feel-good” hormone oxytocin and helps relax the body & clear the mind. I know we get busy and forget to take care of ourselves – you can set up a standing appointment with me every month, or ask me to email you a reminder when it’s time for your next massage. 

Here are some other great resources to help you on your journey to happiness:
Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason, or Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, Spontaneous Happiness
Read the article  Five Things Happy People Do.
For a little dose of positivity, check out Happy News. When I am feeling down, or my day is just going sour, I read a few inspiring stories.

Hope that your summer is going along well so far.  I look forward to seeing you soon,