Printer Friendly

Put on a happy face.

Dozens of books are written each year on how to uplift oneself and be happy, while study after study indicates people will live longer if they have an optimistic attitude toward life. Thinking happy thoughts tends to result in a happier existence, adding both quality and quantity, maintains psychologist John Tassey, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Although some people may perceive happiness as an abstract concept, there are many concrete steps individuals can take to help integrate it into their lives. Tassey suggests the following to promote happiness:

* Regular exercise is a wonderful mood elevator and stress reducer Daily workouts are best, but even 20 minutes three to four times a week is enough.

* "It's important to have relationships. The freshness and uncertainty of a relationship offers challenges and emotional growth, both of which actually promote happiness. People think the stress, tension, and conflict in a relationship cause depression, but that's not necessarily true."

* Set goals and strive to achieve them. Studies indicate that, in 30% of cases, people who set "unrealistic" goals actually achieve them. "The point is not to doom yourself to failure by setting unrealistic goals, but to consider that you might have unrecognized potential. The task of working toward a goal you consider important is a big part of happiness."

* Don't become a victim to your emotions. "Taking charge of your emotions will instill confidence. Often, depression can be considered |learned helplessness.' If you're in a down mood, decide how long you want to stay there and work to get out of it as soon as possible. Be grateful for all the positive things in your life, instead of focusing on all the negative things."

* As soon as you wake up, make a conscious choice to "maximize" the day. Decide that it will be the most pleasurable day possible, despite the fact that it may be raining or you feel bad.

* Giving compliments helps you to "get out of yourself" and focus on other people instead. "Compliments become reciprocal. They make both you and the recipient feel better."

* Associate with optimistic people. Individuals who are socially isolated need to go out and become involved.

* Get out of the rut. "Do something unusual or provocative to aggressively break out of old habits that are running your life." If you wear black or neutrals a lot, wear red or other bold colors. Eat lunch in a different place. Try something you've always wanted to do.

* "Sunlight is a natural mood elevator. We're all prone to cabin fever and often feel more restless, irritable, and depressed when it's raining or snowing. Try to take advantage of the sun on clear days, and seek to brighten up rooms on dark [ones]."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Society for the Advancement of Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:happy thoughts lead to happier lives
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:Dad and daughter - a special bond.
Next Article:How to save America's cities.

Related Articles
Stories with happy endings can inspire readers to lead good lives; FOR THE MOTION.
The happiness equation attitude + gratitude.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters