Trying to find happiness? [Hint: It's hiding in your brain.]
When you’re feeling really good, it's easy to find happiness and spread it around. It's contagious. Maybe you’ve never thought of it that way, but you’ve probably experienced it before. Recall times when you’re with somebody who is experiencing feelings of absolute joy. Children, for instance, are wonderful at being entirely happy, but they also express and share this joy with others. When you’re around kids that are giggling, laughing and having a wonderful time, it makes you smile as well. The happiness they are feeling makes us feel happier as it’s a contagious feeling, kind of like yawning.
You can spread your happiness from one person to the next, sharing your excitement and joy. This can be used to make an impact in the happiness you experience on a regular basis. You don’t have to feel apprehensive about spreading your joy around.
Soak In Excitement
Whenever you’ve been having a tough day, you can cheer yourself up as easily as locating a really happy person. Spend time with positive, happy people who effortlessly share joy. Discover your personal support cheerleaders to call on at times when a boost is needed. Funny and happy movies can only do so much, as experiencing real happiness in front of you has a stronger impact on the way you’re feeling. Get outside and soak in all of the happy you can find.
Spread Happiness To Others
Similarly to feeding on other people’s happiness, you can share happiness yourself. In previous posts, you may have read that giving to others often makes people feel happier than they do when receiving something. Additionally, by sharing happiness, you’re helping others around you as well as yourself. When you go out there and you intentionally share excitement and joy to others, you develop an energy of positivity that will be contagious to others. You’ll witness a difference in the frequency of people around you smiling, having fun, and laughing with you.
This is when interesting things begin to happen. You can, in turn, feed off this happiness and these positive, great vibes and increase your happiness. Maintain this cycle and you’ll feel infinite happiness that continues to expand. A mere smile or shared laughter changes the moods of individuals in large groups. It can be pretty powerful.
When interacting with others, begin to notice their moods, being aware that sadness along with happiness is really contagious. Utilize the tips mentioned previously when the opportunity arises, changing the overall mood of the room and spreading happiness and joy. You don’t need to be a super-hyper person exploding with excitement to actually make an impact.
Rather, take the time to concentrate on happy memories, or recall things you’re most grateful for. Share and show the happiness you cultivate and notice it traveling through the room. Put a smile on your face, start encouraging conversations, be somebody’s support cheerleader, and continue striving to contribute to the world’s happiness.
Why We Struggle to Find Happiness
Here's the rub, though. Sometimes our brains work against us. It can feel like no matter how intentional you are about focusing on maintaining a good mood, maybe your mind automatically seems to dwell on thoughts that leave you feeling critical, unhappy, and negative. It might feel like that's just the way your mind is... and like it takes a whole lot of energy to redirect your focus along more positive lines.
Mood IS somewhat a matter of habit, and that's good news. Changing habits can be really hard to do - especially if the habit is something you enjoy and are trying to stop doing. But practicing mood-supporting habits are actually far more pleasurable than staying unhappy. Because it feels good to feel happy, it's actually fun to work on building these mental habits.
You can even work on building your happiness-inducing mental habits on autopilot. Makes sense, when you think about it. We are bombarded with negative images, words, and messages every time we turn around. Fear, rejection, negativity... it's like our brains get bathed in these mood-tanking thoughts all the time. It's not always even a conscious process - our brains are wired to do what they've always done.
This Might Help
It probably sounds crazy, but subconscious mind training works well here. Instead of coasting on the thousands of negative thoughts that naturally flood our minds, it's possible to fill - or even flood our minds with thoughts that support us in living happier lives. But unless you're some sort of meditation master, or you've got nothing else to do but sit around trying to think happy thoughts, how practical is it to spend your time trying to retrain your brain for happiness? This might work for you, if you're busy - and especially if you spend a lot of time on your computer every day.
The best way to build a new habit is to somehow attach it to another habit that's basically set in cement in your life already. Brushing your teeth, driving in your car, going to the restroom - we do all this stuff every day without a whole lot of effort to remember to do them, right? Try hooking new happiness-building mental habits to these existing habits, and it'll be easier to practice them.