Come On, Get Happy
Happiness isn't a shapeless myth that hippies throw around like a Frisbee. Research shows that happy people not only have a better attitude in life but they tend to be healthier and live longer. One study from University College London showed that happiness improves certain bodily functions that help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. And a Yale University study found that optimists live more than seven years longer than pessimists.
Being happier isn't all about money, parties and social status. If you pay attention to doing things that make you happier, keep an open mind and put in the effort, you can be well on your way to loving your life in 30 days. So go ahead and smile, because you’re about to embark on a change that can only end in sheer delight.
Training Your Brain
Being happier starts with priming your brain to think happier or positive thoughts. “Whether you like it or not, facts are facts. You might not enjoy the fact you’re facing but you can control your emotional response to it. Do it with a positive attitude and you’ll get through it a lot quicker than if you agonize and lament over it,” says Michael Anthony, author of the e-book How to be Happy and Have Fun Changing the World.
Louise Bluth,* a 37-year-old sales manager, found it difficult to be happier after living through an abusive childhood. “I was always told that I was a failure and a loser, and that I was the shame of the family,” she says.
She decided she didn’t deserve to be that unhappy and started volunteering for a suicide helpline. Her training stressed the concept of getting into the mind of a suicidal person to be able to show them possible solutions to their problems. “This proved to me that your state of mind could be changed, and so you can become happier,” she says. Louise started taking Buddhist meditation classes, where she further learned how to prime her mind for happiness. “I learned that my happiness was up to me,” she says.
It’s hard to change your mindset overnight, so you might have to draw your positive brain waves out of hiding. One way to do this is by reciting a daily affirmation or a mantra. This statement can be repeated daily to get your brain ready to think happier thoughts.