Being happy and feeling good sometimes feels like a monumental task, but even though it seems like an enormous work, the reality is that having a positive outlook towards life requires some practice. Scientists, like Laurie Santos at Yale University, have dedicated their life's work to understanding the science of happiness, and identifying which tools should we use to live a happier and more positive life.
One mechanism we can use to improve our overall happiness is to create positive memories. Memories are being built in our brains constantly as we experience life, but if we can focus on the present and concentrate on making more of these experiences a positive recollection of the past, our outlook of life will start shifting towards the good.
Some tools that can help you achieve this are:
- Practice gratitude at all times. If you are doing something that annoys you, like being stuck in traffic, try to think of things you are grateful for in your life, instead of getting stuck in the irritating feelings.
- Try to savor specific moments that might feel irrelevant. For instance, if you are walking home, notice the nature that surrounds you, pay attention to the sound of birds, enjoy those little moments.
- When spending time with friends and family, things might get irritating at times, especially if you are on a big trip or sharing too much time at the same house, but it is important to always try to end these moments on a high note. In reality, people won't remember the bad memories, they will only keepsake the most positive ones. That's why it is important to create them.
The most important tip of all is to remember that having difficult days is normal, but having tools to overcome the hardships can make life happier.