4 daily steps to become more positive (and happier)

I recently came across a great article about re-wiring your brain to become happier and more positive.

As I have read frequently lately – it is possible to change the pathways in your brain.

Importantly for me, I realised that the more you look for the positives, the more those pathways in your brain will be strengthened, and the more automatic it will become.

So I have spent time deliberately looking for ways to become more positive.

These are my 4 favourite daily activities for increasing positivity and happiness:

Keep a gratitude journal.  Before bedtime, make a list of the things that you are grateful for that day.  It can be in a notebook, on your computer in a word document, or even a blog.  As much as possible focus on the feeling of gratitude – and let it stay with you as long as you can.

Reach out to someone at least once a day.  Send an email expressing your gratitude or thanks.  To a friend or a co-worker, or anyone who has touched your life recently.

Practice acts of kindness.  Try to do at least one kind thing each day.  It can be as simple as making someone smile.  Or really listening to them, and giving them your full attention.  The more that you do it, the more opportunities you will find.  And the more natural it will become.

Practice mindfulness.  When we are aware of the present moment, we are able to appreciate it fully, and really notice the abundance we have in our lives.  And not only that – it has been proven that mindfulness meditation affects the brain’s plasticity, increasing grey matter in the hippo-campus  an area of the brain important for learning, memory and emotion, and reducing grey matter in the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with stress and anxiety.

I have been practising the above daily in my life for the past couple of months, and have noticed such huge differences.  Mostly in my level of happiness and satisfaction with life, and my ability to bounce back from difficulties and setbacks.

I also find meditation incredibly important in maintaining a sense of peace and calm – both of which lead to increased happiness.

Do you have any practices that you do daily to increase your happiness?  I would love to hear about them.