It can be as little as two minutes to have that moment of quiet, that noise-cancelling moment. When you have that, your brain actually gets resources back to scan the world for why you could feel happy in that present moment.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
Your brain cannot feel grateful and depressed at the exact same time. In other words, you’re physiologically incapable of being depressed when you’re feeling appreciation.
Doing a “Great Things That Happened Today” list, instead of a general gratitude list is a nice way of recapping good things that happened that day. Sometimes it feels like life moves so quickly, there’s no time to reflect on the day. This is a good way of reflecting and highlighting what went well, which trains your brain to expect more of the same.
- Look for a moment of wonder.
It might be a moment of looking at the silhouette of a building at sunset. It could be the simple act of watching your sleeping child. When you seek a single quiet moment of wonder, you’re actually quieting the part of your brain that’s constantly looking for threats.
The prefrontal cortex, which lights up during these moments of wonder, is also your creative centre. The part of your brain that sees different connections between different aspects in your life, that part is turned on to its highest possible level when we take the time to look for those moments of wonder.
Doing just 15 minutes of mindful cardio can have the same impact as taking antidepressant medication. The simple act of movement causes the brain to record a victory, which cascades to the next task, to the next task. So what happens is you start believing your behaviour matters again.
- Praise someone.
Send one praising email or text to a different person each day, for 21 days. The beauty of this exercise is that it not only boosts your own levels of joy, but you’re also gracing the recipient with a moment of feeling both seen and appreciated–which spreads the joy.
For three weeks, you just tell someone something you like about them, or something they did you appreciated.
When people write these positive emails, when you share with that other person why they’re meaningful, what happens is you actually receive so much.
With these three simple activities you can realistically and meaningfully turn up the dial of your own personal happiness.
For further advice & support contact EAP Assist.