Well, yes and no, say “happiness” experts like Francis Kong who leads seminars in how to “get happy”. Deciding to stay positive through various life events can lead to you being happy more often than when you’re negatively focused. But that doesn’t mean forcing a fake smile when you just lost your job or someone died. That’s not only unrealistic but doing so can be mentally unhealthy. Also deciding to be realistic, while being positive, says Kong, is also important to being happy. In that way, you are making conscious decisions, which will allow you to be happier, more often.
Recent research has shown that chronic unhappiness leads to stress and several diseases that can develop from stress like heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. Finding ways to let go of tension and stress can lead to you feeling happier.
Kong recommends several tips on how to “get happy”:
1. Gratitude. Think about all the things that you have to be grateful for. Your kids, your spouse, your job, your home, your friends, your health, whatever it is that ispositive in your life – be grateful for it. Taking time to appreciate the good things in your life can help balance the negatives when they come along.
2. Find Happy People. Constantly complaining, negatively focused people can really sap your energy and your own happiness. If it’s a friend you don’t want to give up, try to help them become more positive and let go of their negativity. It will not only benefit them, it will benefit your life as well.
3. Laugh Often. Research shows that people who laugh more are healthier. It releases certain “good” hormones (serotonin, oxytocin) in your body that fight “bad” hormones (cortisol, adrenaline) that can make you sick.
4. Seek Inspiration. Let’s face it, life can be hard sometimes. We see it on the news everyday – tragedies everywhere. Trying to find the silver lining in your personal day though can help you stay positive. Find something good in every day, even if it’s a little thing. You’ll be surprised how many little things can make you feel happy – even if only for the moment.
5. Organize, Prioritize. You’d be surprised how many people could be happier feeling if they just spent some time organizing how their life runs. If your house, or your office, is a cluttered, disorganized mess, taking some time to find a place for everything will help you feel less stressed out.