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5 Ways to Feel More Positive Emotions

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Tyler Nix/Unsplash

Tyler Nix/Unsplash

People often think that mental health is mostly about minimizing negative emotions, like reducing them anxiety, anger, solitudeand sadness.

However, your skills in cultivating positive emotions can be just as important when it comes to your Happiness. Here are five mechanisms that will help you experience positive emotions abundantly. If you master these skills, they will go a long way in helping you feel like a happy person overall.

1. Notice and appreciate the simple joys.

There is comfort and pleasure all around us, but some people notice it better than others. Do you notice the feeling of comfort when you go to bed every night? do you pay Warning your child’s smile or the smell of his skin? Do you notice other people excelling in their role, like the school crossing guard doing a specific job? Do you appreciate others creativitylike the colleague who composes unique outfits?

Appreciate what you experience regularly (eg putting on your comfortable slippers every night) and romance (eg the person doesn’t realize they are singing out loud in public).

2. Put yourself in situations likely to evoke positive emotions.

Do you put yourself in situations likely to evoke positive emotions? Do you visit impressive national parks? Do you frequently engage in new activities and situations? Do you incorporate excitement and surprise into your life?

3. Target the full spectrum of positive emotions.

In writing about mental health, the emphasis is on feeling calm. In reality, there is a wide variety of positive emotions beyond relaxation and lack of stress. To maximize your happiness, you’ll want to regularly experience the full spectrum of positive emotions, not just a few. Some examples of positive emotions are joy, contentment, awe, surprise, excitement, pleasure, calm, satisfaction, amazement, love, connection, curiosity, pride, and vigour/zest/energy*. What else can you think of? Add yourself to this list, then search for lists of positive emotions to see what you’ve been missing. If you can’t think of a positive emotion label, you may not be trying very hard to feel that emotion. Increasing this emotion, by deliberately targeting it, could provide an easy or deep gain in happiness.

4. Capitalize on and benefit from the successes of others.

How do you feel when you see other people succeeding and enjoying their lives? Do you feel enviousOr do you feel joy and excitement on their behalf? If you rely only on your own experiences to provide positive emotions, it is limited in relation to whether the experiences of others are also a source of positive emotions for you.

5. Arouse positive emotions in others.

How good are you at making others beam with pride, laugh, smile, or feel loved, relaxed, surprised, happy, or excited? To some extent, emotions are socially contagious. Being around happy people is more enjoyable than being around unhappy, angry people.

But perhaps more importantly, sparking positive emotions in others allows you to enjoy those emotions as well. Be generous with your compliments. If you think something nice about someone, say so. For example, give someone the compliment they didn’t know they wanted and savor how much it excites them. Think of this concept as reflected happiness.

Expressing yourself can also bring joy to others, such as wearing more colors, displaying your artwork or other creative activities, or singing.

We can’t always control negative stressors, but we can to a greater extent control the positive emotions we strive to experience. Develop these skills through practice and relive the results. Although the principles expressed in this article may seem simple, with effort you can become a true master of these skills. And you won’t be the best, happiest version of yourself without it.

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