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Train your brain to be happy

think positive, be positive Are you a glass-half-empty type of person? Some people’s brains are wired to focus on the negative, which, not surprisingly, can lead to stress and unhappiness. While you may not be able to change your genetics or past experiences, you can choose to change your thinking to be more positive. Read on for steps you can take, right now, to be a happier person.

Focus on the good. The next time you have a positive experience that makes you smile, take a moment to really savor it. Recall the experience a few times a day, each time sitting with the good feeling for 10 to 20 seconds.

Add meaning to your life. Ask yourself: What excites me? How can I use my skills to make the world a better place? When you have a mission, you’ll not only feel more fulfilled, you’ll also reap the added benefit of improving your health and longevity, according to the Association for Psychological Science.

Take care of your health. Exercise has been shown to improve physical as well as mental health, increase energy and reduce anxiety. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity can
stimulate the chemicals in your brain that make you
feel happier and more relaxed.

Count your blessings, literally. Gratitude isn’t just about saying ‘thank you.’ Gratitude means cultivating a sense of appreciation for the simple pleasures and positive things in your life. To experience gratitude on a deeper level, keep a gratitude journal.

Remember, happiness isn’t something that happens overnight. And no one is happy every minute of every day. Happiness is something you choose, and like anything else worth having, it takes practice.