10 ways to add more joy to your life

February 16, 2017

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote, "Into each life some rain must fall."iStock-513947602.jpg

If you sometimes feel like your life is one downpour after another, it's time to find some joy. And it's easier than you might think.

Being joyful has the power to help you bounce back from stressful events, solve problems, think flexibly and even fend off diseases.

So without further ado, here are 10 simple ways to make your days brighter:

1. Do something you loved as a kid. Sing silly songs, splash in puddles or see how high you can swing.

2. Laugh at life's hassles. No day is perfectBut there's often something at least a bit amusing in challenging situations if you look for it.

3. Collect sayings or photos that make you smile Then stick them where they're visible—on your refrigerator or at your desk, for instance—to look at when you need a pick-me-up.

4. Play a song you love. Imaging tests of brains show that music can release feel-good hormones.

5. Go for it. Stop putting experiences you want to try on hold. Bake a pie from scratch, learn to crochet or sign up for an indoor climbing class—explore what intrigues you.

6. Take a nature break. Look up at the sky, and see how blue it really is. Go on an early-morning walk, and delight in the dew on the grass. Let nature's beauty soothe you.

7. Take a mental break. Close your eyes and imagine a place you love. Use all your senses. Are you drawn to the beach? Smell the salt water, feel the sun on your back and hear the crashing waves.

8. Spread happiness. When you get good news, don't keep it to yourself—tell a friend. You'll relive the moment and have the extra pleasure of your friend's reaction.

9. Seek out happy people. Good moods are contagious.

10. Develop your playful side. Joke with strangers in line, arrange nights out with friends or have a regular game night with your family.

Sources: HelpGuide; Mental Health America

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