Six Things to Make us Happier Instantly.

Via on Jun 14, 2012
Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain

Don’t worry, this list is solid, not airy-fairy magical thinking..! ~ ed.

All of us want to be happy, but sometimes we get caught up in negative emotions.

The Dalai Lama says, “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

Happiness is an emotion that has to be trained on a daily basis. It’s similar to building a muscle; we have to work on it.

Here are six things that can make us happier instantly.

1. Laugh

I always find myself trying to find some type of opportunity to laugh. Try to incorporate laughter into your day. Go online and watch a video that make’s you laugh. Call up a friend or family member that you find hilarious. I have a close friend, I call up whenever I need to laugh and we start reciting lines from our favorite movies.

2. Smile

Try to find as many opportunities as you can to smile. I’ve never met someone I didn’t like who smiled all the time. There’s tons of scientific research on how beneficial it is to smile; a simple smile can immediately brighten your day.

3. Talk to someone who’s happy

Emotions are contagious and they spread like wildfire. Scientists call this Emotional contagion“— meaning that you literally catch the feeling of the person your interacting with.

4. Interact with people

The Sufi poet Rumi said, “Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight. Be a connoisseur, and taste with caution.”

Go out and interact with as many people as you can. If you’re an introvert, just try to take small strides interacting with people. Neuroscience has proven that the brain can re-wire itself. If we’re introverted, we can teach ourselves to become more extroverted through daily training.

5. Talk to a person who’s much older than you

I always find myself in a gas station or at some other event talking to people who are in their 70s or 80s. They always have a great to deal of wisdom to share and they are generally happy.

6. Do meditation

There’s tons of scientific research that shows how effective meditation is for producing positive emotional states. Try to incorporate a daily practice into your life.

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

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About Robert Piper

Robert Piper is a speaker, writer, specialist in Eastern meditation systems, and an advocate for a happier society. His new book is called Meditation Muscle: America's New Workout for the Mind to Increase Happiness, Build Resiliency, and Excel Under Pressure. He writes for Origin Magazine, Huffington Post, and Elephant Journal. You can find him at his website robertpiper.org on Facebook and Twitter.

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16 Responses to “Six Things to Make us Happier Instantly.”

  1. Eric says:

    Thanks Robert!! These are great tools that all of us can use in our lives (and the dog in the photo looks just like mine :)

  2. Robert Piper Robert_Piper says:

    Thanks Eric, that dog is awesome!!!!

  3. bikestylespokane says:

    I'll add to the list: Ride a bike! Remember when you were a kid and riding your bike meant freedom? What an exhilarating sensation. You can have it back again so easily just by getting back on two wheels and peddling away.

  4. lentil says:

    These are lovely ideas, however as an introvert, I highly disagree with the suggestion that we ought to "rewire" ourselves to become more extroverted. Introverts are typically creative, intelligent, funny, lovely people and most of us are happy with who we are. I find it insulting that some people think that we are unhappy because we choose to be quiet or are uncomfortable in some social situations. Perhaps if an introvert seems unhappy to extroverted people it may be because we find the pressure to be something that we are not rather annoying. Thank you. Namaste.

  5. Cheryl says:

    I want to second lentil's comment and stand up for introverts everywhere, following an uneducated attempt by the author to pathologize introversion. I think it's a tremendously outdated, unfounded and blatantly insulting to introverts to cite neuroscience and introversion, the implications that it's "unhealthy" or would detract from happiness are completely ridiculous. You must be confusing the true meaning of introversion with social anxiety, and the two are totally unrelated. The conclusions of studies on social engagement have never suggested that introversion is the gateway to an unhappy life, and you've drawn fake conclusions to support your view. It's shoddy science. Introverts have rich social lives, are happy, creative, gentle, and all around wonderful people. Often extroverts are socially anxious. Some of the most beautiful art, the most breathtaking music, and the most heart swelling acting performances is thanks to our beautiful introverts. There is no such thing as extroversion being positive, and introversion negative. I find it interesting that this author's bio cites his accomplishments in meditation and spiritual study and yet he's presented here a narrow minded, superficial viewpoint. And on what basis? What's the real evidence? There isn't any. Educate yourself before you publicly generalize. Watch Susan Cain's Ted Talk — The Power of Introverts — to start with (http://goo.gl/qlLqU). I call BS on this whole article, and on the credibility of this author.

    For a media source that claims to be anti-spiritual materialism, and pro mindful-media, I've found EJ to be a total trash rag recently. This article is the final draw for me. Congrats on posting rubbish you claim to be "mindful", and selling it to your audience, while actually promoting superficiality and beginners crap. You've just permanently lost a reader.

    Any introverts reading this article: Do NOT internalize this nonsense, disregard it. Enjoy Susan Cain's work. And celebrate who you are, don't buy into this mainstream propaganda about extroversion being better; it's simply untrue.

  6. muks says:

    I just came back from a University post graduate evening study event for professionals. I had a few conversation with introverts which were very deep and I am still amazed by their ideas and passions. I just turned to the persons sitting next to me and asked "So what are you about to study?" Totally new worlds opened up. Made me very happy!!

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  8. krigor says:

    Just have to say that I appreciate the post, except for the part about introverts. Introversion is a different information processing pathway than extroversion — not something to be fixed. An introvert observes and analyzes first, an introvert requires a lot of alone time in order to process all of the information that is received. Introversion is a beautiful condition, that easily leads to depth of knowledge and skillful action.

  9. Eric says:

    I took suggestion #4 to simply mean that if I'm feeling down or depressed, it's often better to interact with other people so I'm not stuck in my own headspace, that I can learn to rewire my habitual response of internalizing negative emotions and mulling over them. I can see where it came off like a negative commentary on introversion in general.

    If being introverted works for you, disregard his suggestion. trashing the entire article and EJ because of ONE point he made?? a bit extreme.
    personally, I'm not crazy about suggestion #3, I'm often wary of happy people (especially happy shiny people :)

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  15. SolsticeSon says:

    Thanks Eric, those are 6 actions easy to apply in everyday life and sure to bring benefits. Happiness is essential, and brings benefits deeper than we realize!

  16. Joanwishing says:

    #7. Eat ice cream and cuddle a pet.

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