I just read a kind of science-heavy article posted by my niece on FaceBook about making yourself a happier person. You can check it out here. My niece, Allison, an attorney, has an 18 year old daughter who has been in a coma for nearly two years after an AVM, basically a brain bleed. Annika, the daughter, is making little steps of progress, each one very exciting to witness. There is lots of love and gratitude in their home.
This is the end of the article:
Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:
- Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
- Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
- Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
- Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.
So what’s the dead simple way to start that upward spiral of happiness?
Just send someone a thank you email. If you feel awkward about it, you can send them this post to tell them why.
This really can start an upward spiral of happiness in your life. UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb explains:
Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.
My response: send someone a hand stamped card today. I actually sent out seven yesterday, mostly thinking of you cards plus one birthday card.
And nearly two weeks ago I sent out 87 RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) cards to members of Sudsol, the stamping business email list I belong to. Thank yous have been trickling in: “your card arrived at the perfect time”, your card arrived when I was down and it just made my day”. Mind you, I did not hand stamp these cards. They were ‘an extra’ card made by Sudsol members who attended Stampin’ Up!’s convention in July and participated in our organized swap (of cards). I had asked for extra cards to send as RAKs. I was given a list of addresses by the gals who run Sudsol and was merely the vessel who placed the cards in envelopes, added a little note, and put them in the mail. But—I felt good about it and obviously the recipients are feeling good about it.
Bottom line: Make someone’s day. Send an unexpected, for-no-reason-other-than-to-say-HI card to someone in your life. Make yourself and your recipient/s happier persons.