- GRATITUDE. Write down five things each day that you are grateful for. Be as specific and as descriptive as you can. Do it at around the same time every day, to set a pattern. When you do this exercise be careful NOT to look for or mention stresses or hassles. If convenient, try not to repeat the previous day’s items.
RATIONALE: You are training your brain to scan your inputs for things that make you happy.
- JOURNALING: Write down your positive experiences, IN WRITING. The act of writing is more immediate than just thinking about your experiences, and it bridges across your semi-subconscious impressions and your conscious, verbal brain.
RATIONALE: This will help you see positive connections in your life story.
- SIMPLIFY vs MULTITASKING: The conscious brain does one thing at a time. When you multi task, your brain isn’t multi tasking- it is jumping from one thing to another, introducing frazzle and stress.
RATIONALE: This will reduce stress in your life, making you happier.
- EXERCISE: Exercise is an antidepressant. If you introduce as little as a few minutes a day of exercise into your life, it will change your brain chemistry. It doesn’t have to be any specific exercise- any physical exertion that changes your respiration or your body tone or your pulse will induce happiness.
RATIONALE: This is stress-reducing, simple and self-rewarding.
- MEDITATION; Meditation improves your mindfulness and your awareness. Simply focus on your breathing. Watch your thoughts and feelings. Breathe slowly and deeply, and if stray thoughts enter your mind, deliberately ignore them and observe your own breathing. Tell yourself “Back to breath.”
RATIONALE: This helps you slow down and watch your thoughts and helps you to relax and unwind; and with practice, it will provide a safety valve when tensions build up within you.