Around 50% of our mood is controlled by genetics. A further 10% is determined by life experiences but the remaining 40 is affected by our response to those experiences.
stop negative thinking
this is key, but not easy. an instant way to do it is with this simple trick: When you notice you’re obsessing over a thought, shout loudly in your head ‘stoP!’ hold the thought for four seconds while you picture something relevant like a stop sign. try to think of something more constructive to dwell on, or focus on a theme tune or poem – anything to distract you from obsessive/negative thoughts, which, once they take hold, are difficult to shake.
learn to breathe deeply
Focus on your breathing, too – it’s a great distraction technique for controlling emotions.
Make a list of things that inspire you and refer to it often.
being grateful is probably the biggest component of happiness, because it’s one of the most effective methods of increasing long-term feelings of satisfaction with your life.
stay connected with people
It doesn’t matter if it’s chatting to strangers on the bus or at the supermarket, or if it’s staying in touch with people you know – being part of society has been proven to make for a happy brain.
a study at the University of Michigan showed that a lack of social connections had a greater negative impact on health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
spend money wisely
there are only so many new and upgraded gadgets we can have – and because of what psychologists call ‘hedonic habituation’, the novelty wears off. Invest in special experiences instead, as they’re unaffected by hedonic habituation. We tend to remember pleasant emotions we feel at the time they happen.
research also shows that there’s a lot of pleasure in the build-up to experiences. Last-minute getaways are great, but planning ahead gives us something to look forward to.
behaviour has a huge impact