Positive people are happier, period. Tapping into your bright side is easier than you’d guess !!!

We all know people whose engagement with life can only be described as joyful. Fittingly, nature rewards these happy-go-lucky types: Being optimistic in middle age increases life span by at least 7.5 years — What’s behind their hardiness: They minimize the destructive effects of stress. Of course, optimists get stressed, But they automatically turn the response off much more quickly and return to a positive mental and physical state.

Here are four habits that longevity experts say are at the heart of a sunny disposition—and that you can adopt, too:

1. THEY WORK THEIR CELL PHONES

People who socialize at least once a week are more likely to live longer, keep their brains sharp, and prevent heart attacks. Just talking on the phone to a friend has the immediate effect of lowering your blood pressure and cortisol levels. Having good long-term relationships provides as many physical benefits as being active or a nonsmoker. Make the effort to connect with the friends you already have. Call now, and before you hang up, schedule a lunch date—personal contact is even better.

2. THEY EXPRESS GRATITUDE (WITHIN REASON)

Buoy your spirits by recording happy events on paper, your computer, or a PDA. People who write about all the things they are thankful for are optimistic about the upcoming week and more satisfied overall with their lives. But don’t overdo it. Find the frequency that works for you – giving thanks shouldn’t feel like a chore.

3. THEY’RE RANDOMLY KIND

Do you perform five acts of kindness in any given day? That’s the number of good deeds that boosts your sense of well-being and happiness. Your karmic acts can be minor and unplanned – giving up your seat on the bus; buying an extra latte to give to a coworker. You’ll find that the payback greatly exceeds the effort. Don’t fret if you can’t make the quota daily. “Being spontaneously kind also delivers rewards.” 😉

4. THEY REAPPRAISE THEIR LIVES

Set aside a little time each week to write about or record—or even just mentally revisit—an important event in your past. Reflecting on the experience can reshape your perception of it, as well as your expectations for the future. When creating this “life review,” you get to list all your accomplishments—an instant self-esteem booster. It’s helpful to look at the bad times as well as the good. Perhaps now that a few years have passed, you’ll be able to see how that breakup or failed job opportunity opened other doors and finally forgive yourself—and your ex-boyfriend or would-be boss. If you can come to terms with past events, you’ll be better able to handle tough times down the road. So be honest, but also go easy on yourself.

Remember: You are the heroine in this tale 

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