Article in brief: Does a person have the ability to control his or her own happiness? How much does a person’s mood affect their happiness? Is there a way to improve one’s mood? And increase one’s happiness?
The idiom “crack a smile” is more useful than one might think. Paul Ekman and his colleagues, who have studied facial expressions of emotions and have linked specific emotions to the movement of specific facial muscles, say that forcing a smile can help improve a person’s mood!
According to the University of California, Riverside researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky says the percentage of capacity for happiness that is within a person’s power to change is 40%.
Despite the common belief, happiness is contagious. Like a virus, the more a person is surrounded by happy people the better is the person’s mood. Better mood is also known to help in concentrating, getting higher income, boosting creativity, and bettering the immune system.
Boosting one’s mood and hence feeling happier may sound like a difficult task; however there are some simple methods a person can follow to help feel better.
One of those methods is to train your brain to recognize the good things using “The 3 good things” concept, in which you daily record 3 good things in a journal. The good things don’t have to be major; they can be as simple as finding a good parking spot, waking up feeling fresh, or having a good cup of tea. When trying to think of the good things that happen the brain will automatically start picking up things unconsciously, hence improving one’s mood.
Feeling good is also linked to how much a person feels satisfied with their accomplishments. These accomplishments don’t have to be big; they can be simple like reading a book or learning a new hobby. For example, setting a reading target at the beginning of the year and tracking it, as the year progresses, the progress in reaching the target will give a sense of satisfaction. Listing down things to learn or a hobby to pick up can help increase a person’s moral; when crossing things off the list or practicing the new hobby the sense of accomplishment increases drastically.
- crack a smile: to grin; to smile.
- Biswas-Diener, Robert, and Todd Kashdan. “What happy people do differently.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201306/what-happy-people-do-differently (accessed November 15, 2013).
- Wikimedia Foundation. “Mood.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mood_(psychology)#Smiling (accessed November 15, 2013).
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.