International Day of Happiness: 9 tips to increase positive emotions

Positive emotions are important for our health. On International Day of Happiness, learn how to increase positive emotions.
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Positive emotions are good for your health. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 19 Mar 2024, 07:07 pm IST
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Emotions like happiness, joy, hope and excitement need to be experienced to live a truly healthy life. Even science backs this connection between positive emotions and health. Still, it is not possible to feel positive emotions all the time. There will be moments when you will feel sad, lonely and jealous, or get angry. But you should try to experience more positive emotions in life for better health and overall well-being. On International Day of Happiness 2024, celebrated on March 20, find out how to increase positive emotions.

What are positive emotions?

Positive emotions are integral when it comes to determining our overall well-being. The importance of positive emotions, such as joy, gratitude, love, and hope, transcends mere moments of happiness. They serve as fundamental building blocks for a fulfilling and meaningful life, says psychiatrist Dr Sakshe Jain.

Joy, gratitude, love, and hope are all positive emotions. Image courtesy: Freepik

The link between positive emotions and health

We may not realise it often, but positive thinking and good health are interlinked. People who experienced positive emotions with their parents as kids and later with their life partners as adults, were less than half as likely as others to display high levels of cumulative wear and tear on the body, as per a 2001 research published the American Psychologist journal.

Also, one of the most profound impacts of positive emotions is their ability to enhance our mood and outlook, regardless of the circumstances we face. They infuse us with resilience, empowering us to navigate through life’s challenges with grace and determination. Positive emotions have the remarkable ability to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and despair, says the expert.

Cultivating positive emotions can lead to greater life satisfaction, improved relationships, and a more optimistic outlook on life. Moreover, positive emotions enhance our energy levels and promote better sleep, further solidifying their role in maintaining mental health.

How to increase positive emotions?

There are numerous strategies to enhance positive emotions. Here are some expert-recommended tips to boost positive emotions in your life:

1. Be around positive people

Surrounding yourself with positive people can have a great impact on your emotional state. Building strong relationships with supportive people who uplift and inspire you can amplify your own positive emotions. Conversely, minimising exposure to negativity and toxic influences can help preserve your emotional well-being, says Dr Jain.

Spend time with positive people. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Get rid of negativity

Acknowledge the role of physical manifestations of emotion, such as evacuating negativity on a daily basis. Just as we pass physical motions to rid our bodies of waste, consciously releasing negative emotions can help cleanse our minds and spirits.

3. Practice self-compassion

Developing self-compassion is being kind and understanding to yourself, particularly when things are hard. Instead of being overly critical or judgmental, practice self-care and offer yourself the same level of compassion you would to a friend facing similar difficulties. This approach fosters a positive relationship with yourself, promoting greater resilience and emotional well-being.

4. Engage in activities that bring joy

Make time for activities that bring genuine joy and fulfilment into your life. Whether it is pursuing a hobby, spending time in nature, or engaging in creative things, prioritise activities that nourish your soul and uplift your spirits.

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5. Practice positive self-talk

Monitor your inner dialogue and consciously replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Instead of focusing on perceived shortcomings or failures, celebrate your strengths and accomplishments. By cultivating a more positive internal narrative, you can boost your self-esteem and foster a greater sense of self-worth, says the expert.

6. Foster a growth mindset

Adopting a growth mindset involves embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Rather than viewing setbacks as obstacles, approach them with curiosity and resilience. By reframing setbacks as valuable learning experiences, you can cultivate a more optimistic outlook and bolster your capacity for resilience.

7. Seek out opportunities for laughter

Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and tension, capable of instantly elevating mood and fostering a sense of connection with others. Try to seek out opportunities for laughter in your daily life, whether it is sharing jokes with friends, watching a comedy show, or simply finding humour in every day situations. Cultivating a light-hearted approach to life can significantly enhance your overall sense of well-being.

8. Practice random acts of kindness

In addition to intentional acts of kindness, look for opportunities to perform random acts of kindness throughout your day. Whether it is holding the door open for someone, complimenting a stranger, or leaving a positive note for a co-worker, these small gestures can spread positivity and goodwill to those around you.

9. Limit exposure to negative media

Limit exposure to negative news and social media content that may exacerbate feelings of fear, anxiety, or negativity. Instead, look for sources of inspiration, uplifting stories, and positive content that nourishes your mind and spirit.

Positivity is basically a choice we make each day, and it is within our power to cultivate it.

Natalia Ningthoujam

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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