Happiness is key to a creative and healthy life. Studies have shown that a more positive outlook results in better general health and fewer illnesses and that optimism cuts the risk of coronary heart disease by half. And other studies have shown that visual art interventions have stabilizing effects on the individual by reducing distress, increasing self-reflection and self-awareness, altering behavior and thinking patterns, and also by normalizing heart rate, blood pressure, or even cortisol levels.
Here are a few of Rebecca’s suggestions on how to promote your happiness:
Stop for a few minutes and take inventory of the great things that you have done in life. Even if you’ve never climbed Mount Everest, you’ve probably accomplished something. It is often hard to force yourself to acknowledge the good things, but it does help.
Remember the bad times
One little-known way to help yourself become happier is to stop and remember the bad times. As odd as it sounds, you need to acknowledge that you have come through significant challenges. While these bad times might color your perception, you can’t ignore them.
Talk to an old friend
We all have friends with whom we have lost touch. If you want a moment of real happiness, get in contact with one of those friends. Say hello, ask how they’re doing, and reconnect. The conversation doesn’t have to be long or profound. These little moments can build up over time and help you connect with the people who make you happiest and you’ll be happy naturally.
For all 40 recommendations, please read Rebecca’s article.