Basically, everything we do in life, we do it so that we can be happy.
Our actions and inactions are all geared towards achieving happiness.
But did you know that our thoughts have a huge impact on whether we feel happy or sad?
With some practice, you can actually train yourself to have happy thoughts which in turn can improve your overall happiness.
Our thoughts are mainly driven towards two lines of emotions, happiness or sadness.
And even though we all crave happiness, sometimes circumstances throw such hard punches at us that we can’t help but sink into sadness or even depression.
As you read this article, I am not sure what you are passing through that might have you feeling down.
Perhaps you are simply exhausted from all the things happening in the world or maybe you just don’t feel quite content with where you find yourself in life.
Or you could just be having a bad day. But here is the good news. You can still be in control if you wish.
Most of us underestimate the influence we have over our own lives.
We fail to understand that we can regulate our emotions and train our brains to have happy thoughts no matter what life throws at us.
All it takes is to develop a happier mindset which will enable you to think differently from how you think now.
8 Tips To Have Happy Thoughts
Can You Train Yourself To Have Happy Thoughts?
The good news is that, according to the University of California Berkeley, you can actually train your brain to encourage happiness and having more positive thoughts.
The question now is, how do you pull this off?
Let’s find out!
Here are practical tips on how to train your mind to be happy.
#1. Think About What Makes You Happy
Sure, there are times we encounter difficulties in life.
Those tough times are the decisive moments when positive minded people distinguish themselves from the negative ones.
Positive people always have a choice when it comes to their emotions.
They intentionally choose to be happy.
Plus, they don’t let the circumstances of life determine how happy or sad they will be.
Nowadays, most people who face hard times in life often give room for negative thoughts to infiltrate their minds.
They are likely to feel like they have no choice but to sink into depression or give up on their dreams.
But here is the truth. You have a choice to think only about what makes you happy.
And you also have a choice to avoid whatever dampens your mood.
Here’s one negative thought that can result in unpleasant feelings.
“I’ve gained so much weight, I don’t look attractive anymore!”
Instead of dwelling on such thoughts that don’t serve you, why not think about the solution to what you’re perceiving as an issue?
Change the negative thought into something more positive and solution focused.
So instead let it be, “Oh! I’ve added a few pounds. I’ll have to work out a little more to get in shape.”
Or better yet, replace those negative thoughts with some positive affirmations.
Intentionally choose to think differently about your appearance.
By filling your mental space with such positive thoughts, you will be happy with yourself and your life.
#2. Pick Out The Positives From Every Sad Situation
Most obstacles and challenges we face in life only become overwhelming when we fail to take any positives from them.
Before you get discouraged by the harsh realities you are facing, always remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining, even if you don’t see it yet.
You have to train your mind to see the good in every situation.
It may be difficult for you to find something positive to focus on in a negative situation, but if you really try and think about all the things in your life you have to be grateful for, big problems can become a little smaller.
Got fired by your boss? Sure, it hurts.
But now that you are less busy with work, you have enough time to re-strategize, acquire some new skills, and even get yourself a better job!
Life will be much more pleasing if we learn to take the positives out of every seemingly negative situation.
#3. Take Charge Of Your Emotions
If you want to always have happy thoughts, then you must learn how to control your emotions so you can be in charge of your feelings, moods, and dispositions.
How do you go about that?
Train your brain to be happy.
Drill yourself to think more positively than negatively.
It takes practice, but it can be done, and your life will be better for it.
For instance, taking a closer look, some people actually get angry, annoyed or upset for the smallest things.
They let these feelings rule their lives and always have something to complain about.
Then there are also others that never let any situation get them down. They always seem to be happy.
Well, it’s not as if such happy people are superhuman, and it’s not as if they don’t go through some bad experiences.
It’s just that they have trained their minds enough to take charge of their emotions.
The truth is, different people react differently to certain situations, depending on how emotionally intelligent and mature they are.
While some people get mad at a bad driver and dish out curses to them, others will simply shake their heads and smile.
Some get furious when they are criticized, others simply take corrective action or try to improve and move on.
It takes some level of emotional strength to get to that point where you don’t take things personally.
And to attain that level, you have to train your mind to be habitually indifferent towards certain frustrating situations.
That’s how you become a happier person.
#4. Practice Gratitude
It will be a lot easier for you to have happy thoughts if you are always grateful for your little wins, achievements, and successes.
Practicing gratitude has been proven to curtail accumulated mental and emotional stress.
Gratitude boosts your self-esteem and consolidates your resilience even in the most awkward times.
Try to practice gratitude daily.
Each day, think of something you are truly grateful for in your life and let this be your happy thought for the day.
- Read now: Learn how to be happy with what you have
Whenever you come up against something that triggers your emotions negatively, always remember those things, people, or moments in your life that you are grateful for.
You can also practice gratitude by thanking that co-worker that helped you out on a project, or by appreciating a loved one for helping you tidy the house.
If there is nothing else to be grateful for, what about being appreciative of your dog for the absolute love and company it offers you?
What about your job, career, good health, and general progress in life?
So yes, if you look hard enough, there is always something you should be thankful for.
#5. Be Open To Humor
Apart from practicing gratitude and controlling your emotions, another way to trick your brain into being happy is by giving humor a chance to reign in your life.
It works like magic because before you realize it, you will start seeing the funny part of any given situation you find yourself in.
With a great sense of humor, you won’t take certain words people throw at you to heart.
Most ill-meaning remarks from people will not matter much because you’ve already conditioned your mind in such a way that your disposition radiates happiness and humor no matter how annoying the circumstances might be.
The truth is, it might be difficult to cultivate the habit of laughing, especially when the situation doesn’t call for it at all.
But laughing out loud, even in those annoying moments when you don’t feel like it, will go a long way to reduce your anxiety and lighten your mood.
In other words, if you want to develop a happier mindset, then learn how to laugh.
#6. Practice Positive Self Talk
We are often so hard on ourselves that we become our own worst critic.
This is evident in the way many of us address ourselves negatively.
Of course, over time, such negative remarks evolve into a negative perception of ourselves which can also result in outright self hate.
- Read now: Learn how to silence your inner critic
How do you prevent this? Well, just look into the mirror!
Some people feel weird looking into the mirror and speaking to themselves.
But this is one of the best ways to get yourself to think happy thoughts by practicing positive self talk.
When the going gets tough and you feel so low-spirited and probably less proud of yourself or your accomplishments, walk straight to the mirror, look at your reflection and tell yourself things like:
- You are smart
- You are beautiful
- I’m proud of the man/woman you’ve become
- You can do this
- You are qualified for this
- Everything is going to be okay
Research has proven that telling yourself such positive words can trigger your brain to release the happiness hormone, Dopamine, which will make you feel good about yourself.
Besides, there is no easier way to give your confidence a significant boost than to practice positive self talk.
#7. Surround Yourself With Positive Minded People
The kind of people you surround yourself with determines who you are.
This is because negativity is as contagious as positivity.
When you always hang out with negative people who are hell-bent on always complaining or saying hurtful things, there is no way you will be happy.
With such people around you, your thoughts will be influenced to see the bad in every situation as well.
On the other hand, surrounding yourself with people with the right mindset will benefit you a lot.
Not only will your mood improve, but your self-esteem will also be heightened.
Hanging out with positive-minded people will give you the needed motivation to reach your goals without giving up because you will learn a lot from their attitudes and progress.
#8. Take Care Of Your Body And Mind
A healthy body brings about a sound mind and a sound mind results in lasting happiness.
The best way to hit the ground running, in terms of taking care of your body and mind, is by engaging in regular exercise.
Experts suggest that taking care of yourself physically and mentally can impact your happiness and train your brain to be more positive over time.
In addition to keeping the body healthy, endeavor to eat good food, a balanced diet, and avoid excessive sugar, salt, and fat.
You can also train your mind by practicing yoga.
This will help you meditate deeply and improve your mindfulness and concentration in your everyday life.
Practicing mindfulness will make you very conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions without evaluating them as good or bad.
Such self-awareness can stimulate you to think differently, develop a happier mindset, and ultimately think happy thoughts.
Practicing all the tips discussed above won’t come easy.
It will take a lot of constant hard work and focus to pull it all off.
However, once you get intentional about it and decide to have happy thoughts no matter how messed up the situation is, you will get used to being happy over time.
Remember that happiness is a choice. You alone can determine your happiness or sadness by taking charge of your emotions.
Now, since you are aware that the ball is in your court, why not seize the opportunity and make the most out of your life?
Simply put, happiness is the best gift you can offer yourself in life.
You only have one life, why not make it a happy one?
Lish is a personal development enthusiast who wants to help people of all ages uplevel their lives. She is of the opinion that we are only limited by our beliefs and that once we overcome our limiting beliefs, we can truly live a life without regrets. She is the author behind Mind Her Way where she shares her thoughts on personal growth and relationships.