Instead of wishing for things you don’t have (yet), think about how things could be worse—or how things used to be worse. Keep it light—you don’t have to relive a scary health diagnosis or revel in a neighbor’s job loss. Simply take note: Is today sunnier than the weather report predicted? Did you finish off that work project more quickly than you thought you would?
6. Get Absorbed
Listen to your favorite music with headphones in a dark room. Lose yourself in a novel you just can’t put down. Set aside enough time on the weekend for your favorite hobby so you can attain a level of absorption known as the “flow” state.
7. Act Like You’re Happy
Putting on a happy face—even if you don’t feel like it—actually induces greater happiness, says Bryant. So be exuberant. Don’t just eat the best peach of the season; luxuriate in every lip-smacking mouthful. Laugh out loud at a funny movie. Smile at yourself when you pass by a mirror.
8. Make The Most Of Meaningful Moments
Some positive events come and go quickly. It seems obvious that the more quickly a positive experience evaporates, the more difficult it is to savor. Yet Bryant has found that reminding ourselves of how time is fleeting encourages us to seize positive moments while they last.
9. Don’t Indulge In Glass-Half-Empty Thoughts
The world has enough pessimists. When you find yourself awash in happiness, give it space to grow—don’t ruminate about why you don’t deserve this good thing, what could go wrong, how things could be better. Consciously make the decision to embrace joy.
10. Say “Thank You” More Often
Cultivate an “attitude of gratitude,” Bryant says. Pinpoint what you’re happy about—a party invitation from a new pal, a seat on a crowded subway—and acknowledge its source. It’s not always necessary to outwardly express gratitude, Bryant notes, but saying “thank you” to a friend, a stranger, or the universe deepens our happiness by making us more aware of it.
Always remember: The sun will continue to rise!