It seems like a no-brainer, but how do we collect happiness in the midst of negativity?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we forget about our problems by turning a blind-eye. Research, actually, points out the dangers of doing this. Nevertheless, it’s still difficult. We need to move through our daily stress in addition to any outside, secondary stressors.

Take a brief break and take a look at these four easy ways to curate happiness* to help ease your day.

1. Laugh at yourself

Hands down, I am my own worst critic. Nothing gets passed by critical eye on how I perform on a daily basis. Try easing the stress you put on yourself by taking a moment and finding the humor in it. Because, guess what? We’re beautifully human. This means we’re bound to mess up somewhere along the way. Take solace in this, and, maybe, a solid chuckle at the last time you tripped up the stairs.

2. Find your funny

Take a moment and ask yourself when was the last time you heard something that truly made you laugh–like stomach-hurting laughter. Identify what or who was able to do that, and find more YouTube videos, GIFs, and all the memes your heart can take.

3. Surround yourself with fun, playful people

Like my father always tells me, “Don’t stay around vampires if you can.” This is a beautiful, two-fold nugget of advice he’s told me since I was about ten-years-old. The obvious is the general avoidance of any Dracula-esque, blood-suckers, but the second applied to a kind of “social vampire.” They suck the fun out of you with a constant negativity. Instead, share your time with the people who bring you delight and share laughs with you.

4. Smile

It’s the quickest, easiest and one of the most effective ways to collect happiness. There are several studies showing the multiple physical and mental health benefits of smiling. The feel-good endorphins produced in your brain helps decrease stress, lower blood pressure, relaxed muscles and more.

Take time out of your day and reflect: How do I curate happiness? While it may not solve all problems, happiness can help offer moments of light in a day of darkness.

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