5 Daily Actions that Drive Positive Emotions

It’s National Act Happy Week, but for many people who suffer from depression, acting happy is easier said than done. Research shows the difference between people who are flourishing and those who aren’t lies in the magnitude of positive emotions they are able to self-generate from everyday pleasant activities.

Our day-to-day positive emotions improves our overall wellbeing. Actions you take today to improve positivity don’t just effect today’s wellbeing, they also help to create next month’s increases in wellbeing.

So how can you make yourself feel happy? It often takes daily practice and mindfulness, but you can fake it ‘till you make it when you follow these daily actions for a happier, healthier you:

1. Smile on purpose
Smiling releases endorphins and initiates a complex shift of muscles, breath, and body chemistry that creates a more positive mood.
Bonus: What you put out, others will mirror back to you!
2. Practice gratitude
When you express feelings of thankfulness, you experience the pleasure and excitement of making another person happy. Say ‘thank you’ out loud as often as you notice others, or send a thank you note to a friend.
You can also write down what you are grateful for which will stimulate different chemistry in your body versus just thinking it. This will also help create a positivity roadmap for times you’re finding it extra hard to find that sunny place in your feelings.
3. Perform an act of kindness
Even the smallest actions done out of good intentions can have a ripple effect in the world. When you perform an act of kindness, even a small one, you feel better about yourself when you reach out to others!
4. Engage in conversation
When you engage with others in positive intent, you feed into a positive emotional space for both of you.
5. Live in the moment
When you bring yourself fully present, you temporarily reduce stress and worry. Pay attention to the experience and sensations, in the moment.

These are great reminders for anyone who wishes to live a happier life, but for those who struggle with chronic depression, feelings of sadness can be a constant, underlying emotion.

Depression isn’t just a feeling; it’s an illness. And fortunately, depression is one of the most treatable mental disorders. If you are experiencing signs of depression, there are many mental health resources available for treatment. TMS Neuro Institute is one of the earliest adopters in using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat depression in Los Angeles. To schedule a consultation, call 888-823-4867 or book an appointment online.