How many times a week are we asked the question- how are you doing, how was your day?  And how do you answer?

Have you ever noticed that often times when we’re asked about our days we usually complain about the bad stuff? It seems that it is our cultural norm to talk about the crappy stuff that’s happening in our lives.

Of course it’s okay to talk about these things, it can be healthy to talk about things we are really struggling with and ask for advice.

But wouldn’t it be extraordinary if we could begin to change our answers and talk about the positive aspects of the day.  Equally truthful, but a perspective shift.

Kind of like seeing a glass as half empty or half full.  Perhaps your answer is neither, you see the pitcher of water next to the glass.

Honestly, it can be really difficult to find ways to bring happiness and joy into our lives, it takes work. Luckily there are people out there researching and experimenting, and finding actionable ways that we can incorporate tools into our lives in order to live a happier, more balanced life.

Happiness expert and psychologist Shawn Achor believes that we actually train our minds to scan back and recall the positive or negative events of our days.  He believes that the mind is a muscle, and much like we lift weights to tone our arms (or do chattarangas for those yogis out there!) we must create repetition to tone our mind muscles for scanning for positivity to increase happiness levels in our lives.

A great way to start training your subconscious mind for positivity is to begin to practice  acknowledging gratitude in your daily life.  It’s amazing how this simple act raises our happiness levels by training our minds to start to seek out and notice what makes us feel good.

Shawn Achor’s 4 Actionable Steps for Increasing Positivity In Your Life:
– Write down 3 new things you are grateful for every day
– Journal about 1 positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours
– Meditate daily (experts recommend at least 10 minutes a day)
– Participate in 1 random act of kindness a day, write 1 positive email praising or thanking somebody in your social support network

It takes at least one month to make a habit form, and happiness takes practice and commitment. Make a commitment to exercise your positivity muscle every day.  I try to incorporate this into my own life by saying my gratitudes with my husband each night during dinner.  How do you incorporate these into your life?