The switch over to Standard Time is always a hard transition for me. Now that it’s here, I know that winter is really upon us, and it’s going to be a long time before the daylight hours approximate the night. It always takes some work for me to remember that four months go by quickly and that there is joy and happiness during the fall and winter too.

So, I decided to look for some wisdom to help me through this tough time of the year and found that I had posted this hopeful and positive article and summary a few years back.

The attached article is all about practices that help to maintain a connection to basic happiness. The article cites 10 studies on happiness, several of which debunk a couple myths of happiness (that money and possessions bring happiness), and a few others that are reflective of the simple practices that can help us maintain our connection to basic happiness and connection.

The practices can be summarized as follows:

  • Maintain a simple gratitude practice to increase overall happiness (note at least 3 things each day that you are grateful for – they should be mostly different things each day).
  • Hug the people you love. Increased levels of oxytocin are associated with happiness and can be achieved simply through eight hugs a day.
  • Think positive thoughts and smile. Smiling as a result of thinking positive thoughts improves mood. When we place our thoughts on the positive we feel more positively.
  • Surround yourself with happy and joyful people. Happiness is contagious.
  • Engage in acts of kindness. It helps others feel good, and rebounds to help you feel good too. One simple compliment each day or a simple random act of kindness works wonders.
  • Exercise. People who exercise on workdays are happier and have less stress in their lives. Really, if you make sure you move every day you will feel better.
  • Volunteer. Volunteering results in improved mental health overall and decreased feelings of depression.
  • Give generously. Generosity promotes happiness. Whenever you can spend more on others than you do on yourself.

As you can see these are very simple and basic practices. One needs only to decide to try them out to see that they begin to work almost immediately and make these dark days of fall and winter a little easier to bear.

For more information on the studies and more detail on the practices see the full article, as attached.http://www.becomingminimalist.com/happier/. And please also remember, if you’re feeling a level of sadness that is not easily addressed by practices such as these there’s always help out there for you. For an assessment to see if counseling is right for you please contact me at:https://compatiblecounseling.com/intake/

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