1. Look at your photos of children, friends or pets that trigger a joy response. Once you settle on a picture, list a few reasons why the picture makes you happy—perhaps it reminds you of something funny or nurturing. Studies indicate that thinking about previous events and sensory experiences can conjure the same joyful emotions.
2. Start your day with a positive self-statement based on fact. Instructional and motivational self-talk are uplifting because what we think influences our actions and emotions. Note that I say “based on fact” for a reason. If you say, “I’m the perfect parent, no exceptions,” it may be true, but if you’re in a bad mood, odds are that you won’t believe yourself. A better example: “I’m an excellent parent because I brought my daughter to the park after school and saw how happy she was.” The more specific the statement, the more likely you are to believe it—and the better the chance it will help you.
3. Compliment three people every day. Research shows you’ll gain friendships and confidence—because compliments are often reciprocated. So start a cycle of happiness!