Did You Know August Is Happiness Month?
Happiness Happens in August
August is Happiness Happens Month, and although it sometimes takes work to see things from a positive point of view, maintaining an optimistic outlook can improve your overall health. Here, three things you can do to make happiness habitual.
1) Find your tribe: We are social beings who often crave community, so it’s hard to be happy when there’s nobody around to make you smile. Take every opportunity to engage with friends and neighbors, join a book club, or schedule time to talk with an old friend or relative by phone, or through various easy-to-use video chat apps. Spending time in the company of someone who makes you smile is a great way to boost your mood, and bring happiness front and center in your life.
2) Gratitude, in all things: One the quickest ways to escape a case of the woes is to make a mental assessment of all the reasons you have to be grateful. The rising sun, a hot cup of coffee, or tranquil afternoons with a good book are all reasons to be thankful for wherever you are today. This easy exercise takes little effort, but boasts BIG benefits. Start a list, and refer back to it as often as needed.
3) Be kind: Did you know joy is contagious? A Harvard Study suggests happiness can spread across social networks, affecting friends, relatives – even strangers. Acts of kindness can produce a euphoric feeling – happiness - caused by the release of neurochemicals in the brain. Even more interesting, is witnessing acts of kindness creates a chain reaction and can reduce anxiety, and enhance physical and mental health.
We asked American House residents, “What makes you happy?”
Joanna R., from American House Wildwood said, "I'm so glad I remarried in my later years - he's a great guy." She continued, "And our rescue dog brings even more joy to our lives!"
Sandy M., from American House Westland Hunter said, "I'm participating in the American House Senior Olympics, and that makes me happy!"
This month, and throughout the year, make happiness your hallmark. Surround yourself with people who remind you of the joys in life; adopt an attitude of gratitude; and be kind to all whom you encounter. Reflect and journal about the things that bring you joy, and meet each day with a smile.