Do you feel happy to be alive? Bursting with vitality and joy?

If you do, great!

Or are you one of the 20.6% American adults living with mental illness...

Or the constant stress that doesn't fit a standard diagnosis?

In a world filled with discontent, lockdowns and responsibility, pain and pandemic, maintaining a happy brain has become harder than ever… and infinitely more important.

With this in mind, how can you train your brain to experience more happiness? To act as an antidote to sadness and strain?

Here are our top 5 science-backed tips.

Learn self-acceptance

In a world constantly telling you that you’re less than another, poorer than you ought to be, fatter than you should be, in short,  “Not enough,” bucking the trend is essential for finding happiness.

So, what exactly does self-acceptance mean?

According to Positive Psychology, “[Self-acceptance is] an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.”

This term refers to your ability to lovingly acknowledge your wonders and imperfections without harsh, cold judgement, accepting the entirety of who you are.

How can you practice self-acceptance?

— Embrace your uniqueness

— Identify your strengths

— Be kind and gentle with yourself, particularly when you err

— Practice forgiveness

— Understand limitations, without limiting your sense of self

— Quiet your inner critic with mindfulness and meditation, volunteering and the expression of love

— Stop comparing yourself to others!

Note: Self-acceptance is so important that a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research found that this trait decreased the risk of death by 19% and added three years to human life.

Harness the power of positive language

Listen carefully for the next week…

How do you speak to yourself? What language do you use?

Are your words nasty and destructive, or kind and gentle?

We all have an inner critic; the internal voice that utters beliefs, emotions, ideas, and thoughts, and tells us when we’re right or (often) wrong. 

Yet, self-critique is not a concrete, immovable thing. It is an individual mix of past experiences combined with a sudden neurological spark that bring to mind a notion; a claim, a review, an imagining.

Think about a time when you sat with another who stared your way. Did the language in your head affirm that you’d done something wrong? That you’d made a mistake? That they were disappointed with your actions? Did you assume you'd blown them away with your brilliance? Or did you think nothing and simply wait to see if they spoke?

Imagine, now, how each of these scenarios would play out. How each would effect your emotional state?

Many people would interpret the first situation with feelings of unease, maybe anger, even dread. Certainly, unhappiness!

As you can see, the language that you use, the way you speak to yourself, is key to training your brain for joy.

— Choose words that support you. For example, “Could" instead of “should”. I can do this. I am enough. I am an amazing organizer, or parent, or listener, or coffee maker.

— Limit — even eliminate — negative self-speech. Replace “I'm overwhelmed,” with “I'm popular.” Instead of repeating, “I suck at completion,” plan steps that will lead to accomplishment. Keep track of your common slurs and implement ways to counter and disarm them.

— Reduce time spent with negative nellies. Especially those who take the wind from your sails.

Choose your peeps carefully

Speaking of negative nellies, this deserves a section of its own!

If there are people who readily impress negatively upon you, there’s a good chance that you’ll model their rants and beliefs.

As Matthew Kelly, the author of The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose, said:

The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends.

With this in mind, choose your peeps carefully. Surround yourself with those who build you up, not tear you down.

Celebrate your wins

How can you win in the happiness stakes if you don’t allow yourself to celebrate your victories?

By recognizing your achievements, you positively recognize yourself. You acknowledge your determination, your will, your capacity. You see that you have a range of useful traits and skills that lead to goal fulfillment.

And, as a 2018 study found:

  1. Goal attainment has positive effects on wellbeing. Maybe surprisingly, the importance of the goals had no effect. Accomplishment was the key.

  1. Congruence between “intrinsic goal importance and goal attainment is positively related to well-being.” In essence, achieving goals that are meaningful to you matter.

So, focus on tasks that are personally significant, whether big or small. Then celebrate your achievements.

Nourish your neurons

Often when we consider happiness we overlook diet. We think of the former as emotional and the latter physical. But the foods you consume create the material of your brain. They nourish your neurons in a way that is foundational for a joyful outlook.

As Associate Professor Jerome Sarris noted, nutrients are required for a well brain and mental health. These include amino acids, minerals magnesium and zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D, plant-based antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and the compounds, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe).

A varied whole foods diet and supplementation is essential.

Our well-loved SuperGreens blend is rich in hundreds of health and brain nourishing compounds. Including minerals, vitamins, organic whole food antioxidants, and more!

As David M says, “I appreciate this product in so many ways… I immediately take it, and feel it start nourishing my body and thought process.”


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The takeaway

Happiness can seem elusive, especially in a world that seems filled with stress and trauma. But joy can be nourished, cultivated, with the right steps.

Learning self-acceptance, harnessing the power of positive language, carefully choosing the people in your inner circle, celebrating your wins, and nourishing your neurons are five powerful science-backed ways to heighten your spirits and regain joy. A contented life is worth the effort!