Small Changes Ripple Outward

Happiness is a choice. It can be a difficult decision to make with all the negativity in the world. It doesn’t have to feel like such a daunting option when focusing on small changes. Small changes create big leaps forward. Over time a greater sense of happiness is enlivened. If you want to optimize your brain health and create greater happiness here are some simple ideas. You don't have to do them all to achieve results. Focus on just a few and see how you can make small changes ripple outward.

1. Meditate. Use Focused Attention mediation to increase focus and attention span. Use Open Meditation to increase your creativity and diversity for solving problems. Use Visual Imagery to envision goals, successes, and achievements.
2. Journal. Writing about traumatic events focusing on cognitive processing and emotional expression helps to resolve the experience and find positive outcomes.
3. Write 3 things you are grateful for daily. Concentrating on the positive increases your overall outlook on life to be more optimistic.
4. Exercise. Moving the body helps release endorphins which heighten your mood and general health.
5. Create random acts of kindness.
6. Drink at least 6 to 8 oz of water daily to stay well hydrated.
7. Eat healthfully. Consume lean proteins, 5 to 7 cups of fruits and vegetables and whole grains daily.
8. Take nutritional supplements. Tyrosine (500 – 1500 milligrams) 2 to 3x daily; OPC (oligomeric procyandius) grape seed or pine bark (1 milligram per pound of body weight); and gingko biloba (60 – 120 milligrams 2x daily) help increase dopamine and blood flow to the brain and may help with energy, focus, and impulse control. Before taking any supplements, first consult with your doctor.
9. Think positively. Healthy thoughts help rid yourself of automatic negative thoughts.
10. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people.
11. Spend time with people you want to be like. You are more likely to become like them.
12. Communicate lovingly and kindly. Talking to others in loving, kind, helpful ways increases the likelihood for others to communicate with you in the same manner.
13. Use Aromatherapy. Fill your environment with comforting smells such as lavender, rose, or cinnamon.
14. Breathe deeply into your diaphragm. Increasing awareness on your breathe into your stomach is calming and soothing.
15. Face conflict. Effectively confront and deal with situations involving conflict.
16. Develop clear goals for your life. Be it in your relationships, work, money, and self and reaffirm them daily.
17. Focus on the positive things in your life more than the negative.
18. Establish eye contact with and smile frequently at others.
19. Resolve problems. Notice when you are stuck, distract yourself, and come back to the problem later. Write out or seek the counsel of others to explore options when you are feeling stuck. Often just writing or talking about feeling stuck will open new options.
20. Enhance your memory. Learning something new every day increasing your memory skills.
21. Sing, hum and move in rhythm often. It just feels good.
22. Use Touch. Touching others often in a loving and appropriate manner shows speaks volumes of kind and loving thoughts.
23. Power-pose daily for 2 minutes. Stand like Wonder Woman, lean back into your chair, open your chest, prop your feet on a desk and clasp your hands behind your head, or any other pose that opens your body and takes up lots of room increases testosterone and decreases cortisol. The change in hormones increases confidence and decreases anxiety.

Author's Bio: 

I am a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, MFTI 69624 based in Los Angeles. I am employed and supervised by Kathryn Tull,M.A.,LMFT 44809. For more information about my services or to schedule an appointment call or text 310-502-4944 or send an email to