How to be Happy Step #6: Surround Yourself with Nature
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that spending as little as 20 minutes in natural surroundings makes you feel relaxed, vital, and energetic. Although the study didn't address why nature is revitalizing, Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods and an upcoming book about the restorative power of the natural world, has a theory: "Spirituality begins with a sense of wonder—something that's more likely to occur when you're outside than while on your computer." To put it another way: When you catch sight of a deer or you hear a woodpecker pecking, it fills you with amazement. So disconnect and get outside for a hike with your family or a 30-minute run.
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How to be Happy Step #7: Forgive and Forget
Here's the easiest trick in the world for dealing with situations in which someone makes you mad: Try to imagine what's motivating them. The guy who cut you off in traffic may be racing his pregnant wife to the hospital, or your boss may have snapped at you because she's dealing with budget issues. Who knows? It isn't always about you. "Realizing that you're not at the center of everything should be a relief," says Anderson. "It frees you up to be forgiving and understanding." In the same way that you're striving to become a better person, assume others are too. Trying to accept their imperfections—as well as your own—is what spirituality is all about.
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More on How to be Happy:
Finding My Happy Weight
Mariska Hargitay's 6 Tips for Healthy and Happy Living
How to Live Happily Ever After
| Dec 01, 2010