THE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND JOY
Love, laughter and feelings of joy actually have positive physiological effects on your internal landscape. In fact, this area of research is so compelling that it has a name: positive psychology. The science of love and happiness is showing us that people who feel happy and loved have better quality of life and have more potential to live longer, healthier lives. When we support our health from a place of love, we have the most potential to be healthy and happy and help others be healthy and happy as well.
Here are five simple things you can do to add more love into your life every day, not just during the holidays!
1. Encourage gratitude.
Being grateful for others fills your heart with appreciation. You can encourage gratitude in your life by starting your day with thoughts of gratefulness. Before you even get out of bed, think of at least one thing, situation or being for which you are grateful. Let yourself appreciate this object of gratitude for a few moments. You could also keep a gratitude journal and, each night before bed, jot down the things you were grateful for that day.
2. Meditate on love.
Think about several times when you felt loved, and picture those times in your mind’s eye. These are now your love meditations. Take some time each week to listen to relaxing music and think about the love meditations you have created. Recall how you felt, whom you were with and how appreciated and loved you felt at that time. When you are done, take some full, deep breaths and let those moments sink into the very fabric of your being.
3. Speak from the heart.
This week, tell someone you love either verbally or in writing why you love them and why you appreciate their love. It doesn’t have to be a big, drawn out event—just a simple act of speaking the truth and reminding yourself and others that you experience love and are grateful for the opportunity to share it. Be authentic in your expression.
4. Do what you love.
What are your top three things you just love to do? Keep track of how much time you spend each week doing one or more of those three things. Relish the moments you do get to enjoy them, and if you can, give each of these loved activities even a few more minutes of your time.
5. Love yourself.
Take time each week to appreciate something about yourself. Maybe it’s a characteristic or attribute. Or maybe it’s a special talent. With a smile on your face, give yourself a hug or a pat on the back. We all have gifts to share, and it’s important that we recognize and love the gifts that we carry.