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​How to Smile in a Downpour

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Lots of things in the world these days can bring us down, but we don’t have to settle into full-on depression. We have the power to direct our minds, in a way similar to being able to step out of the rain and take cover. (Obviously, some people need psychiatric help, to achieve this.) Instead of meditating, for instance, on the frustrations of having a crappy boss, we can make plans for a good time and then go out and have fun. The following are a few tips for enjoying life even when the general atmosphere is gloomy.

Who are you with?

The company we keep can drag us down or lift us up. If life has gotten more difficult to enjoy, think about who you’re spending time with. Maybe it’s time for a change. As you separate yourself from a caustic environment, one trick is that you may have soured a bit from being surrounded by negativity. Chances are, upbeat people aren’t looking to add a person who is a total downer to their group. So maybe stay quiet a lot while you shift into a more positive mode. Make it your goal to swap good energy with more optimistic friends.

Do what you love

Adults don’t always have an easy time finding new friends. A great way to find a like-minded group is to do what you love.Think about what really makes you happy (and that is completely legal!), and get involved with others who love the same activities. It’s a great way to potentially forge great friendships, since you share a common passion. But even if making friends is slow going, you’re still doing what you love, whether it's riding motorcycles, playing rousing games of basketball, gardening, or any of the countless other things it might be.

Have a grateful attitude

Other people actually don’t have control over your happiness, but the tips above serve as a reminder that we humans are social beings. We are happier when we aren’t alone. That said, one of the secrets to happiness is one that can keep you smiling in any circumstance. The secret is to develop an attitude of gratitude. A thankful heart is a happy heart! Give thankfulness a try. Spend some time thinking about all the blessings in your life. Anyone who lives in the U.S. and visits a country filled with less fortunate individuals quickly realizes that even the poorest among us are rich, by comparison.

Go out in nature

Sometimes just getting out into the beauty of nature is all a person needs to refresh the soul. There is something undeniably majestic about nature. It’s a complete departure from the rat race people often get caught up in.

Life can be enjoyed in the darkest of times, though times of grieving can be exceptions. If all else fails, read stories of people who triumphed against seemingly insurmountable odds. We’ve been given resilient spirits, and there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a happy life. 

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