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How to create more joy in your life

It’s estimated that only about 15 percent of people are born optimists.

But don’t worry. Optimism is a habit you can learn.

To raise your happiness levels:

- Strike up a conversation. Social interaction is the thing that most reliably increases people’s positive emotions, whether you're introverted or extroverted. Ask someone “what’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?”

- Choose your company wisely. Remember you ARE the top five people you spend time with. Avoid whingers, narcissists, pessimists and energy suckers.                                                influence—and be influenced by—their friends.

- Make a joy list.  List all the things that bring you joy or are fun to do. Schedule some every day.

- Give time or money to a worthy cause. Research proves that helping others makes us feel better about ourselves. Is there a local charity, or even a neighbour, who would benefit from your help or expertise?

- Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.

- Always have something to look forward to, like a holiday you are planning, or a special meet-up with friends. The secret of happiness is something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to.

Keep yourself connected.

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I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” – Serena Williams
“Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.” – Shirley Chisholm
“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” – Frida Kahlo
“Have no fear of perfection; you'll never reach it.” – Marie Curie
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“There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” – Michelle Obama
“If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou
‘Sometimes challenges seem enormous, but if you can connect with others working towards the same goal, it becomes more achievable.’ — Tracey Spicer
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