People cannot be forced to be happy or have a positive attitude about their life. Research has shown when situations are created to make people feel happy and be positive, they actually feel worse after the situation is over. New studies suggest it’s important for a person to be in touch with what really makes them happy and focus their efforts on obtaining it. This is what often leads to having a positive attitude.

Prioritizing Positivity

The Journal Emotion published a study concerning the concept of prioritizing positivity. The research involved over 200 adults of all ages and was designed to measure their well-being. The results showed that individuals who made being positive a priority were more satisfied with their life. These people often had positive emotions and seemed free from symptoms of depression.


Research has shown that exercise has a powerful influence when it comes to a person’s happiness and positive feelings. A study had three groups of patients try to treat their depression with exercise, medication or a combination of both. Each of the groups was tested half a year after the study began. The group only taking medication had over 37 percent return rate to being depressed. Individuals in the combination group had approximately 30 percent relapsing. The relapse rate for the exercise only group was less than 10 percent. Many therapists recommend their patients suffering from chronic depression get involved in an exercise program.

Decrease Work Commute

When a person spends less time commuting, they can spend more time on themselves. People can achieve goals such as earning a master of science in nursing, starting that small business and more. Research has shown that people don’t seem to realize how a long workday commute can negatively impact them. Two economists from Switzerland studied the effect commuting had when it came to happiness. They discovered that even when compensation was provided to workers for long commutes, it didn’t decrease the misery workers felt.

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Get Adequate Sleep

Many studies have been conducted that show adequate sleep will have an impact on a person’s happiness and positive attitude. In one study, college students were deprived of sleep and then asked to memorize a list of words. Over 80 percent were able to remember words with a negative connotation. Only 30 percent of the students could remember words that had neutral or positive connotations. The study went further and discovered that a nap during the day decreased negative reactions and increased positive expressions.

Engagement in the pursuit of positive emotion can lead to happiness. There are no shortcuts. Maximizing happiness is a common path. Being happy and having a positive attitude are personal choices.