Do you feel like a black cloud is following you? Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed by change or feel like that shoe on the other foot is about to drop? Or that happy people are, let’s just say, annoying? Attitude is the number one reason people don’t feel satisfied with their lives, themselves, or other people.

Life is too short to spend the precious moments and energy that you have on negative feelings and outlooks. Here are four ways to start changing your perspective for the better and live a healthy, positive life.

DOSE-I-Do

We aren’t talking about dos-i-do, the famous square-dancing technique. Although, for many, this is an excellent way to get the heart pumping and fun.

What DOSE-I-DO means is to implement positive actions that release the D.O.S.E. chemicals in your brain. These are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. These are the happy chemicals, and it doesn’t take long to get them cranking.

The reward system triggers dopamine. Create a small goal with even smaller milestones, especially when stress is wearing you down or feeling overwhelmed. The feelings of accomplishment will stimulate dopamine production and give you a sense of happiness and well-being. If you combine the reward system with goals associated with nourishing your body, meditating, and exercising, you get double the effect.

Serotonin comes from believing in yourself and seeing the world through an optimistic lens. Serotonin reduces if you continue to feed depressive thoughts or look down on yourself. Change your mindset, change your brain’s chemical response.

Oxytocin is the relationship chemical. Hugging someone for twenty seconds, building trust in a relationship, and rejuvenating that puppy dog love you have for your spouse, children or friends will release oxytocin and bring about a calming feeling.

Endorphins are released through exercise, sex, and laughing. It is triggered when your blood is pumping, telling the brain that you are having fun. Ten minutes of stretching or walking will release a higher level of endorphins, helping you feel better.

Quit “Shoulding” on Yourself and Others

Guilt and regret are two powerful emotions that lead a person to look at themselves and others negatively. What leads to them? When we “should” on ourselves and others. “I ‘should’ do this.” “They ‘should’ be doing that. All it does is consume precious energy that creates guilt and regret.

Have boundaries in place so others don’t “should” on your either. People can’t make you feel guilty if you don’t let them. You are doing the best for you. You are in charge of how you feel. You can turn anything into a positive if you just practice a little gratitude.

Expectations are Premeditated Resentments

When it comes to other people, unmet expectations bring about disappointment and resentment. When we expect a particular outcome or hold on to past experiences, we feel the world is against us.

You are not responsible for any trauma that has occurred, but you can take action towards healing it. Forgiveness is an excellent strategy to overcome resentments. The more you begin to practice this kind of emotional maturity, the better you will feel. You will be amazed at how your views on the world will change.

Embracing Change

Some people can handle change well, others not so much so. Some people are okay with change immediately, only to find a few weeks later that they are overwhelmed. Others enjoy stability and predictability, so when change occurs, it completely rocks their world.

Change is inevitable. We live in a dynamic world, and static living means that going with the flow and trying to control everything may not be working so well. Changing your mindset about change helps you to deal with it more healthily. You can have fun with change. Instead of feeling fear, look at it as an adventure. What will you learn? How can you have fun with it?

One common example is the amount of change a couple goes through during a pregnancy. Their whole lives are about to be turned upside down. If a couple is already having a stressful time (such as during a global pandemic and economic crisis), gender reveal ideas for a celebration could bring smiles. Maybe if there’s a big sports fan in the family the couple could use a gender reveal football.

In closing, there is no simple way to bring happiness that is going to last. To create a positive and healthy outlook on life, it requires establishing good, long-lasting habits. Increase your happy brain chemical production, quit “shoulding” on yourself, lower your expectations, and embrace change. These are four strategies that will help you feel better and see life in a different light.