True joy - not quickie mood boosts but that totally stoked mental state - boils down to these surprising essentials. Behold, your ticket to bliss.
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The same holds true for those so-called physical imperfections that you let deflate you. You know, the slight crook in your nose that you swear makes you a prime candidate for The Swan. We can all point to 10 things that are wrong with us, but the key to happiness is appreciating yourself despite them, adds Diener.
And that ain't easy. But it's important to learn to keep your inner critic in check. So for every time you get down on yourself, remind yourself of something you excel at and get comfortable talking yourself up by tossing one positive thing (e.g., props from your boss or a sweet e-mail from your boyfriend) into conversation. "We tend to downplay our successes because we don't want to sound like a braggart, but sharing good news is uplifting," says Diener. "Not only are you reflecting on something that made you feel awesome, but the other person is going to get excited for you,which gives you an even bigger lift."
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