Unfortunately, as you may well know the veteran suicide rate is amongst the highest that you'll find. One veteran every hour and a half currently is committing suicide. That means there have been 54,000 veterans that have committed suicide over the last 10 years.
How often do you practice happiness? Here are five tips gathered from several sources that can help you find happiness on a day-to-day basis.
Smile. First thing you're going to do when you wake up in the morning, man, this is the silliest one of all, but smile and smile, like an idiot for 30 seconds. Dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are released when you put a smile on. Smiling for 30 seconds "tricks" your brain into thinking you're happy, even if you're waking up and you're not feeling so great that day.
Keep a journal. The next thing you're going to do is get out your journal write down three things that you're thankful for and happy about on that particular day. It's also helpful if you go back and look at things that you were happy and thankful for in the previous days as well. Keeping a journal helps you keep track of your emotions, too. You can go back and reflect on what you've written and see how different moods and emotions you felt may have impacted your day and overall mental health.
Meditate or pray. The third tip of practicing happiness is to either pray or meditate and meditate on joy. Meditate on the things that you're thankful for and get your head into the right space. This doesn't have to be a long time, but studies have shown that finding quiet space and quiet time for yourself each day is a great way to move you towards greater happiness.
Get moving. The next thing you're going to do at some point during the day every day, is find a way to move. That can be full-on exercise, you can run a mountain or it could be going for a walk. Be intentional about it and find a way to get your blood pumping at some point during the day.
Find a way to serve. The last thing, but not least is to find a way to serve. The easiest way you can do this is by saying one nice thing to somebody that you encounter through the day. This has been proven time and time again, to actually help you as much as, if not more than, the person that you're saying something nice too. Do a nice deed or say a nice thing and watch how it pours joy back into your own heart.
By practicing these five tips throughout your day you will find yourself happier and in a better mood. It may take some additional thought at first but soon it will become automatic and part of your every day routine once you see how well your body and mind react to it.
If you know someone who is struggling, make sure that you put them in touch with the right people at the Veteran Suicide Hotlines to help them get past whatever they may be going through. If you may be experiencing these thoughts yourself, know that you are not alone and there is help out there for you.
Veteran Suicide Prevention 24-Hour Line: 1-800-273-8255 .