Positive emotions have many benefits, such as improved health, creativity, and capacity for learning and problem solving.

But how do we cultivate positive emotions? You can’t just force yourself to be happy, and pretending that you’re happy would be insincere and would probably backfire.

Earlier today, I watched a video with Barbara Fredrickson, an expert on positive psychology, who shared five strategies to cultivate positive emotions:

  1. Be open.
  2. Be appreciative
  3. Be curious
  4. Be kind
  5. Be real

Being open, appreciative and curious helps us notice things that are good and this increases our happiness. Being kind and generous improves the quality and depth of our relationships and makes us feel good about ourselves. And lastly, being real makes our happiness sincere and heartfelt, and therefore more intense.