Many strides have been made in the study of the human brain, and some of them can tell us why we spend more time worrying than we do being happy. Prehistoric structures in our brains still keep us on the alert for danger, and in this modern, information-saturated world, these structures are the source of worry, nervousness, and even depression – the feelings that fight against our need for safety, comfort and connection with others.

The good news is that all it takes to increase your level of happiness is learning how to expand positive feelings when you have them. You can make any good feeling last for more than a moment if you practice “holding on” to it.

Groups of neurons in the brain fire together during pleasant experiences, and if those experiences happen repeatedly, they begin to wire themselves together, creating a “neuronal association” custom tailored for happiness.

Take Control

Certain ways of doing this can be found in your Numerology Chart, but it’s not likely that “big” elements like the Life Path or Expression tell the whole story. Any of the numbers below may relate to one of the other elements or a current time cycle, and they may manifest because they happen to be working together. So read through the lines below and identify the issues that you need to address, because they matter more than the numbers when it comes to reprogramming yourself for happiness.

1. Slow down and welcome little signs of happiness. A cute baby in a stroller, the leaves turning colors, a smile from a stranger – let them all be significant enough to notice; attention makes the feeling stronger.

2. Appreciate others, if only for a moment. When you thank others for really small things, you literally pick up on their appreciation of you. This is scientific fact, not science fiction – appreciation always goes both ways.

3. Seek comfort; not distraction. A warm blanket, fresh air or sitting in the sun will do a lot more for you than trying to get things done when you feel bad, which only adds to the emotional stress you are trying to relieve.

4. Learn to enjoy the variety available to you through nature and other people. You need to enjoy other things than those inside your “comfort zone.” Relax and loosen emotional ruts and habits, and you will thrive.

5. Pay attention to your routines and stay with your positive experiences. Let yourself experience the feelings and sensory experiences that are available to you all day, and try to stick with new feelings about ordinary things.

6. Try to figure out what gives you a sense of feeling safe, and learn how to cultivate that experience. Some people overdo it with comfort food or powerful substances when things go awry; doing so does just the opposite.

7. Stop borrowing problems from the future, because that’s what we are doing when we worry; we create future scenarios that we work hard to avoid, almost guaranteeing that we wire our brains for failure, not success.

8. Look for positive things in everyone you encounter; an easy way to start is by thinking about giving a compliment anyone you are used to. It makes them feel appreciated and supported, and you will share in that feeling.

9. Learn to be on your own “side” – almost all of us have ways to express our support and comfort others, but few of us do so for ourselves. When you are stressed or worried, tell yourself what you would say to a friend in need.