April 25, 2017 / 05:50
SHADOWS & LIGHTS
WANT TO BE HAPPY?
I love being happy and would love to be happier, as Im sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person that are actually backed up by science.
24 November 2013 Sunday 00:02
by ÖZNUR ÇEVİK
I love being happy and would love to be happier, as Im sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person that are actually backed up by science. Here are ten of the best ones I found.
You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didnt have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all. Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that its actually been proven scientifically.
You dont have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you dont lose any weight.
We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, its also important for our happiness.
Move closer to work
Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, makes it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.
Spend time with friends and family dont regret it on your deathbed
Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.
We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.
Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory
This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.
One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.
Spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people?
Smiling itself can make us feel better, but its more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts.
Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our flexibility and our ability to think. A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances.
Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we dont feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly.
Plan a trip
As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation.
In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks. However, after the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.
If you cant take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendareven if its a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.
Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out its also useful for improving your happiness.
Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, its been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live.
This is a seemingly simple strategy, but Ive personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things youre grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.
Until next week keep cool and healthy!
Tags: WANT TO BE HAPPY?, WANT, TO, BE, HAPPY?
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