40 Proven Ways To Be Happier!

We all strive to be happy, right? Well these proven facts suggest happiness comes from certain behaviors and activities. Here are 40 ways to make you a happier person. How many of these are you actually doing? Thank you to our friends at PsySci.co for these helpful factoids!

1. Try!

Research recently published in the journal of positive psychology tested if explicit intentions to increase happiness results in higher levels of happiness. Participants listened to music while actively trying to elevate their mood. The study was able to show that the people who tried to feel happier reported the highest level of positive mood, this boost was sustained for at least 2 weeks.

2. Flow

Considered by some as his pioneering work into happiness Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the architect of the notion of ‘Flow’ The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Flow refers to those experiences when a person is completely immersed in one single activity or event, a moment when all energy is focused on one thing and the rest of the world fades into the distance.

3. Spend money on others

This may sound counterintuitive but research has shown that spending money on others can make you feel happier. In the research participants were split into two groups and told either to spend money on themselves or on somebody else. The study was able to show that those who spent  the money on someone else reported happier moods over the course of the day. More importantly (for some) the amount they spent on others didn’t matter, they still felt happier by giving even small amounts.

4. Make sure your partner is happy

This one might sound a bit obvious, and well it is, despite this people can become blinkered and see their pursuit of happiness as a solo mission. But research has recently confirmed the old Happy Wife Happy Life adage by showing that the higher the quality of marriage that was observed, the happier the couples evaluated their life as a whole, this was the same for both genders.

5. Take part in simple activities

But make sure you’re doing it properly and its the right activity for you! Researchers have recently developed a framework based on existing research that demonstrates that relatively simple intentional changes in one’s thoughts and behaviors can precipitate meaningful increases in happiness. So it might be time to ditch those self-help books.

6. Listen to music

While #1 required people to try and feel happier while listening to positive music, strangely listening to sad music also prompts a boost in happiness. A recent study found that listening to sad music is actually beneficial in helping us to focus on and work through our difficult emotions.

7. Spend more time outside

Evolutionary wise the amount of time we spend inside is probably a bit awry. We are not designed to spend so much time inside, especially sitting down staring at a screen, we should be outside, away from technology and all of the modern day stresses at least some of the time. This is backed up by research that links time outdoors to a natural boost in happiness.

8. Exercise (Sorry)

Unfortunately for those who are not a fan of exercise, it has been shown time and time again to be extremely useful in improving mood. Some even go far as to say that regular strenuous exercise can be as good as taking antidepressant medication. One particular study recently published explains how exercise that helps our body to produce endorphins not only block feelings of pain but are also associated with a feeling of euphoria.

9. Sleep more (or better)

Getting a good nights sleep is unparalleled in feeling generally happier throughout the day. But more than that sleeping properly has been linked to many other benefits such as improved memory and increased optimism. One particular study showed how not getting enough sleep was linked to people choosing larger portions of food and performing worse at work. Lack of sleep can be seen as a catalyst for unhappy-inducing issues.

10. Be grateful

Most of us were brought up to say our pleases and thank you’s, probably out of politeness more than gratitude but growing evidence has shown that gratitude and happiness are strongly linked. Being grateful has been linked to positive emotions, boosts in energy levels and increased optimism.

11. Get a pet

Some anecdotally claim that a pet is happiness that you can buy but does science back this claim up? It seems so. Research has been able to show that pets can be a source of social and emotional support. Specifically the study was able to show that pet owners had better self-esteem, were more physically fit, were less lonely and more conscientious, as well as other benefits.

12. Move closer to work

Time spent sat in a car driving to and from work can seriously add up over the year. But what effect does this time wasted and generally frustration of sitting in traffic have on our happiness levels? Research has shown that it has a surprising and dramatic negative effect that can build up over time. The long drive may be a source of unhappiness that is never fully acknowledged or addressed.

13. Complain

Getting things off your chest has an immediate and tangible positive effect for most, so it would make sense that withholding things, specifically complaints when you have a problem would make you feel unhappy. At least that is what researchers recently found, specifically withholding complaints does come at an emotional cost.

14. Smile more

Smiling can make you look more attractive and feel better. Research found that people unable to frown due to having cosmetic botox injections are happier on average than people who can frown. As well as feeling happier the perpetual-smilers were found to be less anxious, this was shown to be a psychological boost rather than a boost purely from feeling more physically attractive due to the botox.

15. Plan a trip

Yes, plan a trip not take a trip. Well taking a trip might do the job as well but research has shown that simply planning a trip even if you don’t end up taking it will boost your levels of happiness. The research specifically showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage due to the anticipation.

This was taken from 40 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Happier from PsySci.Co.

Read more the rest of the 40 ways here.

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