Jan 8, 2016

Science Advice, Ten Things to Make You Happier

These may seem more common sense than science, but scientists have been paid big money to research the topic and feed back the obvious.

Exercise more - It can help you to relax, increase your brain power, and improve your body image, even if you do not lose any weight.

Sleep more - Sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories.

Move closer to work - People never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not. Over time the negative outweighs the positive.

Spend time with friends and family - Friends and family reinforce positive feelings and increase happiness. Not staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying.

Help others -  Volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction. Performing a kind act produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise.

Get outside - Studies found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, Substantially increased happiness, broadened thinking, and improved working memory.

Plan a trip - The act of planning a vacation and the positive anticipation actually can increase happiness for up to eight weeks, while after taking the vacation, happiness drops quickly.

Meditate - It has long been known to help us be calm, improve focus, increase clarity and attention span. It  is also useful for improving happiness. Brain scans show it is the single most effective way to live a happier live.

Be grateful - Simple things like keeping a journal of things you are grateful for, sharing three good things that happen with friend or family, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you all contribute to increased happiness. A study asked people to write three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period. Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Practice smiling - Saved the best for last. Smiling (and backing it up with positive thoughts) improves mood, reduces stress, and increases happiness.