23 Science-Backed Ways to Feel Happier
By Alexandra Duron
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!美女视频黄频大全视频 Even as children, we’re taught to recognize and celebrate feelings of happiness—and it’s no wonder. Not only is happiness one of the most positive emotions we can experience, but being happy is also the key to a fulfilled, healthy life. Plus, cheeriness is , , as we age, and an , among other health benefits.
While it’s hard to define (especially since it varies from person to person), some experts describe happiness as “a than negative emotions,” while others view it as : feeling good, living a “good life,” and feeling part of a larger purpose. There’s also a distinct difference between short- and long-term happiness: The former is a fleeting feeling, while the latter applies to .
While some factors that affect happiness might be outside of our control (such as genetics or certain life circumstances), there are always actions we can take to . To smile wider, be more satisfied with life, and feel altogether better—both in the present and the future—try introducing any (or all!) of these practices into your life.
1. SPEND TIME OUTSIDE.
Enjoying time al fresco is a great way to put some pep back in your step. Living near green spaces is associated with , and even just of nature scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity, and emotional stability. Plus, spending time in the great outdoors exposes us to sunlight, which can help our bodies . Since low levels of the nutrient , soaking up a little bit of sun (we’re talking ) may lift your spirits both in the present and over the long term. Just make sure to slather on some sunscreen!
2. SWEAT IT OUT.
We’re obviously big fans of exercise in general, but making time for a regular fitness session does more than just sculpt a strong physique. While getting your sweat on may not cause happiness, it can . Physical activity helps our bodies produce —called antibodies—and our brains . While antibodies boost happiness by keeping illness at bay, endorphins are feel-good chemicals that improve your mood while promoting feelings of euphoria. To top it all off, research suggests that regular activity may lead to lasting happiness. So it’s safe to say your pricey gym membership pays off—physically and mentally—in the long run.
3. SLEEP MORE.
Catnaps, power naps, a full night’s sleep…no matter the method, a quality snooze session is vital for overall well-being and happiness. In fact, that not sleeping enough (four hours per night) may lead to lower levels of optimism. And skimping on sleep can cause us to and hurt on-the-job performance. Your best bet: Load up on your vitamin Zzz’s for a healthier, happier life.
Though meditating can sometimes be daunting (quieting your mental chit-chat is tough 美女视频黄频大全视频work!), there are tons of associated with the practice. Research shows that eight weeks of daily meditation can . Looking to get started? Try incorporating any of these into your day.
5. GET A NEW HOBBY.
Not only is it mentally stimulating (not to mention fun), but challenging yourself to learn a new skill can . That’s thanks to the feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence that often come along with . Consider this your cue to sign up for those French lessons you’ve always wanted to take, or pick up the ukulele—choose something that genuinely interests you, and run with it!
6. TURN UP THE TUNES.
Just try to frown while listening to upbeat songs (like any of the ones on our )—we dare you! Jamming out can help —which leads to greater happiness in general. Plus, with the goal and desire to become happier may actually lead to greater happiness than simply listening for the sake of listening. So the next time you pump up the volume, keep that positive intention in mind—you may just find yourself smiling a little wider.
7. WRITE IT DOWN.
Negative thoughts are nasty, powerful, and all too easy to dwell upon—and it goes without saying that doing so can make us feel pretty bummed. One way to relieve your mind: Jot it all down. Try writing down your negative thoughts on a piece of paper, and then throwing the piece of paper away. Research suggests that can lessen their hold over you. On the flipside, if you that you feel grateful for, you’re likely to feel happier and more satisfied with life. And if you really want to boost your mood, phone a friend and share some of your happy journal entries—doing so may .
8. TWIST THE SHEETS.
It’s no secret that stress can get you down. Luckily there’s a pretty sweet solution: some between-the-sheets action—and that totally includes . Those mind-blowing romps can not only , but also slash stress and beat anxiety. Can’t argue with that, right? And in case you need an excuse to get it on more often, consider this: Research suggests that the more sex people have, . One even suggests that having sex once a week may make you feel as stoked as scoring an additional $50,000 in income. Getting lucky even more frequently—four or more times per week—has been linked to —and while extra dough certainly can’t buy happiness, it definitely plays a part in it.
9. HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
美女视频黄频大全视频Our parents were onto something when they reminded us to always say your “”—doing so can make you . What’s more, being grateful may (including a boost in energy and optimism) and well-being. Besides simply thanking people, try , and write down what you’re thankful for every day. Experts maintain that jotting down a day can boost feelings of happiness.
10. BE A FRIEND.
A few wise men once sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends”—and they couldn’t be more spot-on. Except we don’t just get by thanks to our friendships—positive friendships help us feel , , and . To make new friends—and keep the ones you have—use .
11. SPREAD JOY.
美女视频黄频大全视频Much like yawning and a case of the giggles, happiness really is contagious. One found that happiness has a waterfall effect among pals (and their pals… and their pals’ pals). When one person’s happy, it spreads to his or her friends and entire social network over the long term. Pretty much the most awesome way to influence other people, right?
12. LEARN TO LET GO.
Adopting a hakuna matata outlook can boost overall happiness. Easier said than done, to be sure, but making a point to detach yourself from mistakes, worries, and regrets may lead to more lighthearted times. In fact, holding onto resentment and hurt feelings can and also marks a decision to continue suffering. Make the by who hurt you and moving away from situations from your past that brought you down.
13. PRACTICE SELF-CARE ON A DAILY BASIS.
美女视频黄频大全视频Given the manic pace of day-to-day life, it’s easy to forget about —and that’s a surefire way to end up unhappy, burnt out, and even ill. Try treating yourself to regular actions that improve your overall, long-term health and happiness ( is a pretty great place to start!).
14. DO SOME DOWNWARD-FACING DOG.
Getting your om美女视频黄频大全视频 on is an excellent way to boost your mood and beat anxiety. In fact, suggests yoga may be more effective at boosting mood than other methods of exercise. Plus, practicing yoga can also help and —both of which contribute to overall, long-term health and happiness.
15. LOAD UP ON NUTRIENTS.
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well is clutch—especially since the nutrients you consume as much as your physical well-being. Case in point: Research finds that are highest among people who eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables per day (seven portions, in this case). Plus, some nutrients, like calcium and iron, are particularly good at making you merry. Check out this long list of , and fill up your plate with the good stuff.
16. GO EASY ON YOURSELF.
美女视频黄频大全视频Too often, we’re our own worst enemies. While it’s good to be aware of mistakes you’ve made and improvements you can make, beating yourself up on the regular is a surefire way to wind up singing the blues. In fact, experts believe that self-criticism can . So instead of dwelling on your every failing, focus on . This shift will help make you stronger, more productive, less stressed, and, yes, happier.
17. JUST SAY YELLOW.
The next time you’re feeling down, try harnessing the power of a yellow hue. Happy people tend to , and folks also tend to think of yellow as the (possibly because we associate it with the sun). To incorporate the power of yellow into your life, try to your outfit or painting your walls .
18. FEEL THE FLOWER POWER.
Apart from brightening up a room, flowers can also brighten up your mood. A floral fixture may and anxiety while boosting positive emotions. One study also shows that looking at flowers first thing in the morning leads to and energy and decreased anxiety. Not only that, but being surrounded by blooms can also positively affect your 9-to-5—it’s been shown to and make workspaces .
19. MINIMIZE STRESS.
美女视频黄频大全视频When it’s a chronic problem, the big bad stress monster is responsible for tons of —including anxiety, sleep issues, depression, and more—and these can all put a damper on your mood. To keep your spirits soaring, try incorporating any of into your life, and get ready to feel the stress melt away.
20. SEE THE GLASS AS HALF-FULL.
If there’s one trait that goes hand-in-hand with happiness, it’s optimism. People who think positively are less likely to , more productive at work, and generally healthier than their doom-and-gloom counterparts. That said, it’s important to be both instead of just blindly positive (In fact, forcing ourselves to feel over-the-top positive , especially for those of us more prone to cynical thinking.). People with a healthy combination of optimism and realism don’t let unhappy thoughts bring them down, but they use their realistic outlook to make . Talk about the best of both worlds.
21. HAVE MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS.
Shooting the breeze may be fun and completely effortless, but small talk won’t lead you to a happier life. In one study, people who engaged in the least amount of meaningless chit-chat were also the happiest. And speaking of conversation skills, being a may also lead to a greater sense of wellbeing, stronger relationships, and all-around better experiences.
22. GET STUFF DONE.
Fact: Since it prevents us from accomplishing goals, . Avoid putting off tasks and continue working towards your goals in order to give yourself a mental boost. Though conquering something challenging may stress us out while we’re doing it, it also in the long run (hey, who doesn’t love an accomplishment?). Plus, when we set goals (and meet or surpass our hopes and expectations), it can help us and .
23. COMPLAIN—THE RIGHT WAY.
Whining is generally considered a bad thing—and yeah, it can get pretty annoying if you’re on the receiving end. Done effectively, however, it can actually . So what exactly makes complaining effective? When voicing a concern leads to results, which in turn lead to a and feeling empowered, it’s effective. In other words, complaining done right involves identifying a problem and taking positive action to address it, not just getting stuck in a loop-de-loop of complaints.
This article originally appeared on Greatist.com.