The pursuit of happiness. That’s what we’re all doing, isn’t it? Although, one gets the feeling that we don’t always pursue it in the right ways.
People tend to see happiness as a result, a thing you can get. When, in fact, it’s more of a driver, a negotiation with the world – a way of seeing and doing things.
1. Exercise – A Few Minutes Could Be Enough
Exercise, even in small amounts, has significant effects on the body and mind. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage, depressed patients were divided into three groups. One would exercise, one would take medication, and one would do a combination of the two.
While all the groups experienced similar results immediately after the treatment, it was what happened after the study that was of interest.
The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent.
2. Sleep More: You’ll Be Less Sensitive to Negative Emotions
Sleep is obviously important in replenishing energy and storing long-term memory, but it’s also crucial for happiness.
In ‘NutureShock‘, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects positivity:
Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories yet recall gloomy memories just fine.
3. Spend More Time With Friends/Family: Money Can’t Buy You Happiness
Apparently, not staying in touch with family and friends is one of the top five regrets of dying. You don’t want to be that person. There is plenty of research to suggest that, whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, social time is highly valuable for human well-being.
Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it this way:
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.
4. Get Outside More: Happiness is Maximized at 14 Degrees Celsius
We are, at the end of the day, animals. We’re meant to be outside.
A UK study from the University of Sussex found that being outdoors made people happier:
Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.
5. Help Others: 100 Hours a Year is the Magic Number
This one’s a classic, but not really the most popular among get-happy-quickly techniques. It works though, and it apparently works best when you do 100 hours a year.
The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study explains how giving boosts happiness.
Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.
Feeling happy yet? If not, click here to see the final five tips.
[Source : Time]
[imagesource: Getty] In 1920, America's Prohibition began, not only putting the squeeze...
[imagesource: Getty Images] Health and energy drinks don't always go hand in hand. I...
[imagesource: Barry Christianson] After being declared the COVID-19 epicentre in May, r...
When authorities began a days-long search on a plot of land near Hanover, Germany, it was ...
[imagesource: Win McNamee/Getty Images] Let's keep this one short, much like Donald Tru...