10 Scientific Ways to Increase Happiness
The desire to be happy seems to be nearly universal. However, the path to happiness can sometimes feel long and difficult, with obstacles and life events getting in the way. Fortunately, happiness is a popular area of study among researches and as it turns out, you really don’t need to do that much to feel a little bit happier.
Here are 10 practical, science-backed ways to feel happier:
- Get more sleep or take a nap: research has shown that 8 hours of sleep per night increases optimism and sociability. Well rested people are happier – it’s true!
- Get outside: exposure to sunlight is our number one source of vitamin D and deficiency has been linked to depression. The combination of fresh air, sunlight and nature will do you a world of good.
- Practice self-care on a daily basis: Remember to take care of yourself. Regular actions of self-care can improve your overall long-term health and happiness.
- Sweat it out! Exercise releases endorphins, which are mood-boosting chemicals.
- Meditate: Studies have shown a link between regular meditation practices and reduced anxiety/depression symptoms.
- Daily gratitude journal: writing things down helps to solidify them in our brains, so journaling about why you are grateful can help you realise the good things you have around you, which can be a huge mood booster.
- Smile more! Research has shown that smiling during difficult or stressful situations can have a calming effect.
- Load up on nutrients: Fruits and vegetables are abundant in vitamins and minerals that ward off symptoms of depression and make us healthier overall.
- Spend time with people who make you happy: a healthy social life is associated with greater happiness and increased mental and physical health.
- Listen to your favourite music: Jamming out to music can help reduce stress, leading to greater happiness in general.