Science Says These 10 Things Might Boost Your Happiness

December 31, 2015

Science Says These 10 Things Might Boost Your Happiness


  • 40% of our positive feelings and 30% of our negative feelings can be influenced by the choices we make right now.
  • Negative emotions are part of the human experience; you should never feel bad about feeling bad!

Do you ever come across those people who are always upbeat and who, no matter what life throws at them, just seem to roll with the punches? It’s quite possible they’re following a formula for happiness. It’s time to take matters into your own hands. You can increase your own happiness by doing these 10 things, that just so happen to be backed by scientific research.

1. Live More, Think Less

Don’t try to force yourself to look at only the positive, or try to tune out negative aspects of life. Instead, be realistic and go on with life. Whether that’s working, eating, sleeping, taking care of yourself, or interacting with others, just keep going.

2. Organize Your Life and Goals

In order to move forward in life, you need direction through organization and goals. Without this you will stay stuck in the same monotonous place. You don’t have to have everything planned out, all you need is a general sense of direction, which is determined by what you most value.

3. Act Happy

Sometimes happiness can come from faking it. As you begin to change your body language (by smiling), you will begin to feel happier.

4. Focus On Maintaining Relationships

Keep reaching out to the ones closest to you, meeting them halfway at least. If they tread on your toes, don’t be a doormat. Make your expectations clear, calmly but firmly. They’ll quickly learn how much you respect yourself and your relationship will greatly benefit from the mutual respect.

5. Pursue Career Goals

Since so much time is spent in the workplace, by pursuing career goals you will boost your happiness significantly. It’s important to mention that this is very true unless you are in a toxic work environment, in which case it may be best to find something else.

6. Exercise

When you start exercising, your brain recognizes your increasing heart rate as a moment of stress. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and eventually happy after exercising. At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain, which are ultimately intended to help with pain and the discomfort of exercise.

7. Savor the Moment

Happiness is not just a distant destination. It’s here and now. By living in the moment and savoring the present, you will find happiness now. Gratitude for what you already have can be like sun, lighting up even the darkest places.

8. Pray or Meditate

The relationship between prayer and health has been the subject of many studies over the past four decades. Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiovascular specialist at Harvard Medical School and a pioneer in the field of mind/ body medicine discovered what he calls "the relaxation response", which occurs during periods of prayer and meditation. At such times, the body's metabolism decreases, the heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, and our breath becomes calmer and more regular.

9. Work On Your Hobbies

Hobbies offer individuals physically and mentally healthy outlets to improve well-being and happiness. Participation in a hobby has the opportunity to assist with creative expression, increase relaxation, build confidence, increase self-esteem, build patience and focus.

10. Become More Active in Your Leisure Time

Limit your “passive leisure.” A healthy dose of relaxation is good, but if you overdo watching TV, surfing the Internet, or lazing around, it's more likely to bring on unhappiness.

Original Article: The Top 20 Happiness-Boosting Strategies as Ranked by Science, 12/12/15

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