Happiness is what we all pursue in life. Sadly, we tend to forget that happiness actually lies in appreciating what we have instead of what we don’t have. If you look closely around yourself, there is always something which can make you happy. Be it an object, your parents, your siblings, husband or kids, nature, a sunset, your pet, etc, there is always a possibility to bring a smile to your face just at a glance!
Here are 10 proven ways which can make you happier just in case you need a little moral boost. I’ve chosen these 10 best ways which I have personally experienced and I really felt a sense of happiness by practicing these simple things, yet very impactful and effective.
Exercise is known to increase feel-good chemicals in the brain, reduce stress hormones and relieve anxiety. Researchers at the University of Vermont found that just 20 minutes of exercise can give you these mood boosting benefits for up to 12 hours! Worth moving that body, don’t you think so?
- Practice gratitude
I’ve personally experienced how practicing gratitude has changed my outlook about life. It really leads to genuine happiness. There are different ways to do it: you can just write down the things you are grateful on a daily basis, share three good things that happen each day with your partner or friend or show gratitude when others help you. This can definitely lift up your mood and it has been proven by various experiments.
- Spend more quality time with your friends and family
This is a really important one which many people tend to regret on their deathbeds if they haven’t done so (among the top 5 regrets of the dying). Sure, work is essential but memories are made with your loved ones and they are the ones who can make you truly happy.
Here’s how Harvard professor, Daniel Gilbert explains it: “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.”
- Help others
Helping others can make you genuinely happy. Sometimes after a bad day, you may feel like spending some money on your favorite food or do some shopping for yourself to enhance your mood. Studies have proven that spending on others instead of yourself can make you feel happier. Volunteering is a good way of getting involved into helping others.
- Get more sleep
Sleep is known to help the body recover from the day and repair itself. As a result, it helps us to be more focused and more productive. The BPS Research Digest proves that sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Therefore sleeping the right amount of time means being less sensitive to negative emotions, leading us to happiness.
- Smile more often
It is surely no surprise that smiling makes you happier. However, it needs to be a genuine one as faking it might lead to make yourself feel more unhappy according to a study in 2011. Therefore, the smile has to be backed by positive thoughts. Smiling is a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances.
Meditation is a powerful way to calm down the mind. If you have too many things running in your mind and you cannot shut it down, meditation is what you need. It relaxes the mind and help to improve focus, clarity and attention span. It has often been proven to be the most effective way to live a happy life.
- Don’t hold a grudge
It happens that we suffer injustice from others and it is one of the most difficult things to let go. However, holding on to the negative feelings for too long is harmful for your own self. Holding a grudge can easily consume you. These negative emotions give way to resentment and thoughts of revenge which can be destructive as it finally leaves little room in your emotional repertoire for anything else like happiness according to the Mayo Clinic. That is why forgiveness is the key.
- Be a realistic optimist
Positive attitude of optimists paired with the rational outlook of realists are the factors needed to be successful and happy according to psychologist Sophia Chou. It is the perfect blend of personality which helps in facing a challenging situation with a clear view of reality.
- Master a skill
Working hard to improve your skill or ability may increase stress in the short term but can really make people feel happy and more content with their lives in the long run (reported by a study in 2009). Be it learning to drive, solving a math problem or just striving hard to reach your goal, they can bring happiness and satisfaction when the desired result is achieved. So, never ever give up!