Happiness is an emotion we all strive for and yet so many of us are coming up short. In our ever more stressful world, it can be hard at times to see the silver lining and this is reflected in the growing number of mental health issues experienced by people all over the world. In this post, we’ll take a look at 5 scientifically prove ways that you may be able to make yourself that little bit happier but before we move on, if you are suffering severely from depression or another mental illness then it’s important to recognize that these tips are not a suitable substitution for professional help, so do get in touch with your local doctor or consider reaching out to a mental health awareness charity or one of many inpatient depression treatment centers.
On to the tips!
Just a few minutes of meditation a day has been found to give people a feeling of calm and tranquility, helping them to detach from the stressors of everyday life and to see things with more clarity and positivity. Those who practice meditation every day can even re-wire their brains raising their levels of happiness long term.
- Focus on time, not things
Buying materialistic things such as clothes, the latest gadgets or expensive cars may give you a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction in the short term but rarely does this translate into long term happiness. Instead, focus on purchasing things that can buy you time. Studies have found that those who spend more on increasing their free time report the highest levels of personal satisfaction.
- Keep a gratitude journal
Science has found that those people who regularly practice gratitude report feeling better, sleeping more soundly and are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors. Practicing gratitude simply means taking some time each day to focus on things you are thankful for such as having a roof over your head, food in your fridge, friends you can rely on or a job that you enjoy. Whatever you are grateful for try spending 10 minutes each day visualizing it, saying it out loud or writing it down.
- Help other people
Helping other people is another very easy way to improve your mood and to feel happier whilst also giving something back to those more in need. If you have a few hours to spare then why not try volunteering at a local charity or set out to do someone a small favor every day. Once you start looking out for opportunities to help other people you’ll find that they are abundant, from helping an old lady with her shopping to holding the door open for a colleague, giving a homeless man lunch or helping a friend with their housework.
Exercise is a completely free way to make yourself feel amazing. Just a short jog, a walk in the park or a 30-minute exercise class will get your heart pumping, reduce your stress levels and promote the release of endorphins that make you feel good. So try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine for long term happiness and health.