7 Science Backed Ways to Feel Happier
Happiness is one of the most positive emotions we can experience and it is also the key to a fulfilled, healthy life. Happiness is hard to define since it varies from person to person but some experts define happiness as “a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotion than negative emotions,” while others view it as consisting of three parts: feeling good, living a good life, and feeling part of a larger purpose.
While some factors that affect happiness might be outside of our control such as genetic or life circumstances, there are always actions we can take to amp up our own good feelings. You can introduce some or all of these practices into your life to help you feel happier.
1. Find a new hobby
A hobby is mentally stimulating and will challenge you to learn a new skill, which can lead to greater happiness. Gaining a new expertise will create feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence. Need help thinking of a new hobby that interests you? Here is a list of 100 hobbies.
2. Turn up the Tunes
Music is a powerful tool – studies have shown a good beat can ease anxiety, lower stress and even boost heart health. Over on reddit, users are sharing their go-to songs for cheering up.
3. Practice Self-Care
Not taking care of yourself is a surefire way to end up unhappy, burnt out or ill. Try treating yourself to regular actions that improve your overall, long-term health and happiness. You can start by getting daily exercise, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep.
4. Start Journaling
When you document your positive experiences that you feel grateful for, you’re likely to feel happier and more satisfied with life. Journaling can also help you have a better connection with your values, emotions, goals, provide mental clarity, help you track your overall development, and facilitate personal growth.
5. Practice Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to boost your mood and beat anxiety. In fact, one study suggests yoga may be more effective at boosting mood than other methods of exercise. Plus, practicing yoga can also help slash stress and improve immunity. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined the anxiety levels and moods of people who practiced yoga for an hour three times a week. Yoga practice is associated with increased levels of GABA, an amino acid and neurotransmitter that may help reduce anxiety, according to Chris Streeter, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, and the lead author of the study.
6. Load up on Nutrients
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well is crucial, especially since the nutrients you consume improve your mental health as much as your physical well-being. Research finds that happiness and mental well-being are highest among people who eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables per day.
There are tons of health benefits associated with meditating. Research shows that eight weeks of daily meditation can lead to greater happiness. Looking to get started? Try incorporating any of these 10 meditation strategies into your daily life.