Happiness! It has lots of benefits, it’s the key to stronger immune systems, creativity, increased productivity and even long life amongst others.
So what exactly determines your happiness? 50% of your happiness is genetically determined, 40% is determined by your thoughts , actions and behaviours. Only 10% is determined by your circumstances.
Here are 10 scientifically proven ways to increase your happiness.
Mindfulness meditation increases activity in the left prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for calm and happiness.
2. Spend time with the “right ” people.
It’s been found that on days when people spend 6-7 hours with friends and family, they’re 12 times more likely to report feeling happy rather than stressed.
3. Find your flow
” Flow” experiences – activities in which you are so absorbed that time seems to disappear like reading , writing etc., can increase your happiness.
4. Live your purpose
People who feel connected to a deeper purpose or mission in life are more happy.
A successful career, raising a family, practicing spirituality/ religion or pursuing goals that align with your core values are some ways to finding meaning to your life.
5. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep
According to researchers, everyone on the planet should be logging at least seven hours of sleep a night.
Your body needs to get to its deepest level of sleep to improve mood, and restore immunities.
6. Try something new and savour good experiences.
Trying something new can actually change the chemicals in the brain. New activities activate chemicals related to mood. Learning new things exposes us to new ideas and information that helps us to stay engaged and curious about the world. This can give us a boost of self-confidence and make us happier .
Savouring good experiences makes more happy, more grateful and more hopeful.
7. Daydream and/or visualize
Research has shown that the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure can be activated just by thinking about something pleasurable.
So try daydreaming about happy things.
8. Be Grateful
Practicing gratitude can increase your happiness, studies found. In one study , people who practiced gratitude by jotting down 3 good things that happened each day for one week felt happier and less depressed for up to 6 months.
Gratitude helps you feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve your health, help you deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
9. Lend a helping hand to someone in need
Lending a helping hand to someone who needs it especially if we don’t know the person well or if its a stranger provides a sense of meaning, increases feelings of competence and generally improves mood and reduces stress.
Exercise naturally boosts chemicals called endorphins, and had been shown to have positive effects on depression.
It has to be an exercise that engages your whole body and gets your blood pumping.