Each of us can not define that “what is happiness”, because it is a miracle. Happiness is like a friend who helps us overcomeobstacles or difficulties in our life. So, it is very important.
A happy life is when we are satisfied with what we have and we feel comfortable. One thing is also important that we know to smile everyday and know to create motivation in our life. You think your life is bad, right? But it’s wrong. Your life is not bad if you practice the way of living a happy life everyday.10 ways below may be useful to be happier today
1. Exercise more – 7 minutes might be enough
One of the habits of successful people is doing exercise. You do not need to worry unless you have more time for exercise, because the New York Times mentioned about scientific 7 minutes workout. So, 7 minutes might be enough.
Exercise not only improves our health but also helps us overcome depression. In other word, exercise effect on happiness level so much. A research in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage 1, demonstrated that exercise is a part of overcoming depression. That research indicated that there are 3 groups of patient were treated by 3 differrent methods for their depression. The first group only used medication; the second group is treated by exercise; and the third group combinated medication and exercise. The final result is completely unexpected:
Six months later,these people were tested to assess their relapse rate. The group had taken the medication alone, 38% had slipped back into depression. The groupuse both medicinal and exercisewere better, with a 31% relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the people who only doing exercise: Their relapse rate was only 9%!
In addition, exercise also help you to relax or reduce stress, and it’s good for your brain and produce Proteins and endorphins. Especially, it improve your body well:
Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before. – A study in the Journal of Health Psychologyfound that.
2. Sleep more – you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions
One of important things to feel happier everyday is sleep. All of us know that sleep helps your body react to stress better and have an efficient working day and more productive.
Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman specified about sleep affects us in NutureShock:
Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.
In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”
Another study of The BPS Research Digest showed that sleep effects sensitivity when we have negatives emotions by using a facial recognition task over the course of a day:
Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.
Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods. And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it. – Another research exanimated employees’ moods when they started work in the morning
Therefore, sleep is also important to make you happier. To sure that you always have sleep well and enough everyday.
3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house
It’s seem strange when I said that our commute to work effects strongly to our happiness. But we often do not realize that, it make us less happy.
… while many voluntary conditions don’t affect our happiness in the long term because we acclimate to them, people never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not. – According to The Art of Manliness
Or as Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”
In order to solve this problem, we try to recompense by having a bigger house or a better job. However, it is insignificant. Two Swiss economists concluded that big house or good job cannot compensate for the sadness from long commute.
4. Spend time with friends and family – don’t regret it on your deathbed
Friends and family are the largest happiness. Keep in touch with them to make you happier day by day. There are more evidence to demonstrate this thing, such as:
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. – Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explained.
In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people” – George Vaillant – the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.
Using the British Household Panel Survey, I find that an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. (Journal of Socio-Economics states)
In addition, keep relationship and help others are also useful for happy life:
We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.
Surprise: our prediction was wrong… Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age. (The Terman study in The Longevity Project )
5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C
Spending some time outside to breathe fresh air helps us happier and improve for my health. Shawn Achor recommend in The Happiness Advantage:
Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…
20 minutes is not long time, so we can take advantage of lunch time or commute time to outside
Why is happiness maximize at 13.9°C? According to The American Meteorological Society: compared to wind speed and humidity, temperature has a larger effect on our happiness, it is also showed that happiness is maximized at 13.9°C So, that is a reason why we see the weather forecast before go out.
6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number
Helping others is also the way make us happier and more comfortable. According to statistic, we should spend 100 hours a year to help others.
…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness. (Shawn Achor’s book)
Besides, we always feel happier when spending money to help others instead of buying stuff for ourselves:
Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happierimmediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone elsein the near future. (The Journal of Happiness Studies)
7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain
A smile will make you more beautiful, more attractive and happier. When we combinate smile and positive emotions, it is efficient as twice. Of course, it is a real smile.
According to this research: A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.
Moreover, a real smile will help us to have the best performanceand self-confidence in working.
8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one
We will feel more eager when planning a trip instead of taking a holiday. Because after a trip, most of people feel that happiness reduces quickly
One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.
If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it. – Shawn Achor
9. Meditate – rewire your brain for happiness
One population way now is mediate, this way is loved by many people. It helps you to keep calm, improving focus and good for your brain. It is also a way make you happier. Besides, meditation control your brain structure amazingly
According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:
“Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness”.
10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction
In reality, there are many ways to show gratitude, and it is also simple thing. Practicing it everyday, you will become happy person. You could show gratitude to those who helped you.
In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:
The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:
Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.
Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.