How do you feel right now? Are you smiling or are you frowning? Did you already laughed today or did you cried? Everyone has bad and good days. And day after day the search for happiness seems often a really hard quest. In the psychology, they’re taking about “a mental or emotional state of well-being”. How happy are you and how can you be even happier?
I think that there’s a very deep pursuit of happiness within all of us. But except of seeing people growing and making improvements, there so many out there, that just don’t feel like doing anything. I’m not talking about all the guys and girls who just want to chill. Instead, it’s about the people who are totally not happy, but depressed. In fact, 20%, thus 1 in 5 persons, are having major depressive disorder psychotic symptons (Healthline, 2015)
That’s why we have to do something about it! A lot of doctors are “taking care” of people with all those antidepressants. Instead of giving them medicines who gave them actually more suicidal thoughts. Medical Daily (2014) explains why. You just can’t fight fire with fire.
Just like a lot of other organizations (you won't regret checking The Pursuit of Happiness) we want to warn people about this upcoming disease. By making people aware of it, we can do something about it. And help our friends and family who going trough a lot!
Before I will give you the tips and tricks, check out how your mental state of well-being is. You can do it right here! Anyway, let me now give you five scientific proven tips that will improve your happiness!
For a lot people there is just not enough time to work-out! Well, for those of you, just seven minutes is enough. Be honoust, you really can make seven minutes of "free time" a day!
Shawn Achor is one of many researchers who found out that exercise programs can positively influence depression! Blumenthal et at (1999), even consider exercising as an alternative to antidepressants.
A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies even when they saw no physical changes.
#2 Spend more time with friends and family
Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying according The Guardian (2012).
Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel.
One of Daniel Gilbert, an Harvard happiness expert, quotes explains it's all:
"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."
#3 Get outside more!
Sometimes all it takes, it literally some fresh air. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Anchor says:
"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..."
Even the University of Sussex found out that being outside made people happier:
"Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments."
Go on, put on your shoes and get outside. Feel the wind and just enjoy the nature, it will make you happy. You know science doesn't lie.
#4 Help Others
To improve our happiness, research found out we should help others! In fact, 100 hours per year is the optimal time!
Adam Grant, professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania wrote a book where he explains a revolutionary approach to succes, Give and Take. In an interview he said:
"The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade."
Also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Martin Seligman, explains:
"...we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested."
So next time if someone asks a favor, think twice befor you say no.
#5 Plan a Trip: It Helps Even if You Don't Actually Take One
This is for sure the most special tip I will give you. Taking a break obviously helps you to relax. But you don't necessary need to go. Just planning a trip is sufficient.
Shawn Anchor has also his thoughts about this one:
"One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent."
So the thought of going on a vacation does basically the same. Come on, take your calendar and plan a trip! Even if you don't really go on holiday, your brain will trick you to laugh more.
I really hope you'll try at least one of these five tips in your life. At least, that's what I am going to do. Share this information, especially with the people who need it the most, and improve not only yours, but also others happiness.
Thanks for reading and I really hope you succeed in YOUR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!