When we think about happiness, we tend to see it as an abstract concept, difficult to touch, which exists only in books and philosophical theories. In fact, happiness is a choice, we can learn to practice it. Even scientists agree that there are some attitudes and actions that make people feeling joyful.
So, what are the concrete things to do in order to be happier? Here are 10 of them:
Doing sport, yoga, jogging or any other type of physical activity can help the body relaxing and release endorphins that make us feel happier. According to a study, exercise improves people’s body image even if they don’t lose weight.
2. Spend more time with the loved ones
Not having spent more time with friends and family is one of the biggest regrets of people dying. Even for introverts, social time has a significant impact when it comes to happiness. Researchers found out that having a good relationship with the ones we love is more important in terms of satisfaction than increasing our annual income, no matter the amount.
3. Go out in nature
Spending only 20 minutes outside in good weather can boost positive mood and improve working memory. If you are very busy, you can choose to have lunch in a park, on a sunny day. In natural environments we feel happier than in urban spaces, so go out as often as you can and breathe fresh air.
4. Sleep better
Sleep not only helps us focus and be more productive, but it also influence our sensitivity to negative emotions. If you sleep well, you will probably feel refreshed when you wake up, which can determine you to have a more positive perspective of the day. Likewise, taking a nap in the afternoon can be an efficient way to recover your energy when you feel tired.
5. Help others
Not only the person who receive help will feel better, but also the one who offers. According to studies, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to become happier.
6. Smile more often
Smiling is a natural medicine and it’s even more effective when we accompany it with positive thoughts. A true smile can reduce some of the pain we feel in stressful situations.
7. Be thankful
There are lots of ways to practice gratitude: you can keep a journal of things you’re thankful for, share some good things that happen each day to your friends or write a letter to someone who helped you. All of these can bring you joy, peace and make you realise how lucky you are, which will definitely boost your happiness.
8. Plan a trip
Even if we don’t go anywhere, planning a holiday or a break is a great idea to reach happiness. People love daydreaming and anticipating, so making a plan for the perfect holiday will definitely improve your mood. If you are too busy to take the time for a holiday right now, write it on your calendar and remind yourself about it when you feel down.
Meditation is the art of focusing all your attention in one area and it has many benefits, including staying calm, having clear and relaxed thoughts. It can actually make people happier long-term, as researches show that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.
10. Move closer to work
Our trip to work can have a negative impact on our well-being if the distance is too big. The fact that we tend to commute twice a day at least five days a week is a source of stress, so moving closer to work can improve our happiness.