You may have read or heard of a variety of theories that guide you on how to achieve happiness. There are plenty of life coaches out there that will give you their own mantra. While these may or may not work for you, today we have armed ourselves with science to bring to you 7 scientifically proven ways to be happy.
Physical activity or exercise can make you happier. It does this by boosting hormones, called endorphins, in the human body that actually provide a pleasurable feeling. Endorphins have the ability to enhance mood and reduce the effects of anxiety as well as depression.
Exercise will not only help in the production of endorphins but also antibodies that fight against unwanted invaders that may cause feelings of physical and emotional distress. These antibodies contribute to boosting the immune system. Science proves that exercise-induced happiness is due the higher level of T-bodies and antibodies that have a direct impact on the physiological system of the human body.
2.Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an essential element that actually sets the mood and affects the overall wellness of a person. It helps the body relax and go into the resting mode that is required to restore energy and recover from illnesses. It is a scientifically proven fact that a person who doesn’t get good sleep is crankier than one who does. Lack of sleep will ultimately start affecting your mood and ability to think rationally, which in turn is bound to make your personal and work life suffer.
Daniel Kahneman and Alan B. Kruger carried out research to find out the connection of sleep with happiness. They found that life satisfaction, and thus happiness, had a direct correlation with sleep quality. The research revealed that people who reported getting more hours of sleep were in better physical and mental shape.
Another scientifically proven way to be happy involved eating right. Some foods are known to improve happiness. Chocolates are scientifically proven to boost mood and reduce depression. They combat fatigue and promote a sense of well-being. Chocolate contains an ingredient, tryptophan, which is used by the brain to produce chemicals known as serotonin and anandamide. Serotonin and Anandamide modulate neurotransmitters in the brain, making it ‘happier’.
Furthermore, other foods such as lean meat containing omega 3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables will also help you feel more lighthearted and happy. Spicy foods and food high in carbohydrates and sugar are bound to have the opposite effect.
It may sound surprising, but another scientifically proven way to be happy involves helping others. This may range from giving charity to just making someone else feel wanted. Remember, helping others does not necessarily mean spending money. Spending quality time with someone, providing them with support, or volunteering for a cause are all good ways to help. These activities make a person feel more rewarded and achieve higher life satisfaction.
A study conducted by Harvard in 2012 showed that participants who were asked to spend time and money helping others were far happier compared to those who did not. Prosocial spending and actually trying to pick things to give to others excited them more and made them happier.
Gratitude, an act of expressing thanks has been scientifically proven to increase happiness in people. A study from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that when a person focuses on his blessings and is thankful for it, it triggers feelings of contentment and increases satisfaction levels. Expressing gratitude is said to provide emotional and interpersonal benefits.
Studies have also shown that gratitude improves relationships, a key driver of happiness. People who are grateful and express it openly felt more positive. By being grateful, you appreciate what others do for you. You will focus on things you have, instead of what you are deprived of.
By being in touch with your spiritual self, whether through religion or something else, you can actually be happier. A study conducted by The Frontiers in Psychology found that people who practiced spirituality and religion were far more in-tune with their bodies and souls than those who were not religious. They had greater control of how they felt and were more at peace with themselves.
When you indulge in spirituality, you’ll become motivated to become a better person. There is a distinct and scientifically proven correlation between spirituality and happiness. Spirituality will help you get your priorities straight and become more content and happy.
7.Talk to Someone
Talking to someone or visiting a therapist is another scientifically proven way to be happy. So who should you talk to? The ‘right’ therapist should provide you hope in the darkest of times and help you remain positive and let go of fear. You need to build a support network of such people, people that counsel and guide you. Professional therapists can use various techniques to help you overcome stress and depression, and be happier.