According to Shawn Achor, a very famous psychologist and happiness researcher, you should know that there are actually a few habits that lead to more happiness, habits you should consider if you want to learn how to live life at its fullest. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, showed in his research that “while 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, the remaining 40 percent is up to us." Achor has uncovered the fact that happy people are 31% more productive, have more secure jobs and have less burnout and that “if we can find a way of become positive in the present, then our brains work even more successfully as we’re able to work harder, faster, and more intelligently.” So, just read on and find out what are those habits that lead to more happiness.
1. Keep a Journal
According to Achor, keeping a journal is one of the most important habits that lead to more happiness that you should always consider. He says that “Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it.” You could write down all the things that made you feel happy during the day and this way, you’ll be able to focus only on the bright side of things and you’ll learn how to see the glass half-full more often. Try it and see for yourself how good it will make you feel.
2. Enjoy the Little Things in Life
Learn to appreciate more of life’s little pleasures. Turn this behavior into a habit that will make you feel happier and more energized. Enjoy the little things, like the sound of birds in the morning on your way to work, the taste of a cupcake or the smell of those flowers you’ve just bought or received (even better!). Try to find meaning in the little things and practice gratitude for everything that you have, because studies show that this behavior is associated with “a sense of overall gladness.”
3. Devote Your Time to Giving
Yes, you heard me right, happy people made a habit of devoting some of their precious time to giving and to helping other people. So, no matter how hard you work or how busy you really are, if you want to learn how to live a happier and more fulfilling life, do some good deeds more often and think about other people’s well-being as well. Peggy Thoits, one of the researchers of a famous project called Americans’ Changing Lives, discovered a lot of benefits which are associated with altruism, and she said that “People of all ages who volunteered were happier and experienced better physical health and less depression.” Apparently, givers also experience “the helper’s high,” which is “a euphoric state experienced by those engaged in charitable acts.”
4. Don’t Forget to Exercise
I’m sure you’re all aware of the wonderful benefits exercising can bring you. Achor said that “Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters,” and in his studies he observed that “it helps you solidify the connection between your actions and their rewards.” It’s the perfect way to relax and recharge your batteries after a hard day at work or at school, not to mention the countless benefits it brings you. Also, all those hormones that are released will make you feel better in no time, since you all know that sports act like a natural antidepressant.
5. Go outside
If sometimes you are a little down and you want to feel much better as soon as possible, this little habit can lift your spirit in a jiffy. Studies show that sunlight will help you feel happier and that an hour a day of natural sunlight works like a good antidepressant for most people. Richard Ryan, one of the main researchers of a couple of important studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology on this matter, says that "Nature is fuel for the soul,” and that “Just a 20-minute dose of fresh air promotes a sense of vitality.” So, what are you waiting for? Just try it; you’ve got nothing to lose!
Happy people always find enough time to nourish their souls too. Achor said that in his studies he discovered that “meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once. It allows our brains to focus on the task at hand.” If you don’t usually meditate, you could at least try to unplug yourself every now and then from everything that happens around you; just disconnect from all electronics, take a few deep breaths and simply relax. This way you will give your brain “the opportunity to recharge and recover,” something that could increase your resilience.
7. Try to Be Happy
It may come as a surprise for you, but wanting to be happy is not always enough. You need to try to be happy in order to succeed in achieving this goal. Studies show that by trying to be happy, you will definitely boost your emotional well-being and that the people who actually tried to feel happier “reported the highest level of positive moods, making a case for thinking yourself happy.”
You see, it’s not that hard to learn how to live a happier and more fulfilling life. You just need to put a little effort into it and then simply wait and be amazed by the wonderful results you’ll obtain. What other habits that lead to more happiness do you think we should always consider? Please share your advice with us in the comments section!