There are a lot of things science says will make you happy and which could increase your level of satisfaction in life. In the last few years, a lot of psychologists have tried to discover what exactly are the things that make us happy by studying different people all around the world. We all have different ideas about what this concept is or how we can achieve it, but let’s see what researchers have to say about that. So, here are 7 interesting things science says will make you happy, things that you should definitely consider if you want to live a happy, fulfilled and meaningful life:
1. Savor Everyday Moments
One of the most important things science says will make you happy is precisely your ability and willingness to enjoy all the little things in life. Just learn how to savor everyday moments, those ordinary events that usually pass unnoticed. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky noticed that study participants who took the time to enjoy the little things or to think back on pleasant moments from their day, “showed significant increases in happiness and reductions in depression.” So, try to smile more often and be grateful for everything that you have because you are indeed a blessed individual.
2. Exercise More
I’m sure you already know how much exercising can improve your overall well-being. Apparently, exercising has a significant influence on your happiness as well, and studies have shown the fact that it can even be a very effective strategy for overcoming depression or anxiety. By doing at least a half an hour of exercising every day, you’ll feel more relaxed, you’ll increase your brain power and you’ll also improve your body image by getting in shape.
3. Get Enough Sleep
In order to be happy, you should try to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day, it helps us focus better, thus it increases our productivity and it also affects our positivity. There are a lot of studies which show that sleep deprivation makes us more oriented towards negative things, like in the experiment by Walker. In it, sleep-deprived students tried to memorize a list of words and the results showed that they could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation and only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation.
4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People
I know how tempting it might be sometimes to compare yourself to other people, yet you should fight that urge because by always comparing yourself to others, you can seriously affect your happiness and even damage your self-esteem or self-confidence. Instead, you could try to focus on your own achievements or you could even compare yourself with an earlier version of you, so you’ll notice how much you’ve progressed lately and how close you really are to reaching all your goals.
5. Put Money Low on the List
Don’t turn money into one of your priorities! According to researchers Tim Kasser and Richard Ryan, “people who put money high on their priority list are more at risk for depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.” So, the more you seek satisfaction in material goods, the less happy you will actually be. Also, people who seek money score pretty low on tests of vitality and self-actualization. So, try to focus on other aspects of life instead and enjoy the little things!
6. Set Important Goals
Another way to be happy is by setting some important goals and by doing everything in your power to reach them. Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener have concluded that “people who strive for something significant, whether it’s learning a new craft or raising moral children, are far happier than those who don’t have strong dreams or aspirations […] As humans, we actually require a sense of meaning to thrive.” So, try to engage yourself more in activities that you enjoy. That will bring you pleasure, whether you’re at work or even at home, and give your life meaning by pursuing all your dreams.
7. Go outside
I know this may sound a little bit silly, but a lot of studies have shown that just by going outside for at least 20 minutes every single day, you will be able to improve your mood and you’ll even feel happier. This will also improve your memory and even decrease your depression or anxiety. A 2011 study performed by the American Meteorological Society found that “current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day.” Also, happiness apparently is maximized at 13.9°C, so keep an eye on the weather forecast!
I’m sure that there are a lot of things science says will make you happy, things I haven’t mentioned in this little article. Now it’s your turn! Do you know any other simple things you can do that will make you feel happier (things that are backed by science, of course!)? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!