Everyone wants to be happier. Even if your life seems to be terrific, you can always find a way to improve your level of happiness. For a large part, happiness only depends on you. Things may happen to you, but the choice is yours- whether to feel stressed or focus on the bright side of life. Stress has never solved anything. So, choose joy. But being happy these days when feeling stressed appears to be a way of life may not be easy.
Luckily, social scientists have outlined some strategies you can follow to become happier. Apply these strategies to every facet of your life and see how things become easier.
1. Pass a Smile
Have you ever frowned and saw everyone you met frowned back for no apparent reason? That’s the power of human emotions- they’re contagious. But in all human emotions, none is more contagious than a smile. According to an American screenwriter, it takes a smile to start another smile. Whenever you have a chance to, give a friendly greeting and pass a smile.
The chances are that no everyone will smile back to you. Smile regardless, for it is good for your mood. Psychologists at Mindlab International found out that a smile has a ‘halo effect’. When you smile, you feel more optimistic, confident, and motivated. So, lift the corners of your lips in the shape of a smile and magic is bound to happen. A smile is a curve that sets everything right.
2. Give to others
A study published in Psychological bulletin magazine found out that people who give more money to others are happier. Not only money. There’s always something to give. You can give your time or anything else. Giving make can make you feel good about yourself. This is backed by MRI scans which show a warm-glow effect on some sections of the brain for people that give. Giving to others results to an experience of love, self-worth, community and joy.
3. Show Gratitude
Find something to be thankful for. Show gratitude to life, and it will gravitate towards you. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania showed that people who scored three things that happened to them daily were significantly happy. Make a point of doing it. Not only the big things even the little ones, such as a happy meeting with a friend, somebody who smiled to you or a healthy dessert you ate at lunch.
Be grateful for every accomplishment you make. When your spouse, friend or children do something good for you, be grateful. You can give them a small gift, take your family out for a treat or say a simple thank you to express your gratitude.
4. Try Something New
Monotony is boring. Trying something new can motor your skills and hike your happiness. So, break from the norm of life and try something new, say a vacation. A study conducted and published in Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in joy happened few weeks before a vacation because of anticipation.
If you want to take your family for a vacation, travel upcountry or spend a night with friends, plan it in advance. Mark the calendar and anticipate for the journey.
5. Exercise and Relax
Exercise is meditation in movement. When you exercise, you forget the day’s frustrations and focus on your body movements, resulting in more energy and optimising. Exercise not only makes us feel more confident, but it pumps up endorphins, which react with receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain, worry and stress.
Go biking, swimming, go to the gym with friends or try any exercise you enjoy. Relaxation alters your brain’s neural ways, making it resilient to stress. You can try meditation, deep breaths and yoga. Sleeping not less than six hours a day is not only good for your health but can make you happier.