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7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be the Happiest Person on Earth

7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be the Happiest Person on Earth
happiest person on earth
    A little bit of gratitude, and one third of savoring, plus one quarter of making friends…now that’s a happiness recipe!

    Have you read The How of Happiness by University of California, Riverside Prof. Sonja Lyubomirsky? No? Here are seven scientifically proven ways derived from Sonja’s research on how to be the happiest person on earth!

    1. Practice gratitude once a week.

    Expressing gratitude, or counting your blessings, does not just make you happy—it also improves your health. However, you need to be strategic about how you do it. In one of the author’s experiments they directed the participants to keep a gratitude journal and contemplate five things that made them feel grateful. They would start the exercise by saying “This week I’m grateful for…”

    Half of the participants were instructed to do that once a week, while the rest of them did that three times a week for a total of six weeks.

    Here’s what’s strange: Only the group that counted their blessings once a week achieved happiness results because of it.

    Why?

    Probably because the participants who did it three times a week found practicing gratitude to be a chore, while the others were looking forward to it. So once a week, make sure you count your blessings!

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    2. Make friends and invest in your relationships.

    Happy people are renowned for their circle of friends, their relationship with their family, and their loving marriage

    What is amazing about friendships and intimate relationships is that their happiness effect does not get reduced by hedonic adaptation. That means that you won’t get used to your loving marriage the way you get used to your new furniture.

    So make time for your friends, express appreciation and make them feel good, be kind, and just have fun with them. You’ll be happier in doing so.

    3. Become a stress resilience ninja.

    Happiness is not just about feeling good all the time. Happy people also get to recover from bad situations and stress more quickly. They are the stress resilience ninjas!

    Here’s an example: One study found that the life of breast cancer survivors had been altered for the better after the disease! Actually two-thirds of the women said so. These women talked about having a wake-up call that made re-prioritize their life for the better. They found the good in the bad.

    If that’s an excellent coping strategy with cancer, then I bet it’ll do wonders for any type of stress that appears in your life. The next time something bad shows up, ask yourself what you can learn from it.

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    4. Take care of your body.

    Did you know that aerobic exercise has the same benefits on depression as taking Zoloft? Well, in a 1999 study researchers divided a group of 50+ men and women who suffered from depression in three groups.

    One group did supervised aerobic exercise three times a week, another group took Zoloft—an anti-depressant—while the third group did both.

    The result? After four months all three groups were doing better with increased self-esteem and happiness. Even better, six months later, participants who had recovered from depression were less likely to relapse back to depression if they belonged in the exercise group compared to the ones who just took Zoloft.

    So there you have it. Exercise works miracles in your happiness!

    Don’t know how to get started it or how to find a routine that you actually like? Check out Exercise Bliss, a unique program that helps you make exercise a daily ritual, and you just might find what works for you.

    5. Take care of your soul.

    The numbers speak for themselves:

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    • 47% of people who report attending religious services several times a week describe themselves as “very happy”.
    • Just 28% of people who attend less than once a month can claim the same.

    It seems that the social support and the sense of identity that people get from belonging to the same religious group is unparalleled.

    It is possible, however, that this happiness discrepancy has nothing to do with people’s relationship with the divine and everything to do with people’s relationships with each other, as people who attend religious services are proven to have larger social networks than those who don’t.

    Still, religious people who believe that the divine is helping them are three times more likely to be alive six months after a serious cardiac surgery. One way or another, it seems that religious people definitely score some happiness points.

     6. Commit to your (intrinsic) goals.

    People who strive for something personally significant, like raising a family, learning a new skill, or even changing careers are happier. The author explains that pursuing goals provides with a sense of purpose and a feeling of control over our lives.

    Not all goals are made equal, though: intrinsic goals make you happy, while extrinsic goals might not be as effective.

    • Intrinsic goals are the ones meaningful to you, the ones that allow you to grow and be more. Examples: doing a hobby while on vacation, working on a skill because you want to become better, etc.
    • Extrinsic goals are the ones that are a means to an end—you go on a diet to lose weight, you work hard to make more money, etc.

    Research is crystal clear: Intrinsic goals are much more likely than extrinsic goals to give a sense of competence and autonomy, and hence, make you happier.

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    7. Enjoy life’s pleasures to the fullest!

    Researchers have even come up with a word that describes enjoying life: savoring.

    “Savoring: Thoughts or behaviors capable of generating, intensifying, and prolonging enjoyment”

    When you take a walk and suddenly think about how beautiful everything around you is, you are savoring. When you listen to your wife and cannot help yourself but feel lucky for being with her; you are savoring.

    The immediate benefit of savoring? You are more confident. You are actually enjoying every little or big pleasure life has to offer to the fullest. Now that’s a habit I want in my life!

    But how do you make savoring a habit? By practicing mindfulness. Here’s what happened to me in my first two weeks after I got into a mindfulness experiment, and here’s how the experiment evolved one month later. Not bad huh?

    There you have it. Seven ways to become the happiest person on earth. Which one will you choose to expand on?

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

    7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

    Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

    Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

    When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

    Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

    1. You’re depressed about your home life.

    No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

    However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

    If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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    When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

    You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

    2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

    Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

    If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

    You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

    If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

    3. You can’t stop snooping.

    Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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    I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

    Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

    So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

    It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

    If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

    4. You’re afraid of commitment.

    If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

    Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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    No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

    If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

    Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

    5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

    If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

    Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

    Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

    Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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    If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

    6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

    When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

    When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

    If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    7. You chase past feelings.

    It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

    You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

    When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

    Final thoughts

    If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

    Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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