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29 Ways To Be Happier That Are Scientifically Proven To Work

29 Ways To Be Happier That Are Scientifically Proven To Work

There’s thousands of tips out there that we can use to lead a happier life, here Sarah Winfrey from Wise Bread shares 29 ways that are actually scientifically proven ways you can be happier this year:

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be happier. Do you? This desire seems to be nearly universal. However, the path to happiness often feels convoluted and difficult, where two steps forward seem to become three steps back.

Fortunately, science can inform our pursuit of happiness. Happiness is a popular field of study among researchers, and there are ways to become happier that can suit every budget, lifestyle, and personality. Skeptical? Here are 29 scientifically supported ways to become happier this year.

1. Work With Your Hands

Garden. Build something. Cook dinner. Any sort of manual labor can improve your level of happiness.

2. Practice “Taking in the Good”

Avoid focusing on the negative and actually receive the good that exists in your life. Taking a moment to reflect on positive experiences as they occur builds neural networks that later help us be more resilient, or confident, or happy.

3. Help Others

Lend a hand to someone close to you, even when you’re busy. Seeing a need, even a small one, and meeting it, will make you happier.

4. Stop Caring About What Others Think

You can’t make them happy, and trying to will drain your own happiness.

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5. Let Go of Perfection

Let go of perfection, in all areas of your life. You are worthy now. You don’t have to wait until you’ve reached the perfect weight, or the perfect career, or the perfect frugal lifestyle to know that.

6. Become Calm

Grow in mindfulness, and the inner calm that goes with it. This takes discipline, but pays off when the practice becomes second nature.

7. Hold the Small Things

Embrace life’s small pleasures, rather than holding out for big ones. Even the smallest pleasures can raise your happiness significantly.

8. Write It Down

Keep a daily list of the things you’re thankful for. You can even share your list with others. Writing things down makes them real to our brains, so this practice solidifies your happiness.

9. Guzzle H2O

Drink plenty of water. Hydration improves mood.

10. Disconnect

Get off Facebook, and interact with people in real life. People who spend more time on Facebook are not as happy as those who interact off of it.

11. Fake It ’til You Make It

Put a smile on that face. The effects are modest, but a simple smile actually can improve your mood.

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12. Embrace the Great Outdoors

Spend more time outside. Fresh air, sunshine, and the great outdoors will do you a world of good.

13. Stop Whining!

Cease with the whining, already! Whining is negative, and negativity leads to unhappiness. Whining doesn’t only make you unhappy, but brings down those around you, too.

14. Hold Your Tongue

Don’t express your anger. Venting anger makes you feel worse, not better.

15. Use Your Time Well

Make time for the things that make you happy. If it makes you happy, it is worth finding the time to do.

16. Get Your Sweat On

Exercise, exercise, exercise! When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals that literally mean you cannot be depressed as long as they are around.

17. Leave Blame Behind

Stop blaming other people for the things that go wrong in your life. Take responsibility and change the things that you can change yourself.

18. Zzzzzzzzzz

Get the sleep you need. Well-rested people are happier.

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19. Talk It Up

Tell people when they do something that you appreciate. Verbalizing your gratefulness not only improves your happiness, but theirs as well.

20. Engage in Aid

Spend two hours a week serving at a homeless shelter or otherwise helping those less fortunate than you. One hundred hours a year seems to be the magic number, at which time helping others in these ways improves your happiness.

21. Reach Out

Find a community of other people, and invest yourself in it. Actively caring for people will make you happier.

22. Don’t Fear Failure

Learn new things, even if you do them badly. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

23. See Yourself Different

Visualize who you want to be. Visualization leads to success, so if you visualize yourself happy, you are more likely to become so.

24. Pay Attention

Stop, look, and listen to the everyday moments of your life. In today’s hustle-bustle culture, we miss happiness if we don’t focus on the present.

25. Find a New Mantra

Repeating a mantra is a way of meditation, and this positive meditation will make you happier and more resilient. Basically, if you repeat positive thoughts over and over, you will be happier.

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26. Don’t Eat Alone

Eat your meals with other people. Eating alone brings you down.

27. Get Creative

Express your creativity. Art, music, dance, woodworking, singing, etc., are all great options for a creative outlet.

28. Make Your Choice

Choose happiness. It’s easy to believe that our happiness level is a sort of built in set point, but choosing happiness actually makes us feel happier.

29. Dream About Getting Away

Plan a vacation, even if you can’t take it. Sometimes visualizing yourself having fun, without going through the stress involved in actually making it happen, can make you happier.

Sarah Winfrey was born to frugal parents, so she’s been learning how to save money since before she could walk. See more of her writing at SarahWinfrey.com.

29 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happier This Year | Wise Bread

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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