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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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