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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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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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