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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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