Who among us isn’t searching for happiness? For some lucky people, happiness just seems to be something that comes naturally to them with little or no effort. Although we all might like to be blessed with such a sunny disposition, some of us have to work at being happy. In recent years medical science has proven that happiness is a lot more important than we once believed.
It’s been proven that being happy is beneficial for health and well-being and as you might suspect, negative emotions like sadness and loneliness are bad for your health and can eventually lead to serious conditions like clinical depression and Alzheimer’s Disease. With those factors in mind, we should all probably be looking for ways to be happier, and fortunately, there are indeed proven methods that can lead you to a happier and more fulfilled life.
Another thing recent research has revealed is that sleep is absolutely necessary if you want to be as happy and healthy as you can possibly be. While sleep may be something we have always thought we could safely cut down on and get away with, sleep is now believed to benefit nearly all of your bodily functions, including your immune system and mood. Experts recommend 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night and ignoring that advice could make you much more susceptible to mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
2. MAKE A NOTE OF IT
Continuing to dwell on events that make you unhappy is a sure fire way to keep the cycle of unhappiness going on and on. A great way to let those feelings go is to simply write them down, and in this case, it is better to actually write on paper with a pen or pencil since that has a different psychological effect compared to typing on a keyboard or smartphone. This is a great way to clear your mind and put those negative experiences out of your mind. For particularly stubborn thoughts, try writing them on paper and physically throwing them away, which may help you separate yourself from them for good.
3. BE WITH PEOPLE
It’s great these days that we can keep so closely in touch with our friends through texting, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites but don’t be quick to dismiss the importance of actually being with other people. We, humans, are very social creatures and the vast majority of us need contact with others on a regular basis if we want to be happy. As wonderful as technology is, there is literally no substitute for actually spending time in the presence of others.
4. GO OUTDOORS
With everything we have to occupy and entertain us these days, it’s often easy to spend most of your time indoors and ignore the fact that there is a big, beautiful world out there to be enjoyed. Scientific research has proven that spending time outside can elevate your mood by stimulating areas of the brain that are associated with happiness, satisfaction, and feelings of well-being. It’s also true that spending time in the sun enables your body to produce its own supply of vitamin D, which is believed to be beneficial for warding off depression.
5. DO A GOOD DEED
As much as we might like to think that we do nice things for others solely for their benefit, there may be a secret underlying reason that goes a bit beyond that. Doing nice things for others has been shown to increase positive feelings for those who do the deeds in addition to those that they are intended to benefit. Volunteering is a great way to help others and make yourself happier, but there is a host of simpler things you can do for others that may be just as beneficial, such as helping someone load groceries in their car, cleaning the kitchen for your significant other or offering your seat to someone on the bus.
It’s been known for some time that physical activity can help ward off depression and we don’t mean walking to the fridge to get a snack. A regular exercise regimen could make the difference between feeling down in the dumps and floating on Cloud 9. In addition to the benefits to your mood, regular exercise can help you sleep better, avoid sickness and live a longer life.
7. CRANK IT UP
A favorite song could be the key to helping you rise out of the dumps when you are feeling down and out. Legitimate scientific research has proven that people who listen to positive music are generally happier than those who listen to “darker” music. Music you really enjoy can result in the release of a “feel good” chemical in the brain called dopamine, which is very effective for elevating mood.