25 Simple but Oh-So-Effective Ways to Get (and Stay) Happy
Not only is happiness one of the most positive emotions we can experience, but a cheery disposition has been scientifically linked to better health, a stronger immune system and even living longer. Hurray!
Here’s my SuperZen guide to raising your happiness game, one simple, small step at a time.
Start with the basics: Look after yourself and treat your body with respect. Eat well, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, breathe deeply, rest when you need it and get enough sleep.
Have at least five close relationships: Surveys have found that when someone claims tohas 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’.
Eat a very berry breakfast: Super food berries will boost your health, whilst the fructose content will give you an instant energy boost. My faves are strawberries and raspberries. Delish!
Take a brisk walk: Exercise fires up your endorphins so get off that couch and get moving!
Make time to meditate: Just eight weeks of daily meditation can lead to higher levels of happiness according to research. And you needn’t be spending hours at it, just 5-10 minutes a day is enough to make a real difference.
Get creative with colouring books: Working with your hands is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and eliminate stress.
Create a scrapbook of happy memories and read it regularly: Experiences and our memories of them improve over time. By reminding yourself of happy times, they can be re-lived and shared with others for years.
Embrace flower power: Looking at flowers first thing in the morning has been shown to lead to increased happiness and energy and decreased anxiety.
Treat yourself little and often: Studies dealing with SWLS (Satisfied With Life Scale), which shows that regular small pleasures had a bigger impact on happiness than fewer larger ones.
Keep a ‘happiness’ journal: Researchers have found that the simple act of listing just 3 good things that happened that day (no matter how small) increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms.
Set yourself some goals: Psychologist Jonathan Freedman claimed that people with the ability to set objectives for themselves—both short-term and long-term—are happier.
Exercise regularly: exercise is a proven strategy for feeling better, increasing your energy levels, and reducing tension.
Start a gratitude practice: Recent research showcased that by showing gratitude for someone (or even for what you have) boosted happiness by a noticeable level.
Don’t compare yourself to others: If your happiness comes from feeling superior to others, you’ll be frustrated a lot of the time. Even if you think you’re doing better than your peers, sooner or later someone will overtake you.
Spend time outdoors: People who live or spend a lot if their time near green spaces have been shown to have with better mental health.
Change your computers desktop image: Just looking at images of nature and natural scenes can stimulate the parts of your brain associated with happiness, positivity, and emotional stability.
Get some sunshine: Soaking up some sunshine helps to boost your levels of Vitamin D and can instantly boost your mood. Just be sure to use sun cream if it’s really hot. Sunburn never made anyone very happy…
Get some serious shuteye: Research has shown that getting less than four hours sleep a night can have a negative effect on your academic ability, on-the-job performance and levels of optimism.
Turn on your favourite tunes: Singing along and shaking your thang to your favourite tunes is a sure-fire and science-backed way to instant happiness.
Spread the happiness vibe: Studies have shown that when one person in a group is happy those positive feelings filter out to the rest of the crowd over time.
Spend time with the people you love: Positive relationships help us feel less stressed, more at ease and much happier.
Pack your plate with fruit and vegetables: Happiness and mental well-being levels are highest in people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Get your ‘om’ on: Studies have shown that regular yoga practice can alleviate stress and boost your immunity. Scientists even say that yoga may even be better for you than other forms of exercise.
Stash some cash: Putting money aside for a rainy day has been shown to increase feelings of security, wellbeing, and control.
Do more of what makes you happy: Whether it’s playing the piano, hiking up a mountain, going horseback riding or simply spending time with your family; figure out what gets your positive feelings flowing and do more of it.