Science Explains 10 Things Proven to Make You Happy
Source: Power of Positivity
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Scientific research suggests that all of us are born with a certain innate level of happiness. What this means is that others are born, well, “less happy” than others.
So give the grumpy guy or gal in your life a break! (I’m truly sorry, Grandpa Joe.)
The good news is that there are scientifically validated ways to make you a happier person!
Let’s dig in!
Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, says:
In another study, undertaken by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, scientists compared the before and after brain scans of individuals who participated in an eight-week course on mindfulness meditation. After completing the course, the 16-person group showed considerable growth in the brain regions linked to self-awareness and compassion.
#2 SHORTEN YOUR COMMUTE.
Also, you can forget about that better-paying job “compensating” for that long trek to work. Scientists say it doesn’t.
In a study conducted by Swiss economists, the cumulative negative effect of commuting outweighs the benefits such as “having a bigger house or a better job.”
Count this writer surprised.
#3 HELP OTHERS – JUST READ THIS.
Adam Grant, a professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, recommends one of his favorite techniques, the “Five-Minute Favor”:
#4 FORGET THE LATEST GIZMO. BUY YOURSELF SOME TIME.
The dual team surveyed more than 6,000 people from Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States. The survey was comprised of two simple questions: How much money do you spend each month to increase your free time? How many times per month?
People who spent more than the average, more frequently, reported the highest life satisfaction.
Also, the amount of income the participants earned did not influence the results.
#5 GET ENOUGH SLEEP. YOU’LL BE LESS GRUMPY.
But check this study out:
“In one experiment…sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotations, like “sunshine” or “basket.”
Some scientists posit that sleep deprivation targets the hippocampus, which is responsible for processing positive or neutral memories, is responsible for such effects.
#6 TAKE 30 SECONDS.
Science shows that taking as little as 30 seconds to help someone will instantly flood your brain with feel-good chemicals – and set you up for a great rest of the day!
#7 PRACTICE THE POWER OF GRATITUDE.
Those who engage in a regular gratitude practice (mine is closing my eyes and picturing the smiling faces of three loved ones) report:
– feeling happier and less depressed
#8 EMBRACE ADVERSITY – AND LEARN IT’S VALUABLE LESSONS.
– shaping and reinforcing our identity
So, the next time you meet an obstacle – blast through that sucker!
#9 UNDERSTAND WHAT CONSTITUTES HAPPINESS
Contrary to popular belief, we adapt to our circumstances over time; so they don’t play much of a role in our overall happiness levels. (The only exception, apparently, is commuting!)
Also, about 50% of happiness is genetically determined, 40% is controlled by actions, behaviors, and thoughts, and just 10% is determined by your circumstances!
This is some empowering knowledge – and may just be a good reason to pause and reflect on our life.
#10 HAPPINESS CAN BE HARDWIRED – SO DO IT!
Happiness isn’t feeling “smiley” all of the time; it isn’t having all the money in the world or refusing to see the troubles that are out there. Happiness is contentment. Happiness is satisfaction.
Happiness is also your birthright. You deserve happiness.
Claim what’s yours!
Related Article: How Nature Can Unlock Unstoppable Happiness In Your Brain
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