Surveys show that we have not become happier over the years, even though today we are better off, consume three times as much gadgets and have a much simpler everyday life than before. In other words, it’s time to unwind, take a deep breath – sit back and start focusing on a happier you!
1. View your goals – and your time
“We live in the most efficient society ever but with the most stressed people. To break the trend, start your own happiness research: when are you at your best and when are you at your worst? What affects you, really? Is it status, steals and things or maybe to be the biggest, fastest and prettiest? You will likely find other answers. Then spend your time on the things you find and never let them go.” Says Erik Fernholm to vardagspuls.se.
2. Invest your pennies in experiences rather than gadgets
Maybe you think that that stylish (and insanely expensive) new bag or that new mobile phone will make you happy? Even if for the moment… But that’s not the case! Our logical thinking tells us that a gadget stays with us for a long time and therefore makes us happier but the fact is that we adapt very quickly to our new gadgets. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new jacket or a new boat. Happiness itself is very short-lived. The researcher Dr. Gilovich therefore advocates experiences such as travelling, learning a new language or trying a new activity – instead of various gadgets.
3. Cuddle with an animal
Congratulations to those of you who have a pet at home, because then you always have a real lucky pill close by! Studies published in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences show that something as simple as petting a pet for a few minutes a day can release the love hormone oxytocin, making you happier and more relaxed.
4. Nurture your social relationships
We’ve come to the conclusion that gadgets don’t make you happier. It’s the same with money, says Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California. Something that, on the other hand, really makes you happier is social relationships. A tip might be to write down the 10 most important people in your life and start nurturing and prioritizing these!
5. Spend more time outdoors
Take a lovely walk at lunch and try to plan frequent visits to nature, especially under the sun’s rays! Research shows that most of us are in a better mood when it’s sunny and the thermometer reaches 13-14 degrees.
6. Listen to music – preferably calm songs
A study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing followed patients recovering from heart surgery and found that those who listened to soothing music experienced increased levels of oxytocin in their blood. So cozy up to it with a “calm and nice” playlist on the way to and from work for a slightly nicer everyday life.
7. Singing and dancing make you happy
A survey conducted by Bengt Starrin, professor at Karlstad University, shows that people who dance regularly feel better and feel happier than the general population. Dancing releases both endorphins and oxytocin in the body. If you also sing a trudel lute while you shake your furries, the vibrations of the notes cause the brain to release additional feel-good hormones. Win – simply win!
8. Show gratitude
Short and sweet! Stop looking over your shoulder at what your neighbor/friend or colleague has and start appreciating what you have. Namely, it will increase your well-being in the long run. In a study from The journal of happiness, 219 people were asked to write down three things they associated with gratitude over a three-week period. The result showed that they felt happier.
9. Think about your attitude
Research shows that your “life attitude” affects your well-being but also your longevity. No matter how you look at life, you will feel that you are right and live accordingly. So try to look at your surroundings with curious eyes and at life as an adventure. Choose joy and focus on staying the right course even when life doesn’t give you lemons. There is something in the fact that optimists have more fun on the road.
10. Don’t take life for granted
When we realize that our days on earth are limited, many studies show that we become happier. This may be one of the reasons why research shows that we become happier in the fall of age and feel most satisfied at the age of 70+. It may be because we then realized that time is valuable, which results in us prioritizing what is important.
The psychologist: Here’s why couples always fight at IKEA.
Source: The how of happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.