BY AMY JOHNSON
Humans have the awesome ability to boost their mood with little daily actions, but many people don’t know which actions actually make them happy. Instead of simply wishing for happiness, make yourself happier today.
Check out 15 scientifically proven ways to make yourself happier here.
1. Write down 3 things that you are thankful for
Recent research found that writing down 3 things that you are grateful for each week improves your mood and makes you feel more optimistic. Try doing this every Sunday night to boost your mood for the week ahead.
2. Look at the stars
If you feel withdrawn and unhappy, look at the stars on a clear night. Astudy found that people who have recently felt in awe are more likely to feel curious about the world, and they are more likely to behave generously towards other people.
3. Spend time outside
Feeling stressed? Spend time outside – one study found that people have lower levels of stress hormones after spending time outside.
4. Act like you’re happy (even if you’re not)
Fake it until you make it – UC Riverside psychologists found that people who feel trapped be negative thoughts can benefit from just one positive thought, as it spurred them on to be more proactive in their search for happiness.
If you feel unhappy, consider trying a yoga lesson. Lots of studies have found that meditation can help to lessen feelings of depression and anxiety.
6. Read an adventure story
If you are feeling sad, pick up a copy of Harry Potter. A study from 2012 found that simply reading about someone else’s awesome adventures makes you feel less stressed and more satisfied.
7. Listen to sad music
This may seem counter-intuitive, but many studies have found that listening to sad music is linked to increased happiness.
8. Go for a walk in nature
If you live near a forest or a wood, talk a walk for increased levels of happiness. A study published last year found that people who walked in nature for 90 minutes had fewer negative thoughts about themselves.
9. Set goals
If you want to be happier, goal setting will help you. It makes you more self-aware and proactive – and accomplishing a goal will make you feel amazing.
10. Journal your feelings
Science has found that journalling helps you to clarify your feelings and solve problems quickly. Try journaling after a hard day to help you to unwind and de-stress.
11. Spend money on others
After a tough day it is tempting to treat yourself, but research shows that you’ll feel happier if you spend the money on someone else. Consider treating a stranger or co-worker to a coffee or lunch next time you are feeling low.
12. Visit local attractions
A study that examined life satisfaction found that people who attended plays, museums and clubs had lower levels of anxiety and depression than the people who didn’t. Try a free class in your city if you want to boost your levels of happiness.
13. Learn a skill
Learning a new skill is great for your happiness levels; it occupies your mind and makes you more productive, and you will feel great when you have a new talent under your belt.
14. Eat your lunch on the beach
If you are unhappy when you are at work, try eating your lunch at the beach or park. Studies have found this will make you feel happier and more positive during the rest of your working day.
15. Drink coffee
Good news for coffee lovers – caffeine boosts your alertness and improves your mood, so it is a great pick-me-up for anyone who is feeling tired and stressed.