Happiness is one of our most positive emotions, and it is also linked to a great number of positive effects on our health and well-being. Science has linked happiness to longer more fulfilling lives, an efficient immune system and improved physical function as we age, among other benefits.
Happiness will differ from person to person, but scientists believe it is simply “a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotions than negative emotions”. Regardless of its true definition and what causes it, we all know what happiness feels like.
So if you are feeling a bit blue and in need of a glow of happiness, science suggests there are a variety of ways in which you can amp up your own good feelings and bring greater satisfaction to your life.
See below for some of our favourite methods:
1. Enjoy the outdoors
Spending time outside – particularly in areas of greenery – is linked to better mental health. Even just looking at images of nature scenes can stimulate parts of the brain associated with positivity and happiness. The sunshine will also help to boost vitamin D levels. Deficiencies of this vitamin in the body is commonly linked to depression.
2. Get physical
Regular fitness sessions are crucial for boosting mood and enhancing well-being. When you exercise, the body produces antibodies – which help to keep illness at bay – and the brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Both of which are thought to lead to lasting happiness.
3. Get a new hobby
Learning a new skill and making an effort to be sociable and challenge yourself can lead to greater happiness. This is because hobbies allow you to experience feelings of accomplishment, whilst boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
4. Spread joy
Numerous studies have shown that happiness can be contagious – having a waterfall effect in the sense that it flows from one person to the other. So if you are feeling happy you should attempt to spread the joy to friends and family. This will make you feel happier too.
5. Get your feelings on paper
Negative thoughts can be overwhelming, and they can easily start to control your emotions. Eliminating these therefore is crucial to feeling happier, so why not consider relieving your mind by writing down all your negative thoughts on a piece of paper? Research suggests that physically removing your worries can lessen their hold on you. You should also write down anything that you are grateful for – things that make you happy. This will help to boost your confidence in life and those around you.
Meditating has numerous health benefits, and is considered particularly useful for helping to relieve stress and help you focus your mind. Research shows that eight weeks of daily meditation can lead to improved happiness.
Stress can significantly impact overall happiness, but hypnotherapy can provide a means of better managing the problem – turning negative situations and experiences into positive ones. To find out more, please see our stress page.
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