10 scientific ways to be happy

Top 10 Scientific Ways To Be Happy (Smile With Science)

We’ve gathered up the top 10 scientific ways to be happy.

 

Happiness is all about brain chemistry, so if you didn’t think it was scientific, think again!

 

These ideas can’t guarantee happiness, as it’s up to you how you implement them in your life. But, if you put in the work, you’ll be well on your way to a much happier life.

 

The Benefits Of Being Happy

 

The benefits of happiness are both varied and life-changing. While being happy doesn’t solve all your problems, it often makes dealing with those problems much easier.

 

Dealing with life’s many challenges is much harder if you’re also dealing with negative emotions. A more positive mindset means that you’ve got more energy to devote to improving your life.

 

Not only that, but positivity is also linked with better physical health. Studies have shown that happy people are less likely to get sick, and if they do get sick, they recover more quickly.

 

Why Does It Feel Hard To Be Happy?

 

Many factors lead to people struggling to feel happy in their daily lives.

 

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress can drastically reduce your ability to find happiness. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, it’s important to seek out professional help.

 

Bad habits can also trip you up on the road to happiness. If you’re someone who struggles with addiction or has difficulty managing your emotions, this can be a real challenge.

 

Life’s curveballs, e.g. a bad breakup or someone passing away, are enough to knock anyone down for a while. Grief is a natural and necessary emotion but, if it’s not dealt with in a healthy way, it can lead to further problems down the road.

 

There’s another big factor that leads to unhappiness: thinking about happiness the wrong way. A lot of people believe that happiness comes from things outside of their control, such as winning the lottery or becoming famous.

 

10 scientific ways to be happy

 

This way of thinking sets you up for disappointment because, in reality, those things are completely out of your control.

 

What you can control is your thought process and how you react to the events in your life. You can also choose what you do with your time, who you spend it with, and how you take care of yourself. Being happy is a choice, and it’s one that you can make every day.

 

10 Scientific Ways To Be Happy

 

Have you ever thought, “Why can’t I be happy?

 

Ready to incorporate some happiness into your life? Here are 10 scientific ways to be happy, backed by research.

 

1. Maintain Strong Relationships With Friends And Family

 

We don’t need to tell you that your friendships and relationships are important! Socializing provides emotional and interpersonal benefits, and also improves your happiness.

 

Remember to check on your happy friends!

 

A longitudinal study into the lives of over 250 men concluded that relationships are the strongest predictor of lifetime happiness. The strength of the participants’ relationships in their 40s predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable that the study measured.

 

This means that if you want to be happy in your old age, you must work on cultivating relationships with your loved ones now.

 

To strengthen your relationships, try out this list of happy questions to ask your friends. You might also want to hop on board with Kindness Week 2022!

 

How To Get Started:

 

There are many ways to keep in touch with friends. You can have regular catch-ups with friends, go on dates with your partner, or make an effort to spend more quality time with your family.

 

You can also work on your relationships by being more present and engaged when you’re around your loved ones. Put away your phone, make eye contact, and really listen to what the other person is saying.

 

men sitting together

 

2. Practice Gratitude

 

Practicing gratitude means that you take stock of what you have in life, and you appreciate those things. It’s a simple concept that can have a profound effect on your happiness.

 

Positive psychology research has shown that gratitude has a number of benefits, including improved mental and physical health, stronger relationships, and increased resilience in the face of stress.

 

So, work on cultivating gratitude! When you reframe your outlook and see things from a grateful perspective, it’s amazing how much better you feel.

 

How To Get Started:

 

Keep a gratitude journal and write down what you have to be grateful for each day. Write about good things that happened during the day, happy memories, successes, or things you’re looking forward to.

 

The advantage of writing things down is that you can look back at it on tough days and remember all the good in your life.

 

Use the built-in happiness journal of the Do Happy App to make gratitude part of your daily routine!

 

3. Schedule Time For Mindfulness Meditation

 

Your brain isn’t designed to cope with a high level of stress and activity all the time. It’s important to make time to relax and destress. For this, mindfulness meditation has proven effective.

 

A study in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging found that people who participated in an eight-week course on mindfulness meditation had MRI scans showing increased density in the hippocampus and structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. They also had decreased density in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress.

 

So, if you’re looking for a way to calm your mind and reduce stress, start meditating!

 

How To Get Started:

 

Start with a guided meditation. There are many great apps and websites that offer free guided meditations, such as Calm and Insight Timer. Find a moment when you can be alone and uninterrupted, close your eyes, and follow along with the guide.

 

If you’re new to meditation, it can be helpful to start with just a few minutes a day. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase the length of your sessions.

 

4. Hand Out More Genuine Smiles

 

Smiling can have a positive effect on your mood and the moods of those around you. Kindness is free, and it makes you feel great too!

 

When you smile, it’s not just your facial muscles that are affected. Smiling also activates the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals can help to improve your mood and alleviate stress.

 

What’s more, smiling is contagious. When you see someone else smile, it’s difficult not to mirror their expression. So, when you smile at someone, you’re not just making yourself feel good – you’re also making them feel good.

 

There is a caveat, however. The smile must be genuine.

 

A study on how employees’ moods are affected by having to smile at customers showed that forcing a smile and pretending to be happy leads to emotional withdrawal and exhaustion.

 

Those who smiled because they were thinking happy thoughts, on the other hand, experienced increased positive moods and productivity. If this interests you, consider reading this article on how to think happy thoughts.

 

So, if you want to reap the benefits of smiling, make sure it’s a real smile.

 

How To Get Started:

 

Make it a habit to smile more often. Think positive thoughts and smile at people you make eye contact with. This includes family, friends, co-workers, people who provide a service to you, and even yourself in the mirror. The more you smile, the easier it will become – and the happier you’ll feel.

 

Man smiling

 

5. Spend More Time Outside

 

This study shows that your surroundings can have a big impact on your emotional state.

 

Most people in the study felt happiest in outdoor, natural environments near water. Those in urban environments were less happy on average, suggesting an important link between human beings and nature.

 

Why does being outside make you happy? The nature sounds, fresh air, and vitamin D from the sun all play a role. Being outside also puts your mind at ease and allows you to enjoy the moment.

 

So, if you’re looking for a fun and relaxing way to feel happier, take a stroll outside. Your mind and body will thank you!

 

How To Get Started:

 

Nature is one of the top 100 reasons to be happy! Make an effort to spend more time outside, especially in nature. Take a break from work and go for a walk outside. Have a picnic by the lake. Go for a hike on the weekends. Listen to the birds and enjoy the fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face and smile.

 

6. Move Your Body Consistently

 

While most people focus on the physical health benefits of exercise, there are many psychological benefits as well.

 

When it comes to how and how not to be happy, know that moving your body is a great mood booster.

 

Exercise has such a profound effect on our health and happiness that it’s even used to manage depression.

 

This study used different methods to treat depression. These methods were medication, exercise, and a combination of the two.

 

Three groups were formed, each being treated with one of these methods. While all three groups saw similar improvements in the beginning, differences became clear in follow-up assessments.

 

The three groups were assessed six months after the initial study to determine relapses. The combination group had the lowest relapse rate when compared to the other two!

 

While it can help to decrease depressive symptoms, exercise doesn’t only help those with depression. It can help everyone to relax, focus, and even improve their self-esteem.

 

Read more about: How does exercise make you happy?

 

How To Get Started:

 

Do anything that gets you up and moving. It can be as simple as going for a walk around the block or playing with your kids at the park.

 

Invite a friend to join you for a game of tennis or a yoga session. Join a local sports team. Take a dance class. The options are endless! Whatever you do, make sure it’s something that you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with it!

 

10 scientific ways to be happy

 

7. Get The Amount Of Sleep You Need

 

Your body needs sleep to manage various functions. Your psychological needs and happiness are heavily impacted by sleep.

 

When you get enough sleep, your body is much better equipped to handle stress. You’re also able to think more clearly and be more productive.

 

On the other hand, when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to feel tired, stressed, and anxious.

 

Sleep deprivation also hinders your brain from holding onto positive or neutral memories but leaves the part of the brain responsible for negative emotional reactivity unaffected.

 

A study involving sleep-deprived college students proved interesting. This involved them having to memorize a list of words.

 

These students were better able to remember words with a negative connotation than they were positive and neutral words. This indicates that sleep-deprived people have a hard time recalling pleasant elements in life.

 

So, if you want to enjoy more positive emotions, make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Sleeping well is one  of the

 

How To Get Started:

 

Develop a bed-time routine and stick to it as much as possible. Avoid caffeine and screens before bed. Make your bedroom a comfortable and relaxing environment. Sleep in complete darkness or use a sleep mask. Do whatever it takes to get the high-quality sleep your mind and body need!

 

Man napping

 

8. Help Others, It’s Good For You!

 

You know the saying, “It’s better to give than to receive?” Turns out, this is true when it comes to happiness.

 

Research shows that people who spend money on others are happier than those who spend it on themselves. This was regardless of how much money was spent. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small amount or a large sum, the result is the same.

 

This is because helping others activates the reward center in our brains, known as the “helper’s high.”

 

Moreover, there is a positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness.

 

This study found that when people recalled spending money on someone else, they felt happier and were more likely to do it again in the future.

 

So, if you want to be happier, be the reason someone smiles today and help others! It’s a win-win for everyone.

 

How To Get Started:

 

You don’t have to spend money to help others. You can volunteer your time or perform acts of kindness. You can hold the door open for someone, help out a neighbor with a chore, or even just offer a compliment to a stranger.

 

Whatever you do, make sure it’s from the heart and with good intentions.

 

9. Shorten Your Commute For Higher Life Satisfaction

 

With all the hours spent driving to and from work each week, it’s no surprise that it can impact our mood.

 

Sitting in traffic or having to take a detour is always irritating. The brain never fully gets used to the commute because it’s always uniquely unpleasant.

 

This study into the effects of commuting on happiness determined that better houses and jobs don’t make up for long commutes.

 

Instead of buying a nice house or gunning for a promotion, consider living closer to your workplace. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much of a difference it makes to your happiness and satisfaction with life.

 

Short (as in non-existent) commute times are one of the reasons that people have happy work from home lives.

 

How To Get Started:

 

If you’re not happy with your commute, make a change. You might have to downsize your house or relocate to shorten your commute. The extra hour or two you get back each work day will be worth it in the long run!

 

We recognize that it is not always possible to do this, but if you can, it’s worth considering. Otherwise, do whatever you can to make your commute more enjoyable. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts, carpool with friends, or make a hands-free call to a friend or family member to catch up during your commute.

 

10. Plan Trips, Even If You Never Take Them

 

Here’s an interesting happiness hack: plan a trip, even if you never take it.

 

A study found that the highest point of happiness is during the planning stage of a trip.

 

This is because during the planning stage, you’re focused on all the fun you’re going to have and the memories you’ll make. The vacation anticipation boosts happiness for longer than actually going on the trip!

 

So, if your timetable is packed, plan a trip for the future. The excitement and anticipation whenever you think about it will improve your happiness.

 

How To Get Started:

 

Start by looking up some potential destinations online. Create a dream trip itinerary. Embark on the trip in your mind and allow yourself to feel the happiness that comes with it.

 

beach

 

Final Thoughts

 

Negative feelings and emotions are a part of life, but you always have the power to choose how you react to them.

 

Happy people don’t let their emotions control them. Instead, they take charge of their own happiness and create their own positivity. They realize that happiness is a habit! For a happy life, they work on their happiness each and every day.

 

You can do the same. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to a happier and more fulfilling life. Just remember, it takes time and effort to change your habits. Be consistent and patient, and don’t give up! Soon enough, you’ll be reaping the rewards of a happier life.

 

If you found these tips helpful or interesting, head on over to our blog at a little dose of happy for more happiness-related content!

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