We all strive for happiness but it can be hard to find, and as the saying goes, it’s something money just can’t buy. Magazines, adverts, social media, friends, family – all have different ideas about how to achieve happiness.
In the past few years, scientists have found that although our genes and circumstances play a part in affecting how we feel, a large proportion of our happiness comes from the things we do.
Here are ten tips on how to make yourself happier:
- Be active
- Eat and drink welll
- Be social
- Make time for yourself
- Have a social media detox
- Keep learning
- Set goals
Evidence shows that physical activity is good for our mental wellbeing. You don’t need to run a marathon – find an activity that you enjoy and that fits into your daily life. Adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.
Eat and Drink Well
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Too much sugar and not enough fiber (found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) will also make us feel sluggish. Alcohol is a depressant, so cutting down how much you drink will make you feel better.
Connecting physically (not online!) with other people is important for our wellbeing. Strong relationships help us feel more supported, secure and give us a sense of purpose. Supporting others has been shown to improve our wellbeing too.
Doing things for others has a big effect on our happiness. Giving creates stronger connections between you and other people. Try giving five minutes a day to help someone, give away the things you don’t use anymore, or volunteer in your community.
Make Time For Yourself
Whether it’s reading on your commute into work, a ten-minute walk in the park at lunchtime, or half an hour in the bath, take time to de-stress from the busy world. Meditation or mindfulness can help. Get to know who you are and what you want.
Have A Social Media Detox
There are countless studies that correlate social media with anxiety, depression, isolation, and sleeplessness. Have screen-free days and try to spend time connecting face-to-face with your friends and family.
Evidence shows learning boosts our self-esteem and self-confidence while giving us a sense of satisfaction and optimism – take up a new hobby or craft, cook a dish you haven’t tried before or learn to fix something in your home.
Goals help to give us focus and feel in control over our own lives.
Idle play changes our daily routine, lifts negativity and can make you more creative. Play keeps us healthier in old age and helps us find the answers to problems.
Research has shown that smiling helps us, and those around us, feel happier – even if that smile is faked. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, try one on and see if it helps you feel more positive!