10 Ways To Be Happier. No 5 Is Important
1. Reduce Emails
A shocking 52 percent of Americans check their email before and after work—and a lot of us are checking our emails on sick days, too. Not only is it making us cranky, but studies also show that constant connection hurts our productivity and boosts stress. Lower your stress and boost your happiness by deactivating pop-up settings so your mood isn’t shifted every time a message arrives. And better yet, don’t check your email more than once or twice a day when you’re out of the office.
2. Plan A Trip
Ever notice how planning a trip is often more exciting than the actual trip? That’s not all in your head; it’s a very real thing. Research suggests that the anticipation of a vacation makes us happier than the vacay itself—and vacation length doesn’t affect our happiness levels at all. With that in mind, plan several short vacations throughout the year instead of just one long one!
3. Use Social Media Regularly
We know it’s the opposite of other research you’ve been hearing lately, but there’s two sides to every coin. So go ahead and reconnect with friends and memories by checking your Facebook profile. Believe it or not, one study found that students felt more loved and worthy after logging into Facebook than they did after doing traditional self-affirmation exercises. Boost your profile’s happy-making powers by uploading a new profile pic that makes you feel fab or click through all of your photos to relive happy moments.
4. Give More
While the idea of buying yourself something may seem rewarding, there’s nothing more rewarding than giving your time, money, and compassion to others. In one study, participants either spent money on themselves or on someone else. The result: Those who spent money on other people were found to be happier than those who spent the cash on themselves. The good news is, you don’t have to hand out material gifts to reap the rewards. Offer your seat to a stranger on a crowded train, write a thank you note to your child’s teacher or coach, or offer to run an errand for a friend. The options are endless. Giving makes you happy.
5. Think More of Success
A major part of happiness is acknowledging and celebrating your successes. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson says that the brain is like Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive. All too often, we focus on our shortcomings and overlook how far we have come. Our advice: Sit back and applaud your efforts—it may just make you smile more!
6. Play More
No matter what your weight, gender or age, people who exercise daily feel better about their appearance than those who don’t. Whether it’s dancing, cycling, running or lifting weights, find a type of exercise that excites you—and then do it regularly! Research shows it’s the most reliable way to feel good about your body.
7. Have A Positive List
While you can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you react to it. It’s easy to let rejection, loss, and failure affect how you feel about yourself—don’t do that. Instead, keep a list of all the things going well in your life. This way, when things feel hopeless, you have a very visual and real representation of what’s going on in your life. A quick reminder of the riches in your life may make it easier to stop focusing on any shortcomings and help you feel happier in the long run.
8. Do Some Volunteer Work
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding activities you can do. In fact, a UnitedHealth Group survey of people who volunteered in the last year found that 94 percent of respondents said volunteering improved their mood while 78 percent said it makes them feel less stressed. Look for opportunities to give back to your community or dedicate some time at a homeless shelter. You’ll get more out of it than you put in.
9. Reduce worry
Get this: A whopping 85 percent of the stuff we worry about never actually happens. Even when our worries do become a reality, about 80 percent of those polled say they handled the outcome better than they thought they would. Next time you find yourself anxious over a possible outcome, brew a cup of tea, sit down, and reflect on you’ve survived 100 percent of the situations that have come your way so far—and you can easily handle anything else that comes your way.
10. Enjoy Your Weekends
People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days they spend 6 to 7 hours a day with family and friend. So, if you work full-time, make the most of those weekends!