Happy people typically attract happiness into their lives and those around them, which positively impacts their health and vitality. Scientists and researchers have actually found proven things to incorporate into our lives to increase our happiness. By bringing these activities and mindsets into your home, you can, in turn, create a happier home. Below are a few things you can try in your own home to increase happiness!
Spend more time with family
Whether it’s your spouse, your children, or your parents, quality family time makes a big difference to our happiness. Research suggests that spending more hours per day with a loved one increases our level of contentment. This is because we get to spend time together and feel needed, which makes us happier.
There’s some science to back this up too. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say that spending 15 minutes or more each day with our significant other or family is associated with better mental health than hanging out with friends (though you should still do that too) and positively impact our physical health.
So find ways to enjoy more time with the ones you love. Have a meal together as a family, play games, or go for a walk. These simple things can add up and make a huge difference to your happiness.
If you’re feeling down, contemplate why
It’s a common belief that when we feel down and out, something bad has happened to us. But research by the University of Pittsburgh suggests that most negative emotions occur for no apparent reason. This means we don’t need to worry if we feel particularly blue on a bad day – happiness researchers now think negative emotions can arise by simply thinking negative thoughts.
The study found that negative thoughts (such as “I don’t have enough money”) were more likely to occur for no obvious reason – a phenomenon known as “negative drift.”
This suggests you can feel unhappy simply because you think about things negatively. It’s important to avoid falling into the trap of negative thinking, which can damage our happiness levels.
Even though we’re not always aware of why we feel negative, there are things we can do to stop it. According to a University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center study, people who cultivate a sense of gratitude by saying thank you more often are happier than those who don’t. The researchers found that the grateful people were more cheery and positive over time, even when they received bad news.
So spend time thinking about and appreciating the good things in life. It’s something we can all do, even if we’re not always aware of it.
Try an exercise that makes you feel happier
It’s no coincidence that the happiest people are often those who actively engage in purposeful activities, whether they’re practicing yoga, surfing, or taking long walks.
In fact, exercising often has a positive effect on our mood. Research by the University of Sydney shows that people who exercise regularly are more optimistic and in a better mood than those who don’t.
What’s more, research by the University of California at Santa Barbara suggests that exercise can make us less anxious and depressed. This is because exercise positively affects our perception of the world around us and how we feel about ourselves.
Dedicate time to the things (and people) that make you happy
Time flies when you’re having fun. The research is clear that groups that laugh together tend to be happier than those who don’t. It’s as simple as that.
A study by the University of Texas at Austin found laughter to be one of the most powerful emotions because it boosts our level of activity in the brain, affecting our perception of the world around us and how we feel about ourselves and others.
Researchers found that laughter lures in a host of positive emotions in a separate study, including happiness and hope, think-weird thoughts like creativity and playfulness. So make yourself laugh more often by finding opportunities to laugh with others.
Start a new hobby you enjoy, work out to lift your mood, or challenge yourself on a project you’re passionate about. Doing things that make us feel good can also make time fly by and leave us feeling happier. Time doesn’t always have to be spent doing something “productive.”
Have a good mix of tasks
If you’re like most people, you’ll have some boring tasks to do today. Maybe you’re working on something that doesn’t require a lot of mental effort. Or perhaps it’s something that requires a lot of focus. In each case, the task is going to feel more stressful than usual.
If you’ve tried to do this kind of work for a long time, you’ll know that it can feel like a lot of unproductive time. If the task is boring, your brain will be working on your mind-body connection. This means that you’ll be more anxious and less productive.
But if you split these smaller tasks into two or three smaller tasks, with these mini-tasks combined, you will get much more done. This allows your brain to keep its focus and energy for the moment. It is a good idea to schedule mini-tasks throughout the day instead of looking at a big task in front of you.
Make Work Fun
If you work from home, this is especially for you. Many people don’t realize work can be fun. It’s not necessarily about doing a fun task, but making your way through your tasks fun can help get things done. In a study by the University of Michigan, researchers found that people who do things that make them happy in their daily workday are more productive than those who don’t.
Another study by the University of British Columbia found that happier workers are more productive because they spend less time worrying about things and can focus on getting things done. They also found that being productive around others can have a positive impact on our happiness levels.
So if you’re looking to have more fun at work, try working in a place that makes you laugh or smile. You can do this by focusing your attention on the people around you and their interactions, improving your social skills and creativity.
Time is a big part of our lives, but it doesn’t always have to be negative. Focusing on things that make us feel good and spending less time doing things that make us feel bad can increase our health boost and happiness levels.
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