Scientific happiness hacks you can try TODAY!
-Nov 28, Jenny Paul, Living -
We’ve noticed that everyone is feeling a little down at the moment. Whether it’s the impending stress of the festive season, when everyone ends up collapsing on December 24th with exhaustion, or the change of season, there are ways that you can cheer yourself up.
Happiness is easier to attain than you think. Try these science-tested happiness hacks for a better life.
1. Pay it forward.
Helping your community creates a sense of satisfaction and goodwill. There are so many amazing charities that need your help at this time of year. Whether it’s donating toys to children who wouldn’t get anything for Christmas otherwise, visiting a lonely elderly person for an hour each week, or volunteering for a beach clean up campaign, there’s something for everyone.
“I volunteered to go and have a cup of tea with a lady in her nineties called Iris through a local charity that works with older people,” Lucille Parkes tells Lumity Life magazine. “She never had children and never married, and she’s so fascinating that I can honestly say that she has become one of my best friends. Her advice on life is so simple, sensible and brilliant. But the stories she tells me have us both in fits of giggles. At the time we met I had just gone through a bad break up and was feeling really sorry for myself, but Iris has been through so much hardship, especially in her younger years that she has made me count my blessings. I’d implore anybody else who is considering volunteering to go for it. It’s such a valuable way to spend your free time.”
2. Hit the gym.
Working out raises endorphins and serotonin levels to make you feel great. As Melanie Chisholm recently told us, working out is about so much more than looking good. It can help to stave off depression and the act of physically moving your body can serve as an active meditation, which helps your mind solve problems because your body is busy. As Victoria’s Secret model Jasmine Tookes told us, all you have to focus on is getting off the sofa, once you’re at the gym the rest happens by itself.
3. Invest in experiences, not material items.
Attending a concert, sporting event or broadway show is far more elating than simply buying stuff. “I stopped impulse buying clothes and decided to go for weekends away to places I had never been before instead,” Catrina Macintosh tells Lumity Life magazine. “It made me realise that buying things online created a short buzz, but by the time the items arrived, I often didn’t end up wearing them. I sold lots of them on an auction site, and am focused on seeing the world while I can. Time goes by so quickly and you never know if something might happen and you’re physically unable to travel any more. It gives me something to look forward to. I’ve been to all kinds of places, for example I went to Nepal and met people who totally changed my outlook on life. Travel changes you for the better.”
4. Put down the phone.
People who spend less time on social media are proven to be happier. Try a social media detox and leaving your mobile phone at home every Sunday. New research suggests that social media is bad for your mental health – which is worth taking notice of.
5. Place more value on time, not money.
Money comes and goes, but your time is finite. Don’t waste it. Look after your health. As Lumity’s creator Dr Sara Palmer Hussey, PhD, says: “Your immune system is like your body’s banker and if that goes bankrupt you won’t be worried about a few wrinkles.”