Are you looking for ways to elevate your mood? These methods can make you feel truly happy and connected to your inner self.
Due to our hectic schedules and life circumstances sometimes, staying happy can seem like an uphill task. We keep chasing things like promotions, the latest cars or other worldly possessions to feel good. But the harsh truth is that these things make us happy for only a few fleeting moments. Happiness is not something that happens to us. To be truly happy, we must make small changes in our lifestyle, surroundings and relationships. Instead of chasing material possessions, focus on your health, family, friendship, social connections, new experiences, gratitude and compassion, and you will be surprised by the results. Here are nine scientifically proven practices that you can do to feel happy:
1. Eat a healthy meal with friends
Have you ever felt unhappy while eating alone? There is a scientific explanation behind that. According to new research from the University of Oxford, the more frequently people eat with others, the more likely they are to be happy and content with their lives. A hearty meal with your friends can trigger your endorphin system and boost your happiness. So, plan a dinner, and invite your friends over—you’ll be astonished at how healing and invigorating it can be.
2. Practice gratitude
While humans are inherently unsatisfied, being grateful for things we have can do wonders for our mental peace and happiness. It can help you become mindful of what you have; instead of constantly worrying about what you want or what’s missing. According to a study by the Journal of Happiness, writing letters of gratitude significantly increased happiness and life satisfaction. Getting a journal and writing down five things you are grateful for each day is an excellent exercise. And the list could include something as simple as a simple, but delicious breakfast or a good conversation with a friend or relative.
3. Plan a trip
Planning a trip to take a break from work is a brilliant way to boost your happiness. In fact, planning a trip makes you happier than going on one. According to a study published in the journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life, the highest spike in happiness occurred during the trip planning period, as people appreciate the sensation of anticipation.
4. Help others
Being too occupied with oneself is the root cause of unhappiness and depression. We automatically become happy in our own lives when we are sympathetic and loving toward others. And helping others also makes us feel good about ourselves. So, if you want to feel true happiness, volunteer at your favorite local shelter or charity, or simply help out a friend or a family member in need.
There are a lot of studies on how meditation can improve your mental and overall well-being. Since meditation clears your mind and calms you down, it is one of the most effective techniques to live a happier life. And it has a plethora of health benefits!
6. Spend time with your family
We have often heard that money can’t buy happiness—it’s true! If you want to live a happy life, it is important to take a break from work and spend quality time with your family. Being among your loved ones gives you a feeling of belonging and makes you feel safe and happy. So plan a family road trip or take your parents out for lunch and make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
7. Go outdoors
No matter how busy you are, don’t forget to spend time outside and in nature. Just taking a short walk outside or being amidst nature can have a positive impact on your mindset and make you happy. An article by the University of Sussex found that spending time outdoors in natural environments made people substantially happier.
8. Sleep more
Have you noticed that you are always in a bad mood when you don’t get enough sleep? Inadequate sleep is one of the main causes of negative thinking. It can also impact your efficiency and cause multiple health issues. If you want to live a happy life, get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
9. Eat fermented foods
If you are feeling down, you must reach for fermented foods. Did you know that fermented foods can elevate your mood? These foods are packed with probiotics that can improve your gut health, which has a direct impact on your brain and mood. And a healthy gut means a happy you!
To learn more about happiness and your overall well-being, book a consultation with Dr. Shah here.