Tips for Living a Happier Life
A happier life, that desirable but seemingly elusive aim. Living a happier life might appear a difficult ideal to actualize but in reality, living a happier life is much more simple than it might seem. This list offers five simple tips that you can use to start living a happier life today.
Give to Charity
Science has shown that giving makes people much happier than receiving. A Harvard study found giving money away made participants feel even better than when they spent money on themselves. These findings aren’t due to social conditioning; giving actually has a chemical effect on the brain.
Altruistic behavior has been found to activate regions of the brain that are associated with pleasure, trust, and social connection. Charitable giving has also been found to release endorphins, further increasing the happiness associated with giving. There are many simple ways to make a monetary donation to a charity; alternatively, you could volunteer or start a fundraiser.
Spend More Time in Nature
Spending more time in nature is good for the mind, body, and soul. There are many reasons why spending time in nature can make you feel happier and healthier. Firstly, spending time in nature is a great stress reliever. Studies have found that spending a few hours a day in nature reduces levels of cortisol, lowers pulse rate and blood pressure.
Lower stress levels have been found to boost immunity directly. Research has found that spending just 50 minutes in a city park boosts mood, improves working memory and attention spans. Walking in nature for 90 minutes has been found to promote brain responses that can help to protect against depression.
Living a Happier Life: Learn Something New
Learning something new can have a range of benefits, all of which will help you to live a happier life. Learning something new will help to boost confidence and self-esteem. Learning something new is also great for creativity, which can have many benefits in other areas of your life. Depending on the particular topic you are learning, other associated benefits include connecting with new people to improving fitness.
Spend Time with Friends or Family
Humans are, by nature, social creatures; in our busy lives, it is all too easy to forget how important human connection is. Making the time to connect with loved ones will help you live a happier life, increasing feelings of comfort, love, and support. Spending time with friends or family does not have to happen in-person to have benefits. Try talking on the phone or via video chat instead of texting, as talking helps to increase the sense of connection.
Unplug and Live in the Moment
Everyone is living busy and hyper-connected lives, sometimes switching off and being present in the moment can hugely benefit your mental health. You should try to include some ’unplugged’ time into your daily life; this doesn’t need to be a whole day if that is too difficult. Even just taking a few hours in the morning or the evening away from the demands of your phone, laptop or tablet can help you to live a happier life.