Happiness is an essential pillar in the emotional spectrum that we all strive to achieve. It’s the emotion that breeds the trifecta of productivity, positivity, and success. As we juggle to balance the stresses of our personal and professional lives, happiness seems to be more difficult to attain, and sometimes, impossible.
So, the million-dollar question is: How to be happy?
Science says becoming a happier person is simple. Reported by CNN, science proves that you do have the power to change your outlook on life to a more cheerful disposition. It’s as straightforward as adding turmeric to your soup or listening to music. The trick is to do them often.
Here are 10 simple science-backed ways to be happy. Turn these happiness hacks to daily habits and you’ll be on the fast track to a more happier and healthier you.
#1 Lend a helping hand.
Practicing kindness is the invisible currency of happiness. Whether it’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, donating money for a cause, or helping your grandma clean up her yard, helping others releases a feel-good effect that increases our serotonin levels. As emotional and social creatures, random acts of kindness is inextricably linked to one’s happiness and contentment on a psychological and spiritual level.
“Researchers discovered that even thinking about doing something generous has real mood-boosting benefits in the brain,” explained Time. Offering a meal for a person in need or bringing coffee to a coworker triggers a positive domino effect for one’s overall wellbeing. “Studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to have better health and other research has indicated that spending money on others can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise,” shared Philippe Tobler, an associate professor of neuroeconomics and social neuroscience. “Moreover, there is a positive association between helping others and life expectancy. Perhaps because helping others reduces stress.”
All in all, be a good person. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t practice kindness.
#2 Dine with turmeric.
Turmeric is the rising spice to fame that is said to reduce the risk of cancer, fight Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, and now, it may treat depression. Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric which contains natural antidepressant qualities.
“Animal studies have also linked curcumin to an increase in serotonin and dopamine, so it’s a powerful way to boost your mood,” reported CNN. Eat your way to happiness with turmeric. Sprinkle it in your salad, douse it in a curry dish, or scatter it in soup. Your mind, body, and mental health will thank you.
#3 Connect with a friend.
Humans thrive on connection. The theory is that we begin to lose friendships at a rapid rate as we enter our late twenties. As time goes on, it gets harder and harder to maintain that bond with loved ones because life happens and it gets unexpectedly busy. Whether you like it or not, our survival, happiness level, and quality of life are dependent on those connections, which is why it is important to make an effort to continuously invest in those relationships.
Make a point to connect with one person in your inner circle each week. Schedule for weekend coffee or morning/evening hike. If you’re not mentally exhausted after work, pencil in happy hour. Phone a friend during your commute home. A little effort goes a long way for both your personal happiness and your friendships.