Happiness Researchers: 10 Things That Will Make You Happier

Studies show that we have not become happier over the years, despite the fact that we are better off, consume three times as many gadgets and have a much simpler everyday life than before. In other words, it’s time to unwind, take a deep breath – sit back and start focusing on a happier you!

Aim for your goals – and your time
“We live in the most efficient society ever but with the most stressed people. To break the trend, start your own happiness research: when do you feel at your best and when at your worst? What really affects you? Is it status, money and stuff or maybe being the biggest, fastest and prettiest? You’re likely to find other answers.

Spend your money on experiences rather than gadgets
Maybe you think that fancy (and expensive) new bag or that new mobile phone will make you happy? Albeit for the moment… But that’s not the case! Our logical thinking tells us that a gadget will be with us for a long time and therefore make us happier, but the fact is that we adapt very quickly to our new gadgets. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new jacket or a new boat. Happiness itself is very short-lived.

Cuddle an animal
Congratulations if you have a pet at home, because you’ll always be close to a real happy pill! Studies published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences show that something as simple as petting a pet for a few minutes a day can release the love hormone oxytocin, making you happier and more relaxed.

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Nurture your social relationships
We’ve found that gadgets don’t make you happier. The same is true of money, according to a professor of psychology at the University of California. What does make you happier in real life is social relationships. One tip is to write down the 10 most important people in your life and start nurturing and prioritising them!

Spend more time outdoors
Take a lovely walk at lunchtime and try to plan frequent visits to the countryside, especially in the sunshine! Research shows that most of us are in a better mood when it’s sunny and the thermometer reaches 13-14 degrees.

Listen to music – preferably quiet tunes
A study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing followed patients recovering from heart surgery, and found that those who listened to soothing music experienced an increased level of oxytocin in their blood. So cozy up with a “calm and soothing” playlist on your way to and from work for a little more comfort in your day.

Singing and dancing makes you happy
a professor at Karlstad University, shows that people who dance regularly feel better and happier than the general population. Dancing releases both endorphins and oxytocin in the body. In addition, if you sing a trudelutt while shaking your furry legs, the vibrations of the notes cause the brain to release additional feel-good hormones. Win – win all round!

Show gratitude
Short and sweet! Stop looking over your shoulder at what your neighbour/friend or colleague has and start appreciating what you have. It will increase your well-being in the long run. In a study from The Journal of Happiness, 219 people were asked to write three things they associated with gratitude over a three-week period. The results showed that they felt happier.

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Think about your attitude
Research shows that your “attitude to life” affects your wellbeing but also your longevity. No matter how you look at life, you will feel that you are right and live accordingly. So try to look at your surroundings with curious eyes and at life as an adventure. Choose joy and focus on staying on course even when life doesn’t give you lemons. There’s something to be said for optimists having more fun along the way.

Don’t take life for granted
When we realize that our days on earth are limited, many studies show that we become happier. This may be one of the reasons why research shows that we become happier in our old age and feel most fulfilled at age 70+. It may be because we then realise that time is precious, resulting in us prioritising what is important.