Happiness is a subjective experience, but there are certain behaviors and actions that consistently contribute to greater happiness levels.
This article explores the top 10 scientifically proven behaviors that happy people engage in, backed by research studies. By incorporating these practices into our lives, we can enhance our own sense of well-being and boost overall happiness.
The TOP 10 Things TO DO that Science Says Can Make you Happy + One Bonus Tip!
HINT: The BONUS will make you SMILE!!
Numerous studies, such as Emmons & McCullough (2003), have found that regularly practicing gratitude increases happiness and overall life satisfaction. Taking time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects of our lives, whether big or small, can have a significant impact on our well-being.
Engaging in Kindness:
Performing acts of kindness towards others has been shown to boost happiness levels. Research conducted by Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade (2005) indicates that even small acts of kindness can significantly enhance our mood and overall sense of happiness.
Nurturing Social Connections:
Strong social connections are essential for happiness. Studies, including the well-known Harvard Adult Development Study, consistently link positive relationships to better mental and physical health. Engaging in meaningful interactions, spending time with loved ones, and fostering new connections are all crucial components of a happy life.
Mindfulness exercises, such as meditation and deep breathing, have been extensively studied and shown to improve happiness and well-being. Keng, Smoski, & Robins (2011) found that mindfulness practices reduce stress, increase positive emotions, and improve overall psychological functioning.
Physical exercise is not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental well-being. Research by Arent et al. (2000) suggests that regular exercise helps to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety while increasing happiness levels.
Setting Achievable Goals:
Setting and striving towards personal goals provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Locke & Latham (2002) conducted research demonstrating that setting specific and challenging goals can increase motivation and overall life satisfaction.
Engaging in Flow Activities:
Happier individuals often find themselves engrossed in activities that bring about a state of “flow” – complete immersion and focus. Csikszentmihalyi (1997) discovered that experiencing flow enhances happiness and well-being by creating a sense of intense enjoyment and satisfaction.
Taking care of oneself is crucial for maintaining a high level of happiness. Research by Diener & Diener (1996) found that engaging in activities that promote self-care, such as relaxation, hobbies, or pursuing personal interests, positively impacts overall life satisfaction.
Cultivating an optimistic mindset has been linked to greater happiness levels. Seligman (1998) conducted studies suggesting that practicing positive thinking and reframing negative situations can enhance well-being and alleviate depressive symptoms.
Practicing Mindful Use of Technology:
While technology offers numerous benefits, research suggests that mindful use can contribute to happiness. Studies by Kross et al. (2013) have shown that excessive use of social media platforms can lead to decreased well-being. Maintaining a healthy digital balance and using technology consciously can positively impact happiness.
SMILE: Even if you don’t feel like smiling.
Research shows that the act of smiling can ‘trick’ the brain into thinking you should be happy.
There are different theories as to why this actually works but you can read it for yourself.
Scientific research provides valuable insights into the behaviors and actions that can lead to increased happiness levels. By incorporating gratitude, kindness, social connections, mindfulness, exercise, goal-setting, flow experiences, self-care, optimism, and mindful technology use into our lives, we can cultivate greater well-being and overall happiness. Implementing these behaviors as regular practices will contribute to a more fulfilling and joyful life.
And don’t forget to SMILE!