Feb 10, 2014

The Monday Pep Talk | 10 things that will make you happier [scientifically proven]

I love it when statements are backed up scientifically. In this easy read article from The Mind Unleashed you get all the science that you need to be motivated. So, here are 10 easy things to do that will make you happier, scientifically proven.

1. Exercise more 
I can totally agree with this, having tried life styles with and without exercise. Today I know I will never go back to a life without exercise, not only because of the impact on the body but also on the mental impact you get with it. The trick is to find something you actually enjoy doing. My reguarly favourites are body pump, body combat, yoga, pilates and tennis. I´m actually not found of walking just for the exercise, so I rarely push myself to that. Instead I prefer to go for a run if I crave the nature. (But, if I´m in a city for a vacation I can easily walk around the city for eight hours straight...)

2. Sleep more - you'll be less sensitive to negative emotions
For every hour of lost sleep you´re said to be 8% less happy.

3. Move closer to work - a short commute is worth more than a big house
This one I don´t fully agree on. I have a rather long way to work, but one day I´m allowed to work from home, which makes the other days in the office a more positive commute. My advice here is; find a job that inspires you and work out the details around it. Today we live in such a fantastic Internet era giving us new opportunities.

4. Spend time with friends and family - don´t regret it on your death bed
Most important of them all. If you haven´t read the post about the nurse who took care of people on their death bed asking them what they would have done differently you can read it here.

5. Go outside - happiness is maximised at 13,9 C
Get grounded by spending time in nature.

6. Help others - 100 hours a year is the magical number
If you don´t have the time to put in, Shawn Achor author of the book The Happiness advantage suggests: Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.
You can read my review about The Happiness advantage book here.

7. Practice smiling - it can alleviate pain
Back up your smiling with positive thoughts and you will get even more effective results

8. Plan a trip - but don´t take one
To boost happiness just planning a trip or taking a break dreaming of it can make a difference.

9. Meditate - rewire your brain for happiness
I know the benefits of meditation. My only problem is finding (prioritizing) the time.
"In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank."

10. Practice gratitude - increase both happiness and life satisfaction
This is a simple practice but will immediately affect your mood and happiness level. Make it a habit at looking at life with gratitude.

[Text source themindunleashed. Image from mediawebapps]