10 Ways to increase happiness

  1. Plan a holiday

Celebrate your achievements with a trip away. A journal by the Applied Research in Quality of Life found that when we start planning trips we experience happiness much like when we are actually on the holiday itself. The anticipation of your trip and could last up to eight weeks so why not start planning your next holiday now!

  1. Get more sleep

Getting the full eight hours sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. The BPS Research Digest found that if we don’t get enough sleep we are more sensitive to negative thoughts and emotions, it’s also been found in other studies that how you feel immediately after you wake up determines much of your mood for the day – when we get enough sleep you wake up feeling happier.

  1. Spend more on others

Often we feel that going on a shopping spree or buying something we want makes us feel happier, however studies have shown that our happiness and ‘feel good’ factor is actually maximised when we are giving rather than buying for ourselves. So don’t splash out of on something for yourself if you’re feeling sad buy something for a loved one or friend.

  1. Practice Gratitude

The journal of happiness found that those who wrote down three things that made them feel happy each and every day had improved feelings of happiness in comparison to those that didn’t. Why not keep a gratitude diary and write down three things you’re grateful for everyday, keep referring back to it for inspiration and motivation.

  1. Watch some cat videos

Bet you’re thinking we’re joking, luckily we’re not! Scientists from Indiana University studied 7,000 people and found that by watching cat videos participants felt more hopeful, inspired and more positive.

  1. Be active

Researchers from Penn State University found that by doing exercise people felt more positive, other studies have shown that even as little as seven minutes of activity can increase happiness . Why not try contact a group of friends and organise a weekly walking session, it’s much more fun walking with others and having a chat!

  1. Spend more time with friends and family

Spending your free time with people you care about increases how happy you feel, in fact Daniel Gilbert who is a happiness expert at Harvard found many of the things we do and buy are all ultimately there to increase our friendship and social interaction.

  1. Happiness is maximised at 14 degrees (57F)

As odd as it sounds research has concluded that not only does fresh air make us feel better but there’s an optimal temperature and this is 57 degrees (13.9°C). (American Meteorological Society)

  1. Practice smiling and thinking positively

Research by Michigan State University and other universities have found that thinking positively can increase your happiness and mood, they also found that practicing smiling by thinking of these positive things helped uplift your mood. Think of three things positive things and keep referring back to them to make you smile.

  1. Don’t worry about getting old

Researchers around the world have found that as we age we generally get happier, they believe it’s down to us naturally thinking more positively and doing more of the things we love, so if you feel like you’ll be less happy as you age think again.

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