We can all agree that 2020 has been canceled until further notice. While we wait until 2021 to bring us back our vacations and overall sense of well-being, there’s no time like the present to begin to live an authentically happy life.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, but scientists and psychologists have five things that happy people do that you can start doing today.
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It's no surprise: exercise is good for your mind and body. In a Stanford study published in 2020, the molecular reasoning for why that’s true confirmed our sneaking suspicions. Despite being one of the first in the field to perform the specific study, it adds to the consensus that exercising leads to a healthier lookout on life. A 2005 Harvard study found that happy adults will work out more, effectively leading to more happiness.
In the paper titled Maintaining Healthy Behavior: a Prospective Study of Psychological Well-Being and Physical, Dr. Julia Boehm and a team of researchers were able to find the reasons why. Boehm says about the findings:
“Results from this study suggest that higher levels of psychological well-being may precede increased physical activity; therefore, it is possible that psychological well-being could be a novel way of not only enhancing psychological health but also increasing physical activity—which in turn could improve the physical health of a large segment of people in an aging society.”
2. Do Kind Things For Others
It seems simple enough and something we all need to do more of in our world and everyday lives. Luckily, being kind has more than just social benefits - it increases your happiness levels too. Two separate studies have discovered that people who are giving to others are happier than those who do not. While those who are kind are also more likely to experience fewer aches and pain, have more energy, and live longer with a 44% lessened likelihood of succumbing to an early death as found on Random Acts Of Kindness.org.
They’re dedicated to providing facts to encourage living kindly with your fellow humans. Have a look for some inspiration or to take it to the next level and become a “RAKtivist”.
3. Remove Toxic Patterns
Not all happy people were once thriving as they are now. Being able to recognize toxic situations in your life and remove them will ultimately be one of the most significant steps towards living a truly happy life. Many happy people will tell you that they’ve had their ups and downs much like everyone else, but being able to decide to be happy is under many people’s control, one made by happy people every day.
- Try identifying potentially damaging qualities to make steps towards change and a happier life. Doing so will undoubtedly be beneficial for steps towards positive mental health.
- Not practicing self-care can be a toxic pattern that should be broken immediately.
Psych Central suggests building a routine and developing your unique rhythm over time. Saying, “you will be able to implement more and identify more particular forms of self-care that work for you.”
4. Get Curious
Witnessing the wonderment of a child is fascinating, and one of the purest forms of happiness. You’re about to be a part of the innate curiosity that draws us into a unique world around us. Happy people tend to be more curious, along with having better relationships, according to a 2004 study. Curiosity has the potential to improve our relationships by being described as a “social glue” of sorts. But why?
In an article published in the Science-based publication Greater Good Magazine, curious people are more likely to be happy people and suffer less anxiety. They are also more likely to be in better psychological standing. The same 2004 study shows that those who are curious tend to have better relationships overall.
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