“Isolation is a mood buster”
Happiness, like any aspect of wellness and life itself, is a constant work in progress. But no matter your current state of happiness, there are ways to boost your outlook and give your mental and physical health a lift.
Of course, it’s a challenge for even the most happy-go-lucky person to constantly remain upbeat. Here are some strategies to help in your pursuit of happiness
The Harvard study led by Dr. Waldinger found a strong link between happiness and close relationships with family and friends. “Personal connection creates emotional stimulation, which is an automatic mood booster, while isolation is a mood buster.”
Volunteering, social connections, close relationships and staying connected all help to make us feel better.
Perform regular acts of kindness.
Pick a day and focus on performing acts of kindness toward others that you would not otherwise do.
It can take considerable planning in advance. But the planning itself and the deliberate intention to do good for others can also have important effects on one’s own well-being.
Have you noticed that even for brands, the companies that show more acts of kindness enjoy lower staff turnover and stronger public goodwill. So, it’s a win-win.
Find your inner child.
When you are older, you have a chance to revisit the activities that gave you joy as a child or young adult. What made you happy when you were younger? Pick up those hobbies, games, sports, or other interests from your youth.
Buy more time.
This is where the question comes in. Can money buy you happiness? The answer is No and Yes.
Money can buy you time which can help you do things that lead to happiness. A Harvard study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that people who spend money on time-saving purchases, such as paying to delegate household chores, rather than material goods have greater life satisfaction. The effect was similar no matter a person’s income.
Invest in experiences.
Another way money may buy happiness is through life experiences. It doesn’t have to be a big-ticket adventure either. For instance, opt for dinner in an ethnic restaurant, a matinee at the theater, or an art exhibit. The investment can have a lasting impact, too.
According to some studies, people who spend money on experiences have longer-term satisfaction, as they create happier memories. In comparison, buying material objects (like designer clothes, flashy cars etc) often provides only temporary happiness.
Hang out with happy people.
Happiness can be contagious. One study found that happiness can spread through social networks. Your upbeat feeling can trigger a chain reaction, whereby your contacts become happier being around you, and they, in turn, help their contacts feel more joyful, and so on. The researchers also found that sadness does not spread as robustly as happiness.
Count your blessings.
Set aside time to write down items for which you are grateful. It could be something you usually take for granted (a roof over your head and a supportive family) or something simple like receiving a heartfelt compliment from a client, a book you enjoy, today’s good traffic, or a great-tasting meal you had recently).
Break and spice up your routines.
People feel happier when they have more variety in their daily routines, according to a study published online May 18, 2020, by Nature Neuroscience. Even small changes can have a big impact.
The results found that altering one’s regular pattern—such as by trying a new exercise program every couple of weeks, listening to podcasts on some days and music other days, or just taking a different route to the grocery store or pharmacy—can add spice to your life.
The principle can also be applied to marketing and PR campaigns. Variety, creativity and breaking away from me-too PR ideas produces sparkling results.