The key to happiness has always remained elusive to man for centuries. We always wonder what it is that makes one happier than the other; could it be money? Or is it someone’s personality and overall view on life? No one can tell for sure and today the search for happiness has finally been left to science! Social scientists have been carrying out extensive research, in t he last ten years, to figure out what makes man truly happy and it seems that some kind of breakthrough has most certainly taken place.
The following is a list of the top 10 habits that can quite possibly make you a happier person.
No. 10 – Short-Term and Long-Term Goal Lists or Updates
In one of the research papers, an Austrian psychiatrist by the name of W. Beran Wolfe wrote in 1932 that a really happy man is one who would be found either building a boat, or growing flowers like dahlias in his garden, or one who is writing a symphony, or educating his son or even looking for dinosaur eggs in as strange a place as the Gobi Desert. It seems that Mr. Wolfe was indeed right because the whole idea is to keep busy, set goals and work towards them. This obviously gives little time to brood over anything that there is remotely worth brooding about. It’s true when they say—when you look for a happy man, you will find a project.
No. 9 – Planned Weekly Meals
The relationship between your mood and food is definitely closely linked. It’s true that there are specific mineral and vitamin deficiencies can be the cause for depression. Scientists are still on it, trying to figure out the effect of particular minerals and vitamins on your mood. The best way to go about this is to plan the meal intake on a weekly basis so as to make sure there is the correct balance of the macro and the micro nutrients. This would prevent any health hazard due to deficiencies.
No. 8 – Advanced Scheduling of Vacations
We believe that vacations are the best way to unwind after a period of intensive work and pressure. However, a study conducted recently in 2010 following 974 Dutch vacation goers shows that apparently going on a vacation does not help to improve happiness in any way, especially once the vacation is over. The study also proved, however, that real happiness lay in the anticipation of the vacation that to for an entire two months. So it’s best to schedule vacations, no matter how minor it is, at least two months in advance because you would always be looking forward to it and feeling happy.
No. 7 – Advance Planning of Your Social Life
No matter how ridiculous the whole idea of planning the social life in advance sounds, it indeed is effective in focussing on certain factors that lead to your happiness. Apart from just fostering better relationships, you may also get a chance to spend time with other more positive friends and relations. It feels great to help a friend in need and plan certain activities accordingly to that effect. Relationships bring immense pleasure along with nurturing kindness towards others. Optimism and feeling good is a direct consequence.
No. 6 – New Hobby Every Three Months
Hobbies have always helped to keep one’s mind engaged and they give immense pleasure. Every new hobby creates opportunities for goal setting and also to socialise (read No’s 10 and 7!). Engaging in different hobbies means engaging in different and larger social deeds. It helps to keep you in touch with your inner self and is a great way to seek happiness within.
No. 5 – Taking Regular Naps
Colloquially they are called forty winks or better still, power naps. It’s a great way to re-energise yourself and works wonders in improving your mood and stimulating your mind. For most of us who are so busy that we only get to hit the sack at the end of the day but it is absolutely essential to squeeze in at least an hour in the entire day for a short nap. It’s sure to take away your grumpiness and elevate your spirits making you happy, unless you mistakenly decide to sleep on the job!
No. 4 – Unplug
The best way to stay revitalised and energetic is to occasionally unplug by either listening to music, or taking a walk, yoga or even meditation. In fact, meditation has been proven to be the best way to unplug amidst a busy hectic day and ease out mental and physical stress. If you re into fitness, you can even hit the gym or jump into the pool for a refreshing swim.
No. 3 – Be Sunshine Happy
We all know that the weather always affects our mood. Be sunshine happy, that is, allow sunshine to enter your life and soak it in for at least half an hour no matter how busy you are. Studies show the existence of a disorder called SAD or seasonal affective disorder and this happens mostly in winter due to the lack of sufficient sunlight. They say even bright light helps to rejuvenate and uplift one’s mood.
No. 2 – Regular Hangout with Friends
It’s well known that companionship makes one happy. We are not built to be solitary figures. Even if you claim to be an introvert, the occasional outing with friends is still essential for your overall well-being. It doesn’t even need to be very good friends, but people you feel comfortable hanging out with and talking and sharing about any stuff is good enough to improve your outlook in life. It’s simply because we are all made for companionship and we find strength and energy from others. So take the time to chill out with others and give your life some colour and excitement.
No.1 – Non-Negotiable Exercise
Even though we keep procrastinating about exercising to keep fit, it is absolutely essential that exercise remains non-negotiable and top priority. Physical fitness automatically leads to mental fitness. Whether it is hitting the gym or doing yoga, improving one’s physical health is indeed imperative. Exercises like climbing stairs as well as cardio training must be a part of the exercise regime. You will find yourself smiling more often even amidst a hectic schedule.