You need to be pleased

Added: Emalee Shirley - Date: 15.11.2021 07:57 - Views: 11532 - Clicks: 2452

Obviously, we all want to be happier. But there's another reason to wish to be more lighthearted and content: Happiness is definitely a result, but happiness is also a driver. While I'm definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity whether a one-day burst of output, or a lifetime of increased effectiveness, or things you should not do every dayprobably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier.


Actually, many changes are easy. Here are 11 science-based ways to be happier from Belle Beth Cooperco-founder of Hello Code, which makes Exista cool app that connects all of your services to turn that data into insights about your life. Smiling can make us feel better, but it's more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study :. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts--such as a tropical vacation or 's recital--improve their mood and withdraw less. Of course, it's important to practice "real smiles" where you use your eye sockets.

You've seen fake smiles that don't reach the person's eyes. Try it. Smile with just your mouth. Then smile naturally; your eyes narrow. There's a huge difference between a fake smile and a genuine smile.

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According to PsyBlogsmiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:. When this idea was tested by Johnson et althe showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don't feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly this is one example of embodied cognition. Think exercise is something you don't have time for? Think again. Check out this seven-minute workout from The New York Times.

That's a workout any of us can fit into our schedules. Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it is an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor's book The Happiness Advantagethree groups of patients treated their depression with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The of this study are surprising: Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels early on, the follow-up assessments proved to be radically different:. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression.

Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent. You don't have to be depressed to benefit from exercise, though. Exercise can help you relax, increase your brainpower, and even improve your body image, even if you don't lose any weight. We've explored exercise in depth beforeand looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier. A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies even when they saw no physical changes:.

Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before. Yep: Even if your actual appearance doesn't change, how you feel about your body does change. We know that sleep helps our body recover from the day and repair itself and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out sleep is also important for happiness. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala.

The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories yet recall gloomy memories just fine. They could remember 81 percent of the words with a negative connotation, like cancer. But they could remember only 31 percent of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like sunshine or basket.

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The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task throughout the course of a day, researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions.

Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive to negative emotions like fear and anger. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive happy expressions. Of course, how well and how long you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day.

Another study tested how employees' moods when they started work in the morning affected their entire workday. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers' moods. And, most important to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees performed and how well they performed it. Not staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying.

If you want more evidence that time with friends is beneficial for you, research proves it can make you happier right now, too. Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference in how happy we feel.

I love the way Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it:. He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how men's social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:.

Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. I think that last line is especially fascinating: "Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

The Terman study, covered in The Longevity Projectfound that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.

Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age. In The Happiness AdvantageShawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:.

This is good news for those of us who worry about fitting new habits into already busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments. The American Meteorological Society published research in that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day.

It also found that happiness is maximized at 57 degrees The connection between productivity and temperature is another topic we've talked about more here. It's fascinating what a small change in temperature can do. One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others.

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In fact, hours per year or two hours per week is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives. Spending money on other people, called 'prosocial spending,' also boosts happiness. The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:.

Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants ased to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling ificantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future. So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. But what about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:.

Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering e. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction. As opposed to actually taking a holiday, simply planning a vacation or break from work can improve our happiness.

A study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as people enjoy the sense of anticipation:. After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people. If you can't take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar--even if it's a month or a year down the road.

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity, and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it's also useful for improving your happiness :.

You need to be pleased

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