How to Be Happy: 10 Ways to Feel Happier

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We all like to have these positive feelings. Besides feeling good, positive emotions do good things for our brains and bodies. They lower stress hormones, help ease anxiety and depression, and improve our immune system. Feeling some positive emotions every day has a big effect on our happiness and well-being.

4 proven ways you can feel happier - Mayo Clinic

That's why it's so important to do things that give us positive feelings. Even simple actions like playing with a child or a pet or going for a walk outdoors can inspire these feelings. Knowing how to manage our negative emotions is also key to happiness. Difficult emotions are a fact of life. But the way we handle them makes all the difference.


The things we're good at, and like to do, are our strengths. We all have strengths, even if we haven't discovered them yet. Happiness increases when we discover a strength and practice it. The more we practice a strength, the better we get until we really master it. When we get really good at doing something we enjoy, we can get lost in it. That's called flow.

Essential Oils That Promote Happiness

Experiencing flow helps boost happiness. Finding daily ways to use our strengths is a key ingredient for a happy life.

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The people in our lives matter. Good relationships are one of the best ways to enjoy happiness, health, and well-being. Developing certain emotional skills can help us form and keep good relationships. When we are there for the people in our lives — and when they're there for us — we are more resilient, resourceful, and successful. Our lives can be busy with day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Many of us multi-task, so we might race ahead, thinking about the next place we need to be. But slowing down to pay attention to what we're doing and why builds happiness. We read those reports that rate the happiest places on earth, wondering, "What's their secret? Scientists have been working on defining and measuring happiness for years. They've learned a lot about what influences individual happiness — and, spoiler alert, it's not necessarily wealth.

Once they met their basic needs, higher incomes didn't mean greater happiness. Want to increase your happiness? Research has shown that these four practices can help you feel more joy and happiness in your daily life. Researchers call this "practicing loving kindness. Help someone with a heavy load.

Run an errand for your sick neighbor. Give a co-worker a boost with a thoughtful compliment. When you show sincere kindness toward others, it activates a portion of your brain that helps you feel pleasure. Research has also shown that your generosity of spirit might even be contagious, so you may spread happiness to others as you go. Loving-kindness meditation LKM encourages you to sit quietly while you think warm, loving thoughts. People who practice LKM for an hour a week report that they feel more contentment and joy.

Likewise, mindful meditation — which helps you increase your awareness of the present moment and become more accepting of yourself — has been shown to enlarge the part of the brain that regulates emotions. That can help you maintain happy feelings even when faced with life's inevitable obstacles. We all know that exercise contributes to overall health, but researchers have found it can also make you happier. In one study, older adults who started exercising regularly reported that, after eight weeks, they felt significantly happier. Another study found that when inactive people increased their physical activity, their happiness improved too.

While more study is needed to identify what type of exercise works best, you can start by walking, running, swimming or whatever helps improve your mood. When researchers worked with highly stressed health care workers to improve their outlook, they found that after 12 weeks the workers reported they were happier and more satisfied with their lives. Part of the intervention included work on gratitude and forgiveness.

For instance, you can keep a gratitude journal, jotting down specific things you're grateful for. Instead of rushing to hurt or anger when someone behaves thoughtlessly toward you, choose forgiveness. Our parents were onto something when they reminded us to always write our thank-you notes—doing so can make you healthier and happier. Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, , May.

Experts maintain that jotting down even one sentence of gratitude a day can boost feelings of happiness.

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Much like yawning and a case of the giggles, happiness really is contagious. Pretty much the most awesome way to influence other people, right? To make new friends—and keep the ones you have—try these 16 tips. Adopting a hakuna matata outlook can boost overall happiness. Easier said than done, to be sure, but making a point to detach yourself from mistakes, worries, and regrets may lead to more lighthearted times. In fact, holding onto resentment and hurt feelings can tie you to the past and also marks a decision to continue suffering.

Make the choice to be happy by forgiving people who hurt you and moving away from situations from your past that brought you down.

Essential Oils That Promote Happiness

Try treating yourself to regular actions that improve your overall, long-term health and happiness this list is a pretty great place to start! Getting your om on is an excellent way to boost your mood and beat anxiety, research shows. Exercise, yoga, and meditation for depressive and anxiety disorders. American Family Physician, , Apr. In fact, one study suggests yoga may be more effective at boosting mood than other methods of exercise.

Plus, practicing yoga can also help slash stress and improve immunity—both of which contribute to overall, long-term health and happiness. When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well is clutch—especially since the nutrients you consume improve your mental health as much as your physical well-being.


Case in point: Research finds that happiness and mental well-being are highest among people who eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables per day seven portions, in this case. Check out this long list of mood-boosting nutrients here, and fill up your plate with the good stuff. Apart from brightening up a room, flowers can also brighten up your mood. A floral fixture may reduce feelings of pain and anxiety while boosting positive emotions.

One study also shows that looking at flowers first thing in the morning leads to increased happiness and energy and decreased anxiety. In fact, experts believe that self-criticism can just make us more miserable. So instead of dwelling on your every failing, focus on how and why you value yourself. This shift will help make you stronger, more productive, less stressed, and, yes, happier. Research shows happy people tend to associate their mood with the cheerful color, and folks also tend to think of yellow as the color of optimism possibly because we associate it with the sun.

To incorporate the power of yellow into your life, try adding a bit of yellow to your outfit or painting your walls the cheerful hue. To keep your spirits soaring, try incorporating any of these 23 stress-busting strategies into your life. People who think positively are less likely to feel depressed, more productive at work, and generally healthier than their doom-and-gloom counterparts.

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In fact, forcing ourselves to feel over-the-top positive may do more harm than good, especially for those of us more prone to cynical thinking. Talk about the best of both worlds.

In one study, people who engaged in the least amount of meaningless chit-chat were also the happiest.