How to be happy – 9 tips for a happier day
What really makes you happy? Would it be money, being with a loving partner or may be walking in the open air? Happiness is such a complex emotion and what triggers sheer joy for one person might mean very little to the next. However, science reveals that taking certain actions can improve not only our happiness but also our wellbeing and immune health. Here’s 9 scientifically proven facts about being happy.
How our genes affect happiness
Firstly, your genes are responsible for some of your happiness. Scientists think that around 40% of happiness is passed down through our ‘happiness gene’, scientifically called 5-HTTLPR. The gene has an impact on our serotonin levels and in turn our emotional wellbeing.
They believe that the rest of our happiness is pretty much created by our surroundings and the activities that we do throughout our day.
Build high quality relationships
Develop close bonds with a few friends. We might have 100’s of contacts on our social media accounts but having a few special friends that we can rely on builds deeper relationships which are associated with better health and longer life. Studies show that relationships are more important than money when it comes to being happy.
Get into the outdoors
Being in nature is the perfect tonic to boost wellbeing and happiness as it elevates our serotonin levels. While we feel at our best when it’s warm and sunny, get wrapped up and venture out even when it’s cold and wet.
Physical activity also stimulates serotonin levels and increases the release of dopamine which is an important chemical messenger in the brain. When dopamine is released, it creates a feeling of pleasure and helps to reduce the hormones responsible for stress. Just 10 minutes of aerobic activity can lift our mood.
Giving thanks can help to improve your mental health and relationships with others. It might be just a mental note to yourself, or you can keep a journal of things that make you happy.
Being happy boosts immunity
Studies show that being in a state of happiness may help to support a healthy immune system. As the levels of dopamine increase so do our antibodies in our natural defence system.
Do a good deed
Helping others helps you to feel happier. It might be buying a cup of coffee for a stranger, sending flowers, or sponsoring a friend in their support of a charity. Studies show that the feeling of reward often inspires you to do more good things.
Wear bright colours
The colours we choose to wear can influence our mood. Warm bright colours such as pink, red and yellow stimulate the release of dopamine while cool colours such as light blue give us a sense of calm.
Happiness is infections
If you are surrounded by happy people, then you’ll more than likely be carried along with them.