There are a lot of tips and tricks to coping with life right now, but we have waded through them all to bring you the best ways to be happier – backed by science.
Spend money … on other people.
‘Prosocial spending’ is essentially buying things for other people and it’s been proven to be more effective than buying things for yourself. A 2012 Harvard study gave away some money to participants of the study. Half of them were asked to spend it on buying things for themselves, while the other half was asked to spend the money by buying things for others. They found that the people who spent the money on other people were happier when recalling the purchase than those who had bought something for themselves.
Sleep seems to be the cure for just about everything, but stick with us on this one, here comes the science… Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. 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.
Gratitude is the act of being thankful for simple things in our life. Practicing gratitude has been proven to increase happiness. There’s a study from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that suggests that a conscious focus on blessings (in other words: practicing gratitude) have emotional and interpersonal benefits. When practicing gratitude, you may find you spend your day thinking about what you are going to put in your journal so your focus changes to what you can be grateful for. Life changing!
Spend more time with family and friends
Some of you might be thinking “not my family”, but did you know that staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. Daniel Gilbert, Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, explains it best. “We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things, we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.” And while you might not be able to physically be with them at this time, video conferencing is the next best thing.
If all else fails, pop on some great music and bop along. Here’s our suggestion…
From the newsroom