Like to increase your happy factor? It's easy – just follow 4 simple and scientifically proven, steps to bliss.
1. Get moving
If your stress management strategies involve unwinding in front of the television or having a few glasses of wine or a second serve of ice cream, you could be shortchanging yourself on some quality happiness. According to the US National Institute for Mental Health , exercise offers proven benefits for our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. So, put down the remote, dust off your joggers and get moving to boost your feel-good factor.
2. Sleep more
Lack of sleep not only makes us irritable, it can also be associated with depression. The US-based National Sleep Foundation says there is no magic quantity of sleep we all need, though studies suggest our ‘basal sleep' - the minimum amount needed for optimal performance, is between seven and eight hours a night. Importantly, the Foundation says sleep should be a priority. That makes it worth putting a decent amount of snooze on your to-do list – and don't wait until everything else is ticked off before hitting the sack. Give sleep top billing for maximum happiness.
3. Work less – spend time with friends
Putting work ahead of time spent with family and friends is something we don't mean to do but in our busy lives time has a habit of getting away from us, and those promises we make to ‘get together' fall by the wayside.
But here's the thing. A study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics found an increase in our level of social involvement is worth up to an extra £85,000 (about $A150,000) a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.
4. Take an outdoors lunch break
If work days see you eating lunch at your desk, you could be denying yourself a healthy dose of happiness. Research by the UK University of Sussex found people feel happiest at work after eating their lunch at the beach or in a park. Eating at your desk can decrease happiness, leading to reduced productivity. The scientists even found that eating on public transport is more satisfying than eating at a desk. Grab the sangers, head outside and take a bite of joy.
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