10 science-backed ways to become a happier person

10 science-backed ways to become a happier person

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The relatively new field of positive psychology has helped science come up with more and more studies on what makes people truly happy and what we have to do to become our best, most joyful selves. Here are some of the recent discoveries on how to be happy, courtesy of Inc.:

  1. Practice gratitude: according to researchers, whenever you count your blessings, your brain is having a workout in its capacity for gratitude. This is going to make it easier for you to be more positive and happier.
  2. Focus on the now: letting your mind wander too much to the future can make you miserable according to recent studies. If you pay careful attention to the present it will boost your well-being. It appears that focusing on what you have to do at a certain moment can act as a form of mindfulness, which will calm your brain by blocking worries from the past or of the future.
  3. Exercise more: moving around is a powerful happiness booster. Working out increases the amount of neurotransmitters in our brains, thus reducing stress and keeping you healthy.
  4. Get out in nature: studies demonstrate that going out in nature has profound positive effects on our mood. Even a potted plant or a picture of one will do the trick.
  5. Be kind: helping others will also help you with a happiness boost. When you’re being altruistic and generous, some circuits in your brain which are important for your well-being are activated.
  6. Connect: socializing can definitely make you happier. Studies have shown that people who felt grumpy one day were given a mood booster when meeting with friends. Connecting other people can also make you happy – put your matchmaker shoes on!
  7. Limit social media: using Facebook to make plans with friends – sure. But using it to scroll through other people’s feeds – not so good. This can increase envy and loneliness and decrease life satisfaction. So be careful how you choose to consume social media.
  8. Tame your materialism: craving new and better things all the time can seriously affect your happiness level. Even more, science shows that you can boost your well-being by reflecting on how much you’re spending and avoiding advertising as much as possible.
  9. Spend wisely: When you do decide to spend money, researchers have shown that if you use them for experiences rather than stuff, you will get more joy out of spending them. For instance, a travel can be much more satisfying than anything you can buy at the mall.
  10. Trim your commute: Commuting is no one’s idea of a good time. Experts strongly suggest people who want to buy a house far away from their workplace to think carefully before doing so.
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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.