Are you tired of hearing the same methods or habits over and over again about how to increase your happiness in life? You should meditate, go for a walk, watch a movie, and be present. These are all efforts many of us have tried and tested. And while there are reasons as to why they’re so popular, we talk about some more unique, scientifically proven ways you can increase the overall happiness and quality of your life.
Table of Contents
1. Synthetic Happiness:
Synthetic happiness is a concept made popular by psychologist Dan Gilbert. It refers to the idea that we can create our own happiness rather than relying on external circumstances to make us happy. The truth is, we have more control over our own happiness than we might think we do. If you think back to a moment when you were disappointed about something not going the way you had originally planned, you might have been unhappy at first, but eventually, you moved on and found happiness in other areas of your life.
Synthetic happiness doesn’t rely on good events happening in our life to make us happy, but instead is a type of happiness we create for ourselves even when we don’t get what we want. So how can we achieve this synthetic happiness? Well, one of the best ways to cultivate this type of happiness is by changing our mindset.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we can focus on what we do have and create happiness from that. This means being grateful for what we have and finding joy in the simple things in life. There are a few ways to do this, such as keeping a daily journal, praying, working on slowing down to appreciate the little things or practicing gratitude.
2. Giving to Others.
Researchers have found that giving to others, even just a small amount, boosts social connections and happiness in both the giver and the receiver. A study by psychologists from the University of Chicago gave 96 participants $5 each day for five days to spend on others. Half the participants were randomly assigned to spend the money on themselves, and the other half were asked to spend it on someone else. This could be things like putting the money in a tip jar or donating to a charity online. The participants who gave the money away self-reported their levels of happiness to be higher by the end of the study than those that spent the money on themselves.
Giving in these little ways has a bigger effect on our happiness than we realize when we give to others, we activate pleasure centers in our brain that release dopamine. This promotes a natural high, which can last much longer than the fleeting pleasure we get from buying material things. So the next time you’re able to consider leaving a tip or look up ways you can help a local charity.
3. Habits to Invest in Your Time:
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can bring more stability and comfort. You don’t have to earn loads of money or be on a high income to invest in your time. You can invest in small ways to make areas of your life easier, to manage, less stressful, and become a happier person because of it. For example, if you hate cleaning and you don’t like spending hours of your time keeping your space tidy, you could hire a cleaner. They can spend a few hours each week scrubbing the bathtub or doing the dishes.
And you get your energy back to spend on the things you do enjoy. You could invest in a meal subscription box to be delivered straight to your door. No more empty cupboards or spending too long at the grocery store. And instead, you get to do what matters to you most, like calling a friend or starting a new hobby. These things won’t cost too much of your hard-earned cash.
So if it’s in your budget, try investing in your time like this. You don’t have to go haul Leo DiCaprio and Wolf of Wall Street with your investments. Honestly, you could change your financial future with the right bit of research. Because the most legendary investors didn’t build their fortunes overnight. They found exclusive long-term investments. The issue for people like us was that these opportunities would only come with years of research and building strong relationships. The average person just didn’t have time or access to these spaces. But luckily for us, we can still take notes from the wealthy strategy.
4. Personalizing Your Environment:
Research by happiness expert Dr. Gillian Mandich has found that there is a direct link between the control we have over our environment and our happiness levels. Therefore, people who control their surroundings are happier than those that don’t. One of the fastest ways to work on your happiness is by personalizing your environment with things that make you happy.
So how can you do this? If you enjoy looking at beautiful things like art plants, fresh flowers, or even a fish tank, adding these things to your environment will help make the space feel more like yours, giving you a feeling of more control, but also raising your general sense of happiness when you see the things that bring you joy. Lighting is often a big factor in your surroundings too. Rooms with a lot of natural light are great for productivity, but you can also get creative with lighting your space using lamps or colored lighting to help create a calm and vibrant atmosphere.
Another factor we can control is what we listen to. Putting on music or background sounds can increase mood and productivity, and the best part is that you can listen to whatever you want, whether that be lo-fi beats or heavy metal. Our surroundings and how we experience them are so important, and these are just a few ways we can control and personalize our space. Give them a try and see how controlling your environment can help boost your mood.