“What do I really need to be happy and how much?” Yes, I was seriously asking myself this happiness question today and of course, I was hoping for the answer: Tons of chocolate.
We all want it, right? We all want to be happy and to get to know the secret keys to non-stop happiness. In Francois Lelord’s ‘Hector and the search for happiness‘ the travelling psychiatrist discovers happiness keys. Receiving money or the consumption of loads of candies are not among those keys. Actually, British researchers revealed that 2000 bars of chocolate (!) are necessary to generate the same brain stimulation as just seeing somebody smile. Even more: Smiling is also just as stimulating as getting 16,000 pounds in cash.
With the science of positive psychology, mainstream psychology has changed direction. After many years of fixing and classifying complaints, in positive psychology we are building on our strengths and investigating what makes life flourishing and fulfilling.
Positive psychologists meta-analyzed 200 studies with 275,000 people worldwide and found that being happy leads to more success in almost every life domain, including work performance and relationships, health and creativity as well as longevity.
There are more than enough reasons to get happier. But how do you become a happier person? With mobile applications such as Happify and Happier which translate innovations from science into games and challenges a lot of people became happier. A whole movement has started with the great initiative ‘Action for Happiness’ supporting people with practical actions to build a happier and more caring society.
Top 5 Happiness Boosters
Let’s see what we can learn from research to create more happy moments in our daily routines. These are our Top 5 happiness boosters to put on top of your to-do list if you want to experience happiness right now.
1. Being in the here and now
We spend nearly 50 percent of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we are actually doing. Mind-wandering makes us unhappy. According to research from Harvard University we are least happy when we rest, work and use a home computer. However, we are happiest when we exercise, make love and are engaged in a conversation. As a matter of fact, it’s more about how much we are present rather then what we are doing. In other words, our first key to creating happy moments is mindfulness. Let’s bring our full attention to this precious moment!
2. Acts of Kindness
Spreading kindness is more than just a good thing to do towards others. Research confirms that there is a ‘positive feedback loop’ between kindness and happiness. Doing a kind act for somebody such as helping out a friend makes you happier. At the same time, the happier you feel, the more likely you are to do something kind.
Be thankful for what you have. Telling a person who inspires us or who is simply there for us that we are thankful for this is a real happiness enhancer. Plus, somebody else is getting happier too. Have a look at how Soulpancake made these people happy by simply telling them to express gratitude.
4. Smile First
Smile and laugh out loud! How many times have you actually smiled today? Most of us go through the day (aka sit in front of a computer) with wrinkled eye brows and grumpy faces without even noticing. The so-called ‘facial feedback’ makes sure that our facial expression tells our brain how we feel. In other words, the more we laugh, the happier we are.
Get yourself a serious hysterical laughter and treat yourself to some stomach-muscle-ache giggles. Watch that movie which makes you cry out of laughter or call that crazy funny friend of yours. Whatever makes you laugh, do it!
In case you found your eyebrows wrinkled and don’t have a spontaneous idea to change that: