The Science behind Happier
Happier was inspired by research that shows focusing on the positive and sharing good things with people you care about makes you happier, healthier and more productive.
Here are some things you can do to be happier and we hope being part of the Happier community encourages you to do as many of them as possible.
Focus on, capture and appreciate small positive moments in your life. Expressing gratitude has been shown to do more than improve your mood. People who write down a few positive things about their day are healthier, more energetic, less stressed and anxious, and get better sleep.
Surround yourself with happier people. Happiness is contagious. Dr. Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, researchers Harvard and University of San Diego, found that each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about 9%.
Do nice things for others. Research has shown that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves and doing small acts of kindness increases life satisfaction.
Spend more time with family and friends. Having friends can save your life. Low social interaction can be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is twice as bad for your health as obesity.
Spend money on experiences instead of things. Research shows people report feeling happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than objects.
Get moving. You only need to get moving for 20 minutes to start feeling happier. When you exercise endorphins are released in your brain and you feel awesome.
Set goals and don’t make them too easy. Studies have shown that working towards challenging goals makes people happier and actually suppresses negative feelings along with increasing positive ones.
Get more sleep! Researchers have shown that about 6 hours of sleep a night is the amount of sleep that makes people the happiest.
Try and learn new things. People who have a variety of experiences have more positive emotions than those who have fewer variety.
Being happier isn’t just more fun. It’s important for living well and being healthy. Here are just a few reasons why:
People who think more positively are 50% less likely to have a heart attack, catch a cold or the flu.
People with a "positive emotional style" have been found to have better immunity to cold and influenza viruses.
Being more optimistic reduces your risk of having a stroke or becoming depressed.
Happier people live longer. Adults shown to be pessimists based on psychological tests had higher death rates over a 30-year-period than optimists (optimists were more likely to take better care of themselves and be healthier).