5 Ways to Feel Happier Right Now
Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to be naturally happier than others? A variety of factors in your life affect your happiness, but research suggests that genetics accounts for about 50% of each person’s variation in happiness. Only about 10 to 20% of your happiness is based on life circumstances. In other words, happiness really does come more easily to some people than others.
Philadelphia Depression Therapist
The good news is that, according to research, 40% of your happiness is shaped by your own intentional behaviors. These behaviors are the things that we do every day, they have the ability to either improve or take away from our happiness.
Dr. Levin, an experienced depression therapist in Philadelphia, PA, shows five intentional behaviors that can help enhance your happiness right now
1. Try Something New
If you’re stuck in a rut and your routine looks the same every day, you may be unintentionally taking away from your happiness. Over time, we get used to things, especially when we are constantly exposed to them. Eventually, the positive things that we once loved become less enjoyable.
To overcome this obstacle, try incorporating new activities into your routine. The added variety and spontaneity of these new activities will keep you happy and ensure that the things that you once loved never become “old.”
2. Be More Active
You already know that exercise is good for your physical health, but research shows that it’s also one of the most effective ways to improve your happiness. In fact, some studies suggest that physical activity is just as effective as antidepressant medications, and its effects are long-lasting.
But when you’re feeling depressed, the last thing you generally want to do is get up and move or run. You don’t have to join a gym to enjoy the mood boosting benefits of physical activity. A simple walk around the block, stretching, cleaning the house or even dancing around in your living room will get you moving and help improve your mood.
3. Savor Positive Experiences
Research shows that people who are able to savor their positive experiences are happier in general. How do you “savor” an experience? The goal is to actively pay attention to the beauty or the pleasure of the experience as it is happening – rather than allowing your mind to wander off to other thoughts.
One simple way to learn how to savor a moment is to find something that is seemingly insignificant and try to appreciate it in a whole new way. Practicing mindfulness can also help you learn to savor moments.
4. Do Something for Others
One surefire way to increase your personal happiness is to try and improve someone else’s happiness. According to research, spending money on other people will make you happier than spending money on yourself. For a quick boost, you could donate to a worthy cause or send a gift to a friend.
Of course, spending money isn’t the only way to improve happiness (for both you and others). Simply sending these well wishes to another person can improve your well-being. Research shows that loving-kindness meditation, which is the practice of directing caring intentions towards others, actually improves your purpose in life, positive emotions and your overall life satisfaction.
5. Do Nothing
In today’s world, most of us are constantly striving for the next thing that will make us happy. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve your life, it’s easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of wanting and achieving – and never truly finding satisfaction. Often times, the moments that bring us the greatest amount of happiness are when we aren’t striving for anything at all, but rather accepting and enjoying things the way they are.