START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

4 Tips for Happiness

4 Tips for Happiness

While you might already be familiar with some feel-good tips, like exercising regularly and making time for families and friendships, research has uncovered more ways to build on these fundamentals. Here are four things you can do right now to take your well-being to the next level.

1. Use your brain
“When it comes to brain chemistry, if you don’t use it, you lose it,” says Joe Dispenza, DC, author of Evolve Your Brain, (Health Communications, 2007). “When you think differently, you create new circuits in the brain, which creates new patterns in behavior and feeling.” Meditation can open up those circuits and boost happiness by cultivating contentment increasing blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain–the source of the higher-level thinking that enables us to chart our own course instead of just reacting to our environment. It also enables you to recognize and minimize thoughts that lead to unhappiness–such as those that center on guilt, blame, judgment, and pessimism–and favor those that foster a more positive state.

2. Foresee and reflect on happiness
It’s true that happiness is in the now, but thinking about positive things in the past and those that you anticipate in the future can actually boost your present happiness. “Savoring past pleasurable experiences boosts your positive emotions in the present, and positive emotions are the key to happiness,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness (The Penguin Press, 2008). Relish in the contentment the event triggered, not rue the fact that the experience is over. Anticipating happy events–like watching a funny movie–can also lift your mood. Research has even shown that you don’t need to laugh to reap the effects: Men who were planning to watch their favorite funny movies saw a significant increase in mood-enhancing hormones even before the movie started.

3. Buy someone a present or give to charity
Whether having more money boosts happiness over the long-term is up for debate. But research from the University of British Columbia has found that using your own money on someone else’s behalf produces a happiness surge. The researchers gave students either $5 or $20 and told half the students to buy something for themselves and the other half to spend it on someone else. Those who donated their money to charity or bought a gift for a friend reported a significantly bigger increase in well-being. And there was no difference in the uptick in good feelings between those who spent $5 and those who spent $20, suggesting that even small gestures have a big impact.

4. Eat dark chocolate
Food feeds your brain in addition to fueling your body. “Dark chocolate is the perfect brain food,” says Cheryle Hart, MD, author of The Feel-Good Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2008). While you don’t want to overdo it, indulging a little can give you an extra boost just when you need one. Sugars fuel the brain, caffeine provides an energy lift, and magnesium helps the body manufacture serotonin. Hart suggests one or two ounces of organic, high-quality dark chocolate in the midafternoon, when serotonin typically dips to its lowest level of the day.

Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.

Read more: Guidance, Health, Mental Wellness, Spirit

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

21 comments

+ add your own
10:58PM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

go shopping :)

8:37AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

ty

12:15PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Thanks !

3:12AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Being positive and moving on are equally important

1:15AM PST on Jan 25, 2013

Thanks

7:21PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Thanks for the article

6:27AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

I really like this article, thanks!

4:15AM PST on Feb 13, 2010

Interesting, sometimes it seems we are too busy seeing to others needs to check our own happiness. Yes, maybe the Biblical 10 commandments are a good start, but that is more morality than personal happiness or fulfillment. As a full time mom and wife of a career military man I have put myself on the back burner and sometimes feel sad and even resentful because I don't look out for myself, my dreams and my happiness. As a woman one of the best gifts I can give to my family is to be happy and fulfilled as a person and now I am seeking that!!

r4 revolution

9:01AM PDT on Aug 10, 2009

Happiness= To be Respected,To Be Loved,To Give Adoration,To Be Helpful,To Breathe!
Some people find it hard to do the things that are naturally human we are all born with this silent blessings... what and how we choose to use it ..is really supposed to come natural and when our world has something wrong with it it disturbs our happiness and then the ball takes off and we find our happiness depleting. Some humans find happiness in food and other in excercise or some other creativity...Who are we to judge anyones happpiness and their approach to it. Caring is sharing and thats what this is all about. Our opininons of what one thing is may be helpful to another and then again it may not . We should all let it be and Peace ,Love & Light!

6:01PM PDT on Aug 8, 2009

Happiness also comes from not causing unhappiness to others, including animals. So glueing ultrasuede to the inside of your shoes is not really happiness at all, as it comes from leather.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks for sharing, very interesting about the salamanders and nice that it wasn't all doom and gloo…

LOL and there is a lot of other funny laws on the books.

Thank god care2 members don't run the world.

Hmmm. 1) does this mean that they're going to do with organic growers what they've ritually done …

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.