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.


Anne Woods
Anne Woods5 years ago

go shopping :)

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


Maria Barbosa
MarĂ­a Barbosa5 years ago

Thanks !

Fiona T.
Past Member 5 years ago

Being positive and moving on are equally important

Val M.
Val M5 years ago


Bmr Reddy
Ramu Reddy5 years ago

Thanks for the article

Nicole Andrea
Nicole Andrea7 years ago

I really like this article, thanks!

Eliza D.
Past Member 8 years ago

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

Carolyn F.

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!

Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams9 years ago

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.