What is the secret to happiness? Well, we aren’t even going to attempt to tackle that question. How can we when so many great philosophers have tried and failed. It’s one of the most complicated human feelings. One day you feel like you are on top of the world, and the next day you don’t even want to leave your bed.
If only there was a formula to stay happy most of the time…
While we don’t know about magic formulas, we’ve done the next best thing: turned to science-backed facts to give you happiness hacks. So, here goes…
1. Pretend to be happy
Rember ‘fake it till you make it?’ Well turns out, it works on happiness too. According to a study published in Psychological Science in 2012, faking a smile and pretending to be happy can actually decrease your stress levels, which in turn makes you happy.
2. Be around your dog
Not that you needed another reason to hang out with your furry friend, but as per a 2017 study, your levels of oxytocin, one of the chemicals that makes you feel happy, goes up just by being around your dog. So go on, cancel those dinner plans (you didn’t want to go anyway) and hang out with your dog instead.
3. Talk to your parents
Simply hearing a parent’s voice can make you feel comforted and happy, suggests a 2010 study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Well, we completely agree.
4. Surround yourself with flowers
A 2005 study says that gifting yourself flowers can help boost your mood for up to three days. Honestly, it makes sense. Flowers make everything seem prettier. Especially that drab work desk.
5. Wear bright colours
Skip the blue jeans and dig out some colours from your closet. We aren’t saying it, science is. A 2014 study from the University of Hertfordshire in England found that women end up wearing blue jeans when they are feeling sad, coupled with a baggy top. However, when they are happier they tend to go for clothes that are “well-cut, figure-enhancing, and made from bright and beautiful fabrics.” So bring out that 90s-inspired neon dress, please.
6. Buy some vanilla candles
And light them around your space to feel happier and relaxed. The next time your partner calls your vanilla candles “a waste of money” show them a 2005 study published in the journal Chemical Senses which states that vanilla scents can induce feelings of joy and relaxation.
7. Watch old movies
Okay, this sounds like a Saturday plan that we just made up but a 2013 study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that nostalgia is a great trigger for optimism. So bring out those 90s comedy films and watch them with a pizza for company.
8. Work out
Even something as little as 10 minutes of jogging can boost your overall happiness says a 2018 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
9. Watch cat videos
Or anything funny in general. A 2014 study found that people who watched funny videos for 20 minutes had lower levels of stress than those who sat calmly and did nothing for 20 minutes.
10. Click some selfies
A 2016 study points to the fact that using technology to either click your photos or photos of your loved ones can help you beat the blues. Now you have a legit reason for clicking those bathroom selfies. Also tag your fellow selfie-loving friends and let them know.
11. Spend time outdoors
A 2015 study found that spending as little as an hour outdoors can really boost your happiness levels. In fact, people who regularly spend time outdoors reported decreased anxiety and better memory. Plus, that outside light is great to click some selfies. Double win!
So go on, try these and stay happy.