There are lots of things you can do to boost your mood, many of which are supported by science. If you’re ready to embrace a healthier lifestyle and improve your circumstances, here are five simple habits scientists say will lead to more happiness:
1. Try More Creative Projects
According to a scientific study published in the Journal Of Positive Psychology, small creative projects – like cooking with the healthiest cookware, gardening, knitting, or even pottery – can boost your mood, helping you relax and feel generally more content about life.
It doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be a project as simple as pickling chilies, planting herbs, drawing the sunset from your garden, or even just painting a stool so that it looks nicer. The results aren’t what matter – it’s the creativity and satisfaction that make the difference.
2. Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Eating more fruits and veggies can help you feel healthier. This has been confirmed both scientifically and anecdotally by scientists and everyday people all over the world. The great news is that you can include those foods in everything you eat. Whether you pack fruit into a protein smoothie or chuck more salad leaves into a sandwich, there are many ways to get more plants into your diet.
3. Move To Improve Your Mood
Exercise makes you happier in a number of ways. On a purely physiological basis, it helps you release endorphins, which give you a natural high. These same chemicals can also reduce your perception of pain, making exercise a great way to counteract the effects of mental and physical health issues.
Exercise can also boost your confidence, help you sleep better, and reduce your stress levels – all great ingredients for one big happiness smoothie. Whether you do yoga, run, walk, or dance like nobody’s watching, moving more means smiling more.
4. Be At One With Nature
Many scientific studies tell us that nature has a huge impact on our well-being. It can reduce stress, help us feel less angry or anxious, aid in healing, boost our mood, and help us cope with the demands of life in a better way. Unsure where to start? Try these nature-based activities:
- A short stroll around your backyard
- Using a loupe to see insects and plants up close
- Wild swimming
- Barefoot walking
- Bird watching
- A walk around a nature reserve or national park
- Climbing a tree
- Tidal pooling
- Wild foraging
Of course, everything you do should be done safely, and if necessary, with the aid of a professional. If you aren’t yet ready to be so adventurous, some house plants and natural scents in an electric aroma diffuser can work wonders.
5. Spend Quality Time With A Pet
According to science, you can benefit from interacting with animals. Your little furry (or scaled) friend can help you feel better by boosting your mood, reducing feelings of loneliness, and lowering your stress levels and blood pressure.
It doesn’t have to be one type of animal, or even your animal. So, whether you volunteer at the local animal sanctuary or walk a neighbor’s dog, you’ll be adding some happiness to your day if you schedule time for animal interactions.
“Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur every day than in great pieces of good fortune that happen, but seldom.” – Benjamin Franklin
The five tips above are just some of the habits you can develop to lead a happier life. Some are free, while others are easily achieved. So you can get started right away, filling up your schedule with activities that will truly serve your mental and physical wellbeing.