Can you make yourself happier? Here are 6 Easy Steps How!
According to a recent special edition of Time Magazine, we can choose to be happier which also improves our health. Interestingly, our happiness is not all determined by our DNA. In fact, only 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics as shown by studies in twins. Another 40% is due to our behavior and 10% due to external factors, like our income or beauty.
Isn’t this exciting news? We have more control of how happy we can be – just by making simple choices.
Here are 6 Healthy Habits for Happiness.
Get your ZZZ’s. Roughly 1 in 3 Americans does not get enough sleep – the recommended amount is 7-8 hours/night. Yet, if you did, you would increase your happiness. According to a recent study, the happiest people get an average of 8 hours a night.
Get off the couch. Physical activity, like walking, bicycling or jogging increases the body’s production of endorphins which are natural mood enhancers. Many psychiatrists are now prescribing exercise as a standard treatment for major depression and to prevent relapses.
Enjoy nature. Feel the sun on your face, the wind blowing through your hair, and the smell of the pine trees in the forest. Studies have shown that sunlight increases the body’s production of serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and fight off depression.
Eat more fish. Yes, those omega-3 fatty acids also can make you happier. In a review of 26 studies, researchers found that the people who ate the most fish had a 17% lower risk of depression compared to those who ate the least.
Watch your posture. By changing the way you sit or stand makes a difference in how you feel. By standing up straight with an upright posture, studies have reported feeling more enthusiastic, excited and strong.
Show off your pearly whites and smile. People who smile had smaller drops in positive emotions while performing stressful tasks. So smile, even if you’re stressed. Your body will thank you for it.
Practice these 6 tips and become happier and healthier!
Dr. Diana Hoppe
Connect with Diana on the Social Network for Wellness
Special Time Edition. The Science of Happiness: New Discoveries for a More Joyful Life.
June 10, 2016.