14 simple ways to increase happiness, according to science

From de-cluttering the desk to getting lots of sleep, science reveals 14 simple ways people can feel more content.

Lifestyle changes can make a bigger difference to people's moods. Being happy helps people achieve a positive outlook in life. Studies even suggest something as simple as de-cluttering your desk can boost contentment by up to 40 per cent. Getting plenty of sleep and spending time in nature also makes us feel better, research adds.

An article originally published in MailOnline states that a piece for Women's Health outlines 14 simple ways you can boost your mood.

Look after oneself: Research suggests the happiest people in the world make their own contentment their first priority.

Eat dark chocolate: Dark chocolate causes the brain to release feel-good endorphins and boosts levels of the so-called 'happy hormone' serotonin.

Don't assume you could be happier: Studies show thinking you will be more content if you were only thinner, richer or more intelligent is often incorrect. People should also be aware they appreciate life's pleasures less the more they experience them, hence the initial 'honeymoon phase' of relationships.

Drink green tea: According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who drink at least four cups of green tea a day are 44 per cent less likely to experience depression than those who consume just one serving. Greet tea contains amino acid theanine that reduces anxiety and stimulates brain waves making people feel relaxed.

Exercise: Research suggests it reduces sleep, eases insomnia, boosts productivity and improves overall health.

Appreciating small stuff: Small bursts of joy make a big difference to people's wellbeing. A study by the University of Michigan had participants do some photocopying, with half discovering 7p on the machine. That was enough to make them report greater higher life satisfaction when taking a later survey.

Socialise with happy people: According to a study by the universities of California and Harvard, every happy friend a person has boosts their contentment by nine per cent.

Be grateful: Being thankful improves self-worth, diminishes negative feelings, reduces social comparisons, boosts resilience and build social bonds, according to psychologist Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky.

De-clutter your desk: A study published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology found employees who are in control of their working areas are 40 per cent happier and 32 per cent more productive.

Give something back: People who volunteer regularly are less at risk of depression, research suggests.

Sleep: Getting just six-and-a-half hours of shut eye is associated with a greater stress response, according to a University of Surrey study.

Go outside: Being in nature lowers stress levels and boosts mental health, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Meditate: Meditation can change the brain's structure. A study by the The National Center for Biotechnology Information found people who meditate have stronger, thicker cortexes, which is the area of the brain that processes emotion.

Spend money on others: A study published in Science had researchers give money to 46 people with the instruction to spend the money by 5pm. Those who gave their money away were happier regardless of how much they had to start off with.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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