We all have a remarkable capacity to make ourselves happier.
Each of the little things we do to boost our mood — from reading an adventure story to keeping a gratitude journal or even gazing up at the stars on a clear night — can add up to greater overall satisfaction.
But happiness doesn't come easy. We have to work at it.
Here are some of the things that psychologists and social science researchers have found that have the power to lift your spirits and keep them high. Take a look:
Write down 3 things you're grateful for.
Keeping tabs on the things you feel lucky to have in your life is a great way to boost your mood.
In a recent study from psychologists at UC Davis, researchers had 3 groups of volunteers keep weekly journals focused on a single topic. While one group wrote about major events that had happened that week, the second group wrote about hassles they'd experienced, and the last group wrote about things they were grateful for.
Ten weeks later, those in the gratitude-journal group reported feeling more optimistic and more satisfied with their lives than those in any of the other groups and reported fewer physical symptoms of discomfort, from runny noses to headaches.
Go on a hike or gaze up at the stars on a clear night.
Awe is a powerful — even awesome, you might say — human emotion. And a handful of recent studies have found a link between experiencing a sense of awe — that feeling you get when you look up at a starry sky or out across a wide open valley — with feeling less stressed and more satisfied.
Move to Switzerland.
Ok, moving to Switzerland might not make you happy, but people who live there are some of the happiest in the world, according to the 2015 World Happiness Report, a ranking compiled by an international team of economists, neuroscientists, and statisticians to measure global well-being.
One of the report's key findings, based on decades of neuroscientific and psychological research, suggests that keeping the brain happy relies on 4 main factors, which include staying positive, recovering from negative feelings, spending time with loved ones, and being mindful.
"These findings highlight the view that happiness and well-being are best regarded as skills that can be enhanced through training," the researchers write in their report.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider