If you?re happy and you know it clap your hands! And if you?re not happy, don?t worry, we can help!
Happiness is hard to define, but it?s safe to say that a person is happy if they have more positive emotions than negative ones. Emotions are nothing but a result of chemicals released in the brain, and several scientists around the world have put a lot of time and energy into figuring out what triggers the release of these happy hormones.
1. Think about happier times.
If you?re going through a rough patch in your life, try to think about happier times. Research shows that even thinking about happier memories triggers the release of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is the key hormone of happiness, since it prevents depression, controls your mood, prevents irritation and makes you happy and sociable.
2. Spend more time outdoors.
Several studies have found that spending time in nature stimulates the part of your brain that is associated with positivity, happiness and emotional stability. You get bonus points for going out in the sun, because sunlight triggers the release of serotonin in your brain.
3. Hug your peeps.
Hugging triggers the release of oxytocin, which is the hormone associated with love and bonding. A study found that a 20 second hug and 10 minutes of hand holding could undo the effects of stress, and correct your heart rate and blood pressure. It?s much easier to be happy when you?re not anxious and stressed out!
4. Get a massage.
Who isn?t happy when they?re getting a massage? Massages relax your body and dispel stress, and the prolonged physical contact also triggers the release of oxytocin.
5. Write down what?s bothering you.
Whether you?re angry, sad, upset or jealous, one way to release these negative emotions is to write down what you?re feeling. You?ll feel a lot better once you get it all out.
6. Make someone else smile.
Do something nice for someone and seeing them smile will make you smile too. Research shows that one of the best ways to increase your own happiness is to make someone else happy.
7. Up your intake of spicy food.
Your tongue has taste receptors that start signalling your brain when you eat spicy foods. These signals are similar to pain signals, and your brain releases endorphins in response. Endorphins are your body?s natural painkillers and antidepressants.
8. Spend time with your friends.
We don?t need to tell you that spending time with your friends will lower your stress levels and boost your happiness quotient. Go, call them up right now!
9. Smile, even though you don?t feel like it.
Smiling activates certain muscles in your face and triggers the release of your happy hormones. So even if you weren?t actually happy when you started smiling, you will become happy if you keep at it.
10. Set goals for yourself.
Studies show that the act of setting goals and working towards them triggers the release of dopamine, the same hormone that is released when you eat chocolate or smoke a cigarette.
11. Take up a hobby.
Hobbies stimulate your brain, and the sense of accomplishment you will get as you learn and accomplish new things will definitely make you happier.
12. Learn to let go.
Instead of harbouring negative emotions that bring you down ? and hurt your heart too, by the way ? learn to let go. All your past mistakes, regrets, hurts and embarrassments, just let them go.
13. Bring more colour into your life.
As superficial as it sounds, the colours around you do play a role in your happiness. Instead of surrounding yourself with monotones and neutral shades, bring more colours into your life. Yellow especially is associated with cheerfulness and happiness.
14. Make it a point to be optimistic rather than pessimistic.
Instead of always thinking the worst, try to be a more positive person. There are several health benefits of being optimistic ? you are likely to live longer, recover faster from illnesses and be much happier.
15. Listen to music and sing along.
Listening to music and singing, both trigger the release of oxytocin and dopamine. It?s almost impossible to be sad while listening to happy songs! Don?t feel like listening to something happy? No problem, even sad songs help you release negative emotions, leaving you a lot happier.
16. List the things that you?re grateful for.
Part of the reason why you?re unhappy is because you keep thinking about the things that are making you unhappy. You can break this cycle by listing 5 things that you?re grateful for every day. Reminding yourself of all the things you?re happy about will make you happier.
17. Surround yourself with happy people.
Negativity breeds more negativity, so avoid people who are always complaining or unhappy, because they will make you unhappy as well. Spend more time with happy and positive people instead.
18. Get busy between the sheets.
Here?s a great way to boost your endorphin, serotonin and oxytocin levels all at once!
19. Manage your stress levels.
Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that inhibits your happy hormones. If you?re always stressed out, it?s not surprising that you?re unhappy.
20. Eat more dairy, eggs and corn.
Foods like meat, dairy, eggs and corn contain tryptophan, a substance that your body converts into serotonin. You should also add more protein to your diet, since it triggers the release of dopamine.
Take 15 minutes out of your day to meditate, by sitting in a quiet place and just concentrating on your breathing. Meditating can actually rewire pathways in your brain, to make you a happier person!
If you?ve watched Legally Blonde, you know that ?exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy!? The movie was right; endorphins are another one of the hormones related to happiness, and they give you a natural high.
23. Get enough sleep.
You?ve probably noticed that you?re extremely tired and cranky after a poor night?s sleep. Well, studies have shown that lack of sleep messes with your hormones and makes you more like to get depressed, while also making you a less optimistic person overall.