There is at least one thing that we all have in common – we’re all different. And as we take advice from people we love and admire, and learn from their and our own failures and mistakes, scientists have been eager to find more happiness-inducing choices that we have in common.
In a sense, the following actions bring us closer together as they reveal our nature and help us understand what we can do to tap into our happy thoughts when things get rough.
Give and you shall receive
A psychologist, neurologist, and an economist walk into a lab. And after a seemingly simple experiment and a few complex brain scans, the study concluded that the very intention of generosity leads to neural changes – parts of our brain responsible for generosity and happiness grow a stronger neural connection.
It seems that all it takes is a small deed of generosity to make a difference. Whether you volunteer at a local shelter, help an elderly neighbor with their grocery shopping, or simply spend a few bucks on a friend instead of yourself, you’ll boost your happiness in an instant.
Since we’re constantly told that in order to improve, succeed and be fulfilled, we need to work harder and infuse our lives with versatile activities, this seems like a contradictory piece of advice. Yet, prominent business people and market leaders such as Google, Apple, Nike and the like have cracked the productivity code years ago.
When you take the time off to do absolutely nothing, just to relax, be idle and enjoy the slow pace of your life, you instantly fuel yourself with more energy and enthusiasm to get more done when you go back to your normal tempo. Master the art of being still in order to reap the rewards when things get hectic.
Shop till you drop
Not that we need extra encouragement, but if science has our back, who are we to resist? Research has shown that shopping gives us a sense of control. When we feel low, we shop to take back the reins, or at least the feeling of control, as it helps us improve our mood and our resilience.
Unlike frantically buying everything in your way, shopping for purposeful garments such as elegant Hansen and Gretel clothing items helps you reaffirm your identity and bring more meaning to your life. So, be mindful of your shopping spree, and choose items that resonate with your authentic self and that will genuinely bring you joy for years to come.
Break a sweat
Kindness towards others is rewarding, but when you take care of yourself consistently by building a healthy lifestyle through exercise and nutrition, you allow your body a regular surge of happy hormones called endorphins which are responsible for that lovely after-training glow.
The longer you lead an active life, the more resilient your inner peace and happiness become. However, even if you’re not a big fan of exercise, if you need an instant mood-booster, you can head for a jog, play volleyball with your friends or rollerblade for a while. Although it would be best for your long-term inner Zen to create a weekly routine!
Pondering about your mortality
The final item on our list, and perhaps the least expected one, is a powerful tool you can use to become more enraptured by life. When we take a moment to contemplate our mortality and the concept of death, we become more aware of the value of our lives, and our disposition towards others also changes.
As scary as it may seem, thinking these “grim” thoughts (forgive me this pun) are a mighty psychological weapon in the battle against the dreary monotony of everyday existence as well as irrelevant chores gnawing at as day after day. Death puts things in perspective. Think of it every now and then, and it will help you rejoice in little victories and enjoy every moment to the fullest.