How To Be Happy
Posted by Janelle on Sun 01 Jul 2012 at 11:28
Whether it's a lie in on a Sunday, or an ice cream on a sunny day, research from the Office of National Statistics has found it really is the small things in life that make us happy.
The findings showed even the tiniest of details, such as the smell of grass or a cup of coffee, can boost our mind-sets, making us feel more positive for the day ahead.
But what else can we do to give our mood that all-important lift?
A study that followed 40,000 British households showed sitting down for dinner with loved ones up to three times a week gave a sense of belonging and helped strengthen bonds. While many of us might not be able to dine with family regularly, sitting down to eat with a partner, friend or housemate and chatting about your day, can help put a smile on your face.
With busy, fast pace lifestyles, it's easy to compare ourselves to friends and relatives, particularly those who seem to be constantly on the up. While we might not be getting promoted, engaged or winning the lottery, comparing ourselves to those who do is proven to bring us down, and can even lead to anxiety and low self-esteem.
Eat your greens!
Food is a massive factor when it comes to our mood, and poor diet has often been linked to depression. To up those endorphins, pile your plate with greens – full of folic acid (linked to warding off low mood) and chomp on some bananas – great for balancing your blood sugar levels, keeping your stress levels stabilised.
We've heard it a million times before, but getting out into the open and exercising is the body's natural mood-booster. Not only does it raise our heart rate and release endorphins – our natural happy drug - but studies also show feeling fit and in good shape also gives us a great sense of well-being.
Count your blessings
A study of 26,000 people found reliving a positive memory, or listing what we're grateful for, were the top two techniques for improving mood. List five things a day that make you smile.
According to a US study, those who feel bonded by a sense of community are likely to feel happier, while many mental health experts suggest joining a group, or building a support network - that replicates that feeling of communal spirit.
And the bizarre!
A study at Manchester Metropolitan found that those called Joshua and Judy were overall happier people, while Bens, Andrews and Edwards could often be miserable…