Over the last decade, happiness has become a prominent academic topic, with institutions offering entire courses on the subject. Dr. Laurie Santos, a psychology and cognitive science professor at Yale, offers a popular course on happiness and is a major researcher in the field. She has provided science-based advice on how we may improve our happiness levels as a result of her study. Here are five easy steps we may take to have happier, healthier lives.
# 1: Create routines
We understand why everyone emphasizes the significance of a morning ritual. It feels amazing to start your day with a goal in mind and to have already completed some things. What we often overlook, though, is the necessity of establishing a nighttime ritual. Getting ready for the following day is a fantastic way to plan while being in the now. Whatever it is that makes you feel prepared for the day ahead, whether it’s completing your skincare, reading 30 pages of a book, putting your phone away an hour before night, or cleaning the dishes.
# 2: Practice gratitude
Writing down three amazing things that happened during your day might help you rewire your brain to feel more grateful and, as a consequence, happier. Combining this exercise with another habit, such as brushing your teeth, might help you become more conscious of what you’re doing and make it simpler to remember to do every day. Increasing your awareness of the things for which you are grateful—even simple things like your morning cup of coffee or a phone call from a friend—can help you focus on the positives in your life rather than the negatives.
# 3: Kill the negativity
These are the inaccurate tales you tell yourself that limit you in some manner. It may be anything as simple as “I’m terrible at public speaking” or “I’m not good with confrontation,” or as serious as “I’m inept” or “I’ll never obtain a job I like.” It takes some self-awareness, but it’s important to acknowledge your views. It’s likely that you’ve been telling yourself these stories for a long time, so completely eradicating them is more difficult than it appears.
However, putting holes in them is a simple method to start pulling them out. Perhaps you didn’t get the last job you applied for because you were late for the interview or were so stressed out that you forgot to write a thank you card, rather than because you’re a lousy employee.
# 4: It’s time to move it (move it)
People who engage in physical activity for even short periods of time per week (150 minutes or less) are less likely to develop depression. And the possibilities for adding movement to your day are virtually limitless. For example, take your dog for a walk or visit a playground to play on the equipment. While watching your favorite television show, do mobility drills. Take the stairs if you can. Go for a relaxing swim in a lake or get some gardening done. The idea is to begin going as soon as possible, wherever that may be.
# 5: Meditate
Meditation is a technique for calming the nervous system by focusing on the breath. The diaphragm activates the vagus nerve, which helps you connect to the parasympathetic system, when you breathe appropriately. Just ten minutes a day can start to alter your brain’s habits.