The simplest way to get – and stay – happy, according to psychologists

There are lots of science-backed ways we can improve our overall wellbeing and grow happier in the long-run. Here are just a few:

  • Meditate: Multiple studies suggest that meditating – focusing intently and quietly on the present for set periods of time – can help lessen feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Go outside: One study found that a group of students sent into the trees for two nights had lower levels of cortisol – a hormone often used as a marker for stress – than those who spent the same two nights in a city.
  • Get involved in cultural activities: A study that examined the anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction of over 50,000 adults in Norway offered an interesting link: People who participated in more cultural activities, like attending a play or joining a club, reported lower levels of anxiety and depression as well as a higher satisfaction with their overall quality of life.
  • Spend money on others: A 2008 study gave 46 volunteers an envelope with money in it wherein half were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half put the money towards a charitable donation or gift for someone they knew. The volunteers recorded their happiness level before receiving the envelope and after spending the money by the end of that same day.
  • Volunteer: In a recent review of 40 studies done over the last 20 years, researchers found that one activity was far more important than the rest for boosting psychological health: volunteering. This activity, the researchers reported, had been found in many volunteers to be linked with a reduced risk of depression, a higher amount of overall satisfaction, and even a reduced risk of death from of a physical illness as a consequence of mental distress.

Conclusion: If you’re looking to get a mood boost that’ll last you in the long-term, focus on your state of mind in the present, be grateful for what you have, and stop to enjoy it! You’ll thank yourself a few minutes – or a few years – down the road. Edited from: The simplest way to get – and stay – happy, according to psychologists

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