10 simple things you can do today that will make you happier, backed by science.

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I spend a good few hours a day searching the internet for interesting articles on technology, media, daily news, inspirational blogs and fun facts. Across the numerous stories I find there are some that I love to share with everyone.

1. Exercise more – 7 minutes might be enough:  Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression.

2. Sleep more – you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions: We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive.

3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house: Our commute to the office can has a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, making it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

4. Spend time with friends and family – don’t regret it on your deathbed: Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friend and family make a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.

5. Go outside: Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory.

6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number: One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours or two hours per week is the optimal times we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain: Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts.

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8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one: As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve happiness.

9. Meditate – rewire your brain for happiness: Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention span as well as helping to keep you calm.

10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction: There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.


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