Want to be happier? It’s not as hard as you think. According to 225 studies reviewed by psychologists, we can boost our happiness level simply by changing a little about the way we live. Here are a few secrets to living a happier life:
Be grateful. Robert Emmons is the author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. And his research shows that making a weekly list of the top five things you’re grateful for will improve your mood and make you more optimistic about the future.
Guys, work to appreciate the arts. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows that men and women who enjoy museums, live theatre, classical music, and other cultural activities have a stronger sense of well-being than those who don’t.
Adopt a dog. A recent survey of new dog owners found that getting a pet increased their self-esteem. It also made them more extroverted, which led to another happiness booster: More human friendships.
Volunteer your time and money. Studies show that volunteering lowers levels of stress hormones. And research at the University of Michigan found that donating, say, $20 to a good cause will make you happier than spending that twenty on yourself. As an added bonus, volunteers tend to live longer than those who don’t, they also report being more satisfied with their marriages and that’s something to be happy about.