When one thinks about the topic of happiness, the science behind it typically falls by the wayside in favour of more holistic and spiritual means. While factors like self-awareness and practicing meditation can be of significant help, it doesn’t mean that you can’t rely on cold, hard science to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling everyone likes!
Scientifically speaking, happiness occurs when the physical and emotional needs of the body are sated. Now, it is true that everyone has different needs, but there are some basics that even the most extreme of outliers can identify with. Despite their rudimentary nature, addressing these needs might just be all you need to put a smile in your heart.
This means getting seven to eight hours of quality rest. Often neglected, sleep determines your energy and focus levels for many aspects in life which can directly impact your happiness levels. Start sourcing for white noise generators, weighted blankets and calming light options now!
A study found that spending an hour or two every week on exercise has numerous mental and physical benefits. Warm up, raise your heart rate, and be prepared to go slightly out of breath – working towards completing an athletic goal is can inspire confidence and fulfilment.
It’s no coincidence that our minds associate shades of green with calming sensations. Seeing the ever-changing flora and fauna not only makes our environment more refreshing, but it also reminds us of how things never truly stay the same forever. Even if you’re going through a rough patch in life, it will pass in time. Interestingly enough, trees and green spaces have been found to be associated with lower crime rates and aggression in public housing.
Find your why
A common topic that pops up during a quarter or mid-life crisis; finding your purpose in life is important in your journey towards satisfaction. It may be in work, relationships, self-upgrade, or any other field of your interest. According to psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow’s theory regarding the hierarchy of needs, self-realisation only comes in as the final need. However, it forms the apex of the structure (the hierarchy is patterned after a pyramid). Fulfilling this need can only be achieved when we manage to define our reason for existing.
Let relationships blossom
Engaging in meaningful, long-term relationships is a key contributor towards happiness. Having that social support system by forging valuable connections brings joy; human are social creatures after all. Try catching up with old friends, join a new interest group, or volunteer in your local community.
Hear yourself out and refrain from muting your inner voice. Think about why you feel a certain way instead of dismissing it as irrelevant, and what can be done to best address that emotional reaction. Knee-jerk responses are a natural occurrence, but always take the time to reflect to see if you could have handled things a little better. There’s no need to feel guilty while doing so – just treat it as an opportunity to grow!
The secret to happiness may be just that, but start using some of the tips above and you just might find yourself moving closer towards uncovering it. Most importantly, share it with the rest of us! Having yourself surrounded with people who exude happiness will only take yours to the next level!