We all know what we can do to live a happier life, but when those claims are backed up by science, we tend to take them more seriously. After all, if it’s been poked and prodded at by scientists, the findings definitely sound like they have more validity. It’s up to you to figure out what works for you, but these strategies are worth trying! Here are some things that will increase your life satisfaction, according to studies:
- Watch less TV: Unhappy people spend more time watching TV, according to a study in the Social Indicators Research journal.
- Get older: If you’re dreading the white hairs and health drawbacks of aging, know that there’s a silver lining. More studies are showing that happiness increases after middle age.
- Plan a vacation: Researchers found that it’s the planning of a vacation and not the actual trip itself that increases happiness in people. Perhaps the anticipation of getting away from the daily grind causes us to grin more than when we’re actually on the beach without a worry in sight.
- Change it up: Even if you’re doing something that makes you happy, the joy may wear off if it becomes routine. Change things up every once in a while. For example, give your current hobby a break and take up a new one.
- Be around happy people: Happiness is apparently infectious, according to a study in the British journal BMJ, so surround yourself with positive people. That doesn’t mean you should break up with your Debbie Downer friends, say the researchers. You can help spread happiness by doing things to improve their lives.
- Enjoy nature: Viewing greenery gives your brain a mental break, while city living can stress you out. Take the time to visit a nearby park or garden to take in nature’s beauty and boost your happiness at the same time.
- Do cultural activities: Go to the museum this weekend and get cultured. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found men who take part in cultural activities are more happy and satisfied versus those who don’t.
- Own pets: A furry friend will increase your self-esteem, feeling of belonging, and meaning of your existence, says a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Quite a tall order for such compact creatures.
- Do charity work and volunteer: Doing good for society has its perks. People who give away their money to charity or volunteer tend to be more satisfied, according to a study published in the journal Science.