People always think of happiness as a mean to a way and not as the way itself.
In the latest years occidental science focus on the human mind have shifted from what makes us sad towards what can make us happy! I am always trying to find ways to improve myself and become more productive and more happy. Many of the changes that i have been making are quite easy. Happy people tend to achieve more. With that in mind here are:
2 Simple Scientifically proven ways to increase Happiness:
1 – Practice Gratitude
Be thankful! What do you mean by be Grateful?
Yup! Practice gratitude! Pretty easy, right?
There are numerous ways to practice gratitude. One of the easiest ones is keeping a “Gratitude Journal”. A gratitude journal is a simple way to keep track of the things that you are grateful for, things like being healthy, have a job, be loved, have a dog or a cat or whatever you feel grateful for. In an experiment where participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:
The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the three studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:
Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period. Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction while decreasing depressive symptoms.
By writing in your gratitude journal regularly you’ll create more awareness towards the blessings in your life and when you feel just a little under the weather you may read what you’ve wrote and see how many great things you have in your life.
What are you waiting for?
(side note: Even though it requires a little of discipline to just keep writing on your ‘ Gratitude Journal’ don’t make that an obligation or you’ll eventually look at it in a not so healthy way)
2 – Meditation: Train your mind
Meditation is a way of training and rewiring your mind in order to improve focus, awareness, consciousness and also a great way to help you keep calm. All of this and also will help you to increase your happiness:
In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.
Meditation clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier life:
Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.
Engaging in Mindfulness meditation will step by step change the way that you percept the world by changing anticipation for appreciation.
Do you think that something is missing? Do you use other methods?