Wouldn’t you love a real list of things that make you happier? Here’s what scientific research says will work:
1) Thank Someone
First thing in the morning, send an email thanking or praising someone. (Texting is fine, too.)
2) Spend Money — On Someone Else
Harvard professor Michael Norton, author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, explains how spending money on other people can generate more happiness than spending on yourself:
3) Give 5 Hugs
People assigned to give or receive hugs 5 times a day ended up happier than the control group.
From Sonja Lyubomirsky’s very interesting book, The How of Happiness:
4) Do Stuff You’re Good At
People who deliberately exercised their signature strengths on a daily basis — those qualities they were uniquely best at, the talents that set them apart from others – became significantly happier for months.
This has been shown repeatedly in research studies.
5) Do 5 Little Nice Things For Others
6) Create Something To Look Forward To
7) Spend Time With Friends
Having a better social life is the happiness equivalent of making an extra $131,232 a year:
8) Before Bed, Write Down Three Good Things That Happened Today
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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.