By Eric Barker
July 22, 2014

No theory here.

No nightly exercises for months.

You’re feeling sad or angry.

How do you get happy fast?

 

Sex, Exercise, Socialize

When researchers survey 5000 people from 83 countries, what do they learn about happiness?

We’re happiest when we’re having sex, exercising, or socializing.

Via Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life:

 

Try Smiling

Researchers asked people to do a bunch of different exercises to quickly increase happiness. What was most effective? Smiling.

Via The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life:

 

Downward Comparisons

Research shows comparing yourself to others can make you feel better — but only if you compare yourself to those worse off than you:

 

Do Your Taxes

Complex cognitive tasks like doing math can alleviate a bad mood:

 

Take A Nap

Studies show we can process negative thoughts quite well when we’re exhausted — just not the happy ones. So get your rest.

Via NurtureShock:

 

Let’s Review

So, again, the seven are:

  1. Sex
  2. Exercise
  3. Socialize
  4. Smile
  5. Downward comparisons
  6. Do your taxes
  7. Nap

(I’m not recommending you try them all at the same time… but if you do, I want to hear about it.)

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Related posts:

What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?

Here are the things that are proven to make you happier

6 ways money *can* buy happiness

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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