8 MEMORABLE STUDIES ON HAPPINESS


Memorable Happiness

Perform random acts of kindness.

Yep, the research agrees with the bumper sticker: Doing nice things for others really does cause a chain reaction of joy. Positive acts trigger positive emotions in both giver and receiver which boosts happiness, reduces stress and leads to better overall wellness. But the word “random” is key here: If your acts of kindness become routine (e.g., you do the same kinds of nice things for the same people), they can start to feel like a chore. Sporadic kindness is a lot more fulfilling, so mix it up.

Be money savvy, not money hungry.

Running the rat race isn’t fun if you’re constantly chasing higher wages or comparing yourself to high-earning friends. Researchers discovered in 2013 that fixating on an “aspirational” income, rather than a realistic one, will negatively affect your life satisfaction and jeopardize your happiness.

Balance work and life the Norwegian way.

When it comes to the list of the world’s happiest nations, the U.S. didn’t even make the top 10 in 2013. Turns out, Norwegians are the cheeriest people on the planet. While Norway is one of the richest nations on earth, the real secret to Norwegians’ joy is their ability to balance their work and home lives.

Be “curiouser and curiouser” at work.

According to the UN’s 2013 World Happiness Report, people who are more curious, creative and motivated than others are generally more successful at work, which dramatically improves their overall happiness. Being extra collaborative with colleagues is another proven mood booster. So make friends at the office, even your boss will thank you.

Get on top of your finances.

Studies show that households with greater disposable incomes tend to be generally happier overall. A good first step for the non-uber-wealthy is to work on balancing your family’s accounts. By reducing debt, you’ll free up more of your finances, so you can invest in things you enjoy, rather than things you need.

Don’t hit the Facebook wall.

Spending hours on Facebook “connecting” with friends? Turns out, the more time you spend on the addictive social network, the unhappier you might become. One study found that while Facebook can make people feel more connected, many users are constantly comparing their networks to others’, and that fosters loneliness, poor self-esteem and even depression.

Spend your money on experiences, not things.

Experiences are more fulfilling than objects and more deeply connected to our sense of self. If you invest in life-affirming activities, money really can buy happiness!

Try to be happier.

Weird but true: According to two 2013 studies, simply trying to get happy by listening to joyful music, for example can literally boost your happiness.

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