(Natural News) We’ve all probably wondered what the exact formula is to achieving happiness. Well, if you ask Dr. Tim Bono, psychologist and lecturer at Washington University, there are seven concrete ways to being happy. (h/t to Healthista.com.)
- Take walk breaks often — The lack of physical activity doesn’t only increase our risk of developing illnesses, it also dampens our mood, and this is the reason why we should break up our day with walks. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people perform at least 150-minute moderate activity every week to prevent any health risks. Dr. Bono explains that exercising boosts confidence, makes us happier, and improves our overall well-being.
- Power pose and smile – Even when we’re not feeling good, Dr. Bono said we can trick our minds to thinking that we’re happy. To do this, we must practice what he called a “power pose,” and add a smile to it. Smiling activates the muscles in our face which sends signals to the brain indicating that we’re feeling happy. On the other hand, maintaining a good body posture contributes to our confidence and happiness. Research suggests that a power pose may have a connection to the production of more testosterone in our bodies. This hormone gives us that extra boost to feel good about ourselves and dominate a situation.
- Get some sleep — Dr. Bono reveals that there is no such thing as “catching up” on sleep. Our body needs at least eight hours of sleep daily, so it can recuperate. The lack of rest at night can lead to stress and negative emotions. (Related: Americans don’t dream anymore: Expert claims lack of sleep is affecting our physical and mental health.)
- Build your willpower muscles — Consistently overcoming challenges and meeting our goals are surefire ways to make us happy. We can achieve these by training our willpower, and just like muscles, willpower becomes stronger the more we use it. Practicing self-control also helps build willpower muscles.
- Don’t snack on emails — Dr. Bono explains that checking emails must be done on a schedule. “To make our time more plentiful, we need to cut out any time drains that may be slowing us down,“ he adds. Furthermore, trying to set our focus back to real tasks is harder when we’ve been distracted by email.
- Write down what you feel — Talking or venting about problems prolongs our system’s natural return to a calmer state. As per Dr. Bono, it’s best to write down our emotions. Releasing how we feel through shouting or working ourselves up in the gym is just too tiring. Moreover, feeling bad for a long time will make us stressed, and can eventually cause illnesses. Try setting a 15-minutes alarm and don’t do anything else but write down your emotions and describing how you felt; it will feel lighter after a session.
- Savor moments and make memories — One of the easiest ways to become happy is to cherish every moment in our lives. We are often to busy trying to capture photos or videos of all our experiences that we forget how to really enjoy them without filters. Making memories and reliving them years later will feel nostalgic. Truly living life also strengthens bonds and relationships which are priceless possessions we can have. These are the true things that we should care for to be happy, instead of material things.
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You can read more natural ways to improve your mental heath at MindBodyScience.news.