Nobody is truly 100% happy with their lives. We all need small packets of happiness to fill the dark corners. When your demons get the better of you, these 10 surprising facts might give you a few tricks to tackle those negative feelings and keep positive feelings around.
1. Happiness is contagious
Happiness is spreadable, communicable just like a cold. You can catch it from the people around you. According to a 2008 study, people greatly influence your mood and how happy you as well as how happy you will be in the future.
We want to be our own heroes, we want our emotional independence but this is all a romantic myth. People are not separated by impenetrable walls. There is always a way to brighten up your mood by putting yourself in a network of people who are jolly. It would benefit you to seek friends and relatives who are lively and welcoming.
2. Smiling is the medicine
Sometimes you’d feel seriously nagged when asked to smile or put up a happy face when smiling is last on your to-do list at the moment! In all honesty, they mean well. However, a 1998 study found that your facial expressions affect your mood.
So put a little emphasis on your expressions. When tensed or sad, smile and relax. Take a deep breath. Try a half smile. Put the muscles of your face to an ease and curl the corners of your mouth to smile and after some time you will see a significant improvement in your mood!
3. Emotions last only a while
Now if you have been in an upsetting mood for a while, this may sound weird to you. The truth is, all these emotions we are experiencing last only a few moments. If you are in a persistent dull mood, then it probably is a result of same emotions recurring again and again.
Our thoughts being the most likely trigger. So put a rein on what you are thinking before it takes you to the edge and you are pulled into the abyss. Being anxious, sad or angry is is a product of continually thinking about what made you like this originally, triggering it again and again.
4. Master a skill
Whether it is learning to play an instrument or learning to play chess, mastering a skill will be stressful but a 2009 study showed that over a long term, learning to master a skill is linked with happiness. It promotes well-being in a lot of positive ways. It introduces us to creative ideas and helps us stay intuitive and sharp. Learning something new gives us a sense of worth and helps boost our self-confidence. Along with making new friends on the way, you will now have cool bragging rights too!
5. Turn up the music
Music can uplift the most depressed souls giving your mood an immediate boost. A 2013 research showed that students who listened to jolly music in an effort to feel better-experienced mood elevations.
Another study, published in 2013, showed that the nucleus accumbens (a part of the brain’s reward system), comes ‘alive’ when we hear the music. However, it is a known fact that too much of anything is bad. Like drugs, music can also become an addiction that becomes difficult to resist creating a numbing effect. So take off that iPod every now and then, it might just help you enjoy your favorite tune better.
6. Think quick, be happy
An experiment showed that fast thinking things affect our mood. Participants were made to read certain statements in a paced fashion and while speed was manipulated designating either elation or depression.
Positive mood was registered in response to elation more than depression statements in addition to the independent increase in the positive mood when their thoughts had been fast rather than slow—for both types of elation and depression statements.
7. Giving vs. taking
It’s true. In a 2012 study, participants comprising both men and women announced that they felt happier when they bought something for someone else when rather than making a purchase for themselves. No matter what the mode is, being kind to others makes us a better person and makes us feel better too. In fact, you might live longer through acts of kindness. Why not spread some cheer?
8. Nostalgia makes you look in the right direction
Looking back on things with a smile on your face might help you through life, according to a personality magazine.
Feelings of self-worth and optimism arise which helps us tackle and look forward when dealing with everyday chores, researchers believe. Feeling nostalgic might sometimes help you feel not so alone. So take out those diaries and old Polaroid photos and give this a shot!
9. Weather says a lot
People living in a pleasant climate might be better to stick around. They are often more cheerful. Researchers have discovered a stark difference on what role climate might when it comes to our happiness. Mild winters and summers have a more positive effect on our mood than harsher climate. For example, many people suffer from the lack of light during winter months, a disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It might just be a good time to take that trip to a nearby hill station!
10. Ordinary moments never get old
Researchers have proven that the little things in life count, especially when you are older. The string of ordinary and extraordinary moments contributes to our overall happiness and satisfaction no matter what our age is. Older adults are being more satisfied with simpler experiences.
They understand the uniqueness and self-defining power of these simple moments better than their younger counterparts. Sticking around your grandparents might give you a happier way of looking at life! What we feel on the everyday basis are complex emotions. The more we understand why we feel what we feel, the better we are at getting ahead of the negativity that surrounds us.