It’s said that happiness is a vague term since everyone has their own ideas of what it is. But psychologists and neuroscientists don’t agree with that. They know what makes us satisfied and what makes us sad as human beings. Sometimes we feel awful because of everyday things and habits that we don’t even notice.
6. We always sit.
Nowadays, a sedentary lifestyle is an ordinary thing. In the evenings, we go home by car or by public transport and take a seat at home where we then watch TV or chat online with friends.
Without moving, the level of endorphins and other hormones responsible for happiness reduces. Everyday 30-minute walks or 2 workouts a week will make you more energetic and satisfied, no matter what happens in your life.
5. We spend all day indoors.
We all know that “working from home” doesn’t necessarily contribute to happiness. But it turns out that places like cinemas, restaurants, and other places we like to visit don’t always let us enjoy our lives either.
But if you spend some time outdoors in an unknown place, you’ll become happier and your self-esteem will improve. Psychologists call this method “adventure therapy.” And it’s worth noting that it doesn’t matter whether you’re going to a different country or to a neighboring village where you’ve never been, either way, you’ll become happier.
4. We don’t pay attention to things happening around us.
It’s really important to not just to pay attention to what we do but also how we do it. For example, let’s imagine 2 girls. One of them is angry because she has to clean her house: she’d rather be on a date in a fancy restaurant, but no one invited her. Another girl is just washing the dishes and she’s glad she has some time to herself to clean the house.
In the first case, the girl will feel exhausted and in the second case, the girl will feel more relaxed. Our ability to live in the here and now and never let our fears, regrets, and memories disturb us makes our lives more interesting.
3. We only consume.
To make our life meaningful, we have to not only take but also give. Acts of kindness make us satisfied and feel significant.
Here’s some good news: even the tiniest good actions can cheer us up. Buying someone a present, writing a note, or even painting a wall are all things that lead us to believe that we have a purpose in this life and that someone needs us.
2. We isolate ourselves from others.
Even in the age of individuality, each person still needs to belong to a group. And it’s not only about our closest friends and family members. To be truly happy, we need to feel connected to other people.
According to different studies, this quality helps us defeat diseases, it reduces our levels of stress, and it makes us feel more confident. And it doesn’t matter what group you belong to: it could be a football club, a game club, whatever. You just need to feel like you belong to something.
1. We don’t create anything.
We need creative hobbies not for money and fame, but for our health. It’s been proven that the process of creation reduces the level of stress, improves our mood, and helps us fight against depression.
Don’t forget that creativity isn’t just about singing and painting, it can be anything that requires your unique approach. Plant some flowers, choose the color of your walls, do household chores, and turn your imagination on — that’s all it takes!
Happiness isn’t something you have to aim for. It consists of tiny things, so we can create it at any moment. Do you have any habits that stop you from being happy?
Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for BrightSide.me