8 Simple Yet Proven Ways to Boost Happiness in Your Life
We’re all in search of what feels like that ever-elusive sense of contentment. There are aspects of our lives where we feel completely fulfilled, while others could use some work. Regardless of how you gauge your level of happiness, we’re all entitled to it.
March 20 is International Day of Happiness, and our team at Merry Maids® thought it would be apt to talk about happiness and ways to be happy and stay that way longer.
The Science Behind Happiness
Does it always feel like you’re searching for ways to be happy or boost happiness in your life? Believe it or not, attaining joy isn’t so hard if you understand the science behind it. The Hippocampus, a brain structure buried in the temporal lobe, is in charge of happiness and positive memories. When the two neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, are released into the central nervous system, you’ll feel joy abound.
Obviously, this is an overly simplified explanation of everything that happens in the body when you experience something positive or happy. In fact, scientists continue to research and use empirical evidence to explain happiness and its effects on the body.
We don’t want to get in the weeds when it comes to happiness; after all, everyone defines happiness differently. However, we have several ways to be happier in life right now.
8 Science-Based Ways to Be Happy
1. Spend More Time with Loved Ones
Social time with people you love is a commodity, especially during a global health crisis that emphasizes social distancing for safety. Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University Dan Gilbert breaks it down by saying, “We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends, and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.”
2. Do a Good Deed
Happiness isn’t always about the individual. Researchers suggest that acts of kindness can increase happiness in your life. You don’t have to donate all the clothes in your closet or volunteer your time to the less fortunate (though we always encourage these activities). Even something as simple as giving compliments to friends, family, coworkers, or complete strangers can brighten everyone’s day. Being kind doesn’t take a lot, but it can definitely go a long way in making the world a happier place.
3. Get More Sleep
A 2013 Gallup study found that 40% of Americans get less than the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep a night. Long-term lack of sleep could affect your happiness and contribute to many other health issues, including migraines, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and more. We know that everyone has different circumstances that could be making sleep an elusive concept.
Here are a few ways to combat that:
- Designate a specific time to turn off electronics and wind down
- Invest in a good mattress and comfortable, clean sheets
- Set an alarm for bedtime, so you can make it a habit
- Purchase blackout shades to keep your room cool and dark
4. Update that Playlist
If you know anything about our cleaning experts, you know that music is something we value in our line of work. Science has shown that music can reduce fatigue, increase endorphins, and improve coordination and self-confidence. We’re so serious about the positive effects of music in our lives that we compiled a list of songs for a cleaning playlist. Trust us; these songs will become the soundtrack of your life and, hopefully, happiness.
5. Laugh More
Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make you happy. Did you know our bodies have a built-in painkiller? Yep! It’s called laughter. It’s a little hard to believe that laughter has the power to create such significant physiological changes in us, but it’s true. A 2016 study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine followed patients who were prescribed laughter as a treatment and observed its physical effects over time. While researchers have seen small benefits of laughter as preventative medicine, there is concrete evidence that laughter improves depression, anxiety, and stress.
6. Get Out and Be Active
Getting out of the house doesn’t have to include a rigorous workout where you’re ready to fall out afterward. When we encourage you to get out of the house, it can be for a leisurely stroll up the street, playing with your kids in the yard, or simply having a good stretch while breathing in the fresh air and soaking up the sun. According to a 2018 study, even light activity can be beneficial in releasing the chemicals that induce happiness in your brain.
7. Declutter Your Space
Decluttering your home doesn’t have to be this massive undertaking that actually has the opposite effect and causes you stress. Our idea of decluttering is small, like getting rid of stacks of mail on your kitchen countertop, purging unused clothing, or organizing that junk drawer in your office. When you remove unnecessary or unfulfilling things from your life (people included), you can improve your mental health.
For people with disorders like hoarding, items can represent security, and getting rid of such sentimental belongings can be perceived by the brain as pain. It’s vital to consult a professional in these situations, as you could cause more harm than good if you attempt to resolve the problem alone.
8. Get Married
Before you let skepticism set in, hear us out! Marriage is an institution that many have always seen in their future, while others could never see themselves walking down the aisle. Wherever you fall in these two schools of thought, research has shown married people are 10% happier than unmarried individuals. In 2003, the American Psychology Association published a longitudinal study of 24,000 people living in Germany from 1984 to 1995 that suggests individuals who get married and stay married are more satisfied than unmarried people.
We’re not suggesting you head to Las Vegas on the first flight for a Little White Chapel wedding, but a correlation between marriage and happiness can’t be denied.
Happiness Can Be Found in the Little Things, Like a Clean Home
Happiness truly is a broad concept that can mean different things for everyone. You may need a little more laughter, time with loved ones, regular exercise, or a professional to help organize and clean your home. Our team can help with the latter and bring some joy into your life with our comprehensive cleaning services for every part of your home.
Call (888) 490-4227 for more information or find your local Merry Maids and request a free cleaning quote today.