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101 (Mostly Scientific) Ways to be Happy

Everybody can be happy. Be happy if you're single or in a relationship. Be happy at work. And raise happy kids.

Image: midiman, Flickr

Most people would agree that what we ultimately want is simply to be happy. How each of us goes about achieving this is is quite varied. Many of us seek financial success, the trappings of wealth, status, fame or notoriety. Others want to find that one special person. Or we pursue the next shiny thing in the hope that it will make us happy. Scientists and academics have been researching and collecting data on what makes us happy for a long time now, and we are fortunate that various writers have presented that information to us in a more user friendly manner. I've collated some of these writings to produce this list which I hope will contain at least one item to get you closer to your own happiness. Do click through to the source article or book to find out about the research behind each of these tips. Happiness it seems is attainable by everyone irrespective of your upbringing, your location, your marital status, your wealth or your age.

General Happiness

Can we make ourselves happier?

Article / ByPascale Harter
Studies from all over the world have been collated by the World Happiness Database in Rotterdam. The 10 happiest countries according to their findings are Costa Rica, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerlad, Norway, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Canada, Panama. So what can we do to be happier no matter where we live.

  1. Lead an active life.
  2. Be actively engaged in politics.
  3. Go out for dinner.
  4. Make close friends.
  5. Have a drink, but not too much.
  6. Promote gender equality.
  7. Do less of what doesn't make you happy.
  8. Allow yourself to be sad 10% of the time.
  9. Learn to love your looks.
  10. Eschew the beer in favour of exercise to unwind after work.

10 Ways to Be Happier

Article / ByGretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project . These are some of her tips to be happy.

  1. Start small, but start.
  2. Let some time pass before venting your anger.
  3. Fake it till you feel it.
  4. Do new stuff for fun.
  5. Don’t treat the blues with a treat.
  6. Spend money in ways that improve your well being.
  7. Don’t insist on the best.
  8. Exercise to boost your energy.
  9. Stop nagging.
  10. Take action to make yourself happy.

10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy

Article / ByBeth Cooper

Did you know that happy people accomplish more? I enjoyed the research behind these tips.

  1. Get enough sleep.
  2. Spend more time with friends and family.
  3. Spend more time outdoors.
  4. Volunteer.
  5. Smile
  6. Plan a trip.
  7. Meditate.
  8. Make your daily commute shorter.
  9. Practice gratitude.
  10. Grow old.

And once again

  • Exercise.

Six Unconventional, Scientific Ways to Be Happier

Article / ByStephen Guise
Stephen Guise is the author of Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results . This is his list to help you find happiness.

  1. Stop thinking negatively.
  2. Use your imagination.
  3. Spend your money on experiences instead of stuff.
  4. Give.
  5. Try mind transformation.
  6. Be focussed.

10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Become A Happier Person

Article / ByKristance Harlow
  1. Spend money (on other people).
  2. Get unplugged.
  3. Feel the flow.
  4. Don't make happiness your goal.

And once again

  • Meditate.
  • Take action to make yourself happy.
  • Spend time outdoors.
  • Smile.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Exercise.

10 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Being Happy

Article / ByJosh Clark, Jessika Toothman
  1. Spend time with smiling people.
  2. Eat a tasty and healthy meal.
  3. Spend time gardening.
  4. Try the 5 percent trick if you're feeling overwhelmed.
  5. Listen to music.
  6. Get a pet.

And once again

  • Smile.
  • Spend your money on other people.
  • Volunteer.
  • Exercise.

100 Simple Secrets of Happy People

Book / ByDavid Niven

Many scientists and academics have spent their careers investigating what makes people happy. Their findings are published in scholarly journals and are not usually palatable to the normal person seeking happiness. David Niven has collated these findings in this concise and easy to digest book. Here are some of his tips.

  1. Turn off the TV.
  2. You don't have to win every time.
  3. Accept yourself.
  4. Limit yourself to thinking about just one subject as you lie down to sleep.
  5. Have realistic expectations.
  6. Be open to new ideas.
  7. Don't face your problems alone.
  8. Develop a household routine.
  9. Don't confuse stuff with success.
  10. Laugh.
  11. Don't let your entire life hinge on one element.
  12. Develop common interests with loved ones.
  13. Think less about people and things that bother you.
  14. Do things you are good at.
  15. Visit your neighbour.

How to Be Happy in a Relationship

The Science Behind a Happy Relationship

Infographic / ByHappify

Happify uses games and activities, based on a decade's worth of cutting-edge research by psychologists and neuroscientists to help their customers build skills for lasting happiness. In this infographic they sum up the research behind happy relationships. Here are some of their tips.

  1. Five positive interactions of every negative one.
  2. Give your partner compliments.
  3. Relive fun memories.
  4. Show your appreciation.
  5. Do something nice for your partner.
  6. Have more sex.
  7. Celebrate good news.
  8. Have new experiences together.
  9. Use humour and affection to defuse tension during disagreements.
  10. DO NOT roll your eyes.

How to Be Happy Single

Be a Happy Single

Article / ByNatalie Lue
"If you really are going to be a happy single, you have to stop treating being single as the annoying time that you pass between relationships and embrace it." Natalie Lue is a dating and relationships writer. She is also the author of The No Contact Rule and Mr Unavailable and The Fallback Girl .

  1. Don’t put the responsibility for your happiness in the hands of someone who doesn’t exist yet.
  2. Do things on your own.
  3. Spend quality time at home.
  4. Live for now.
  5. Sort out your bad habits.
  6. Take care of your emotional baggage.
  7. Have goals.
  8. Fine-tune your filters.
  9. Spend time with friends and family.
  10. Keep a feelings diary.

How to Raise Happy Children

How To Raise Happy Kids – 10 Steps Backed By Science

Article / ByEric Barker

Besides seeking happiness for ourselves most of us also want to raise happy kids. Much of what works for grown ups works for children too - but where do we start. These tips will help to get your kids on track to being happy children and adults.

  1. Be happy yourself.
  2. Teach them to build relationships.
  3. Praise effort, not natural ability.
  4. Teach optimism.
  5. Teach emotional intelligence.
  6. Help them form happiness habits.
  7. Teach self-discipline.
  8. Encourage more playtime.
  9. Engage them in more non-television activities.
  10. Eat dinner together.

How to Be Happy at Work

10 Resolutions to Be Happy at Work

Article / ByDan Bowling

Dan Bowling used to be the global head of human resources at Coca-Cola. He is also an expert on the science of well-being and work. Here are his tips for happiness at work.

  1. Stop multi-tasking.
  2. Choose a job that uses your strengths.
  3. Be optimistic.
  4. Have a sense of humour.
  5. Take breaks and walk around.
  6. Employ perspective.
  7. Talk to people.
  8. Be resilient.
  9. Say 'Thank you'.
  10. Make your job a calling.

I am the founder of I love reading personal development books and try very hard to implement the stuff that resonates with me. For the most part I am paralysed by fear and indulge in the fine art of proscrastination. So it's small changes for me.

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