5 more happiness hacks

5 more happiness hacks

1. Be kind

Do something nice for someone else. It can be as small as leaving a complementary note on a colleague’s desk. If you enjoy the experience, consider making random acts of kindness a part of your life.

What’s the science behind it?

It’s all to do with something called our vagus nerve which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from those interactions. It turns out that generosity is also good for our physical health, with studies showing that health benefits are greater for givers than for the takers. A double whammy of positiveness. Awesome.

2. Buy experiences not things

Value experiences over things. Always.

What’s the science behind it?

Once your basic needs are met, research shows that people who spend money on experiences are far happier than those who spend money on tangible objects.  So instead of buying that next Burberry trench coat try visiting a pearl farm in the Philippine archipelago.

3. Build healthy relationships

Choose your partner wisely. Unhappily married couples are actually more miserable than single people, and even live shorter, less healthy lives.

What’s the science behind it?

This, at least, was one of the key findings of the 75-year longitudinal Harvard study.  Other studies have shown that happily married couples are healthier too. If you’re unsure you’d be wise to read Tim Urban’s brilliant article on ‘How to pick your life partner.’

4. Find meaningful work

We spend most of our lives working. Makes sense to spend it doing something that makes us happy right?

What’s the science behind it?

In his popular TED talk, Dan Pink outlines 3 things that make or break our happiness with work: Autonomy (the urge to direct our own lives), Mastery (the desire to get better and better at something that matters), and Purpose (the yearning to do what we do in service of something larger than ourselves). If you are unhappy at work, it’s probably because of one or more of these things aren’t being met.  

5. Shorten your commute

“I've spent so many years commuting, I kind of prefer a home office.” - Hillary Clinton

If the alarm going off waking you from your peaceful slumber isn’t enough to ruin the start of your day how about going elbow to elbow for 45 mins with a bunch of smelly strangers on the bus? Commuting sucks. Find a way to shorten it, sweeten it or get rid of it altogether. 

What’s the science behind it?

A study by the Office of National Statistics in the UK showed that ‘commuters are more likely to be anxious, dissatisfied and have the sense that their daily activities lack meaning than those who don’t have to travel to work even if they are paid more.’  

Want to learn more about happiness? Check our earlier post ‘Five happiness hacks’ or register for our upcoming course with the Happiness Research Institute.

How fluffy handcuffs inspired Nike footware

How fluffy handcuffs inspired Nike footware

5 happiness hacks

5 happiness hacks