Embrace happiness

Three simple, science-backed ways to get your grin on.
Published 30 January, 2017

Come on, get happy

It's easy to dismiss happiness as something that happens after you lose weight, but  but it turns out that happy people tend to make healthier choices. 1 So make happiness happen! The more specific you can be about your plans, the more likely they’ll come to pass-and put a smile on your face. For example: 

What do you want to do?
'I will work on my jigsaw puzzle' is better than 'I will do something that makes me happy.'

When will you do it?
'Sunday and Thursday nights' is better than 'A few nights a week.'

Where will you do it?
'Sat at the dining table while I drink my nightly cup of tea before bed' is better than 'At home.'

Will anyone do it with you?
'Yes — my partner.' is better than 'Yes.'

Want to feel happier but not sure how to start?

These three simple ideas are proven to increase your overall happiness. Give them a try and see if you notice a change!

1. Take a 'savouring' walk one evening. Try to go somewhere new or a place that’s beautiful. Stroll slowly, and pay attention to your surroundings. Post a photo on Connect (for subscribers).2

2. Write down three things that went well today. Small things count! Include details and note why they went well.3

3. Perform random acts of kindness. Try to do five nice things for people in a day — they can be simple, like holding a door for someone, feeding a stranger’s parking meter, helping a friend with a chore, and so on. Jot down what you did and how you felt after each act.4

1. Boehm JK Kubzansky LD. The heart’s content: the association between positive psychological wel-being and cardiovascular health. Psychological Bulletin. 2012;138(4): 655-691
2. Piff PK, et al. Awe, the small self, and prosocial behavior. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2015; 108 (6): 883-899
3.Seligman ME, et al. Positive Psychology progree; empirical validation of interventions. AM Psychol. 2005; 60 (5): 410-421
4. Lyubomirsky S, Sheldon KM, Schkade D. Pursing happiness: the architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology. 2005; 9(2):111-131