5 Other Ways to Increase Happiness

By: Jenna Savage

1413294_healthy_redheadHappiness is complex and dependent upon multiple factors. As we reported previously, it can be influenced by different situations and actions. For instance, feeling powerful can increase happiness, while feeling powerless has the opposite effect. Researchers have also discovered that acts of kindness can make a person feel happy, especially if they are varied and frequent. However, these aren’t the only ways that a person can maximize happiness. Listed below are five other methods that can boost your mood and improve your outlook.

  1. Eat well.

    Research published in the British Journal of Health Psychology and reported by PsychCentral indicates that healthy diets can make young adults feel happier, less stressed, and more energetic. A good way to improve your mood and your health is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Cutting down on fructose can be beneficial as well.

  2. Read.

    Reading books — both fiction and nonfiction — can actually help relieve negative feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. In fact, because reading is effective in improving the way people feel, an initiative in the UK has led some doctors to prescribe books as part of mental health treatment, The Telegraph reports. Consider visiting your local library to boost your happiness.

  3. Cut down on social networking.

    According to a ScienceDaily.com article, Facebook and other forms of social networking may lead to strong feelings of envy, which can have a negative impact on a person’s well-being. Consider cutting down on Facebook and related websites to avoid feelings of frustrating and what researchers call the “envy spiral.”

  4. Let yourself desire new things.

    Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research has found that materialistic consumers experience boosts in happiness when they think about buying new things. In fact, the happiness derived from indulging in the desire to make a new purchase may actually be greater than the happiness derived from actually owning the new item, ScienceDaily.com reports. Don’t be afraid to think about new purchases — it may help you feel happy.

  5. Cut down on alcohol.

    Alcohol use can lead to insomnia and disrupted sleep, BBC News reports. And as getting good sleep is important for both mental and physical well-being, too much alcohol has the potential to negatively impact a person’s mood — even into the day following consumption. Reducing the amount of alcohol that you consume can therefore improve both your rest at right and your mood the next day.