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Want to Be Much Happier? Science Says Always Do Any 1 of These 8 Things

Friends near you

Geographically close friends (and neighbors) have the greatest effect on happiness.

Individual happiness cascades through groups of people, like contagion. So make friends with people who live near you.

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Want to Be Much Happier? Science Says Always Do Any 1 of These 8 Things

Want to Be Much Happier? Science Says Always Do Any 1 of These 8 Things

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/want-to-be-much-happier-science-says-always-do-any.html

inc.com

8

Key Ideas

Learn something new

... even if it's stressful. Mastering a new skill means more stress now but more happiness later.

The key is to choose the right new skill to master, a challenge to undertake, or an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. The greatest increases in happiness come from learning a skill you choose, rather than one you think you should or feel forced to learn.

Friends near you

Geographically close friends (and neighbors) have the greatest effect on happiness.

Individual happiness cascades through groups of people, like contagion. So make friends with people who live near you.

Embrace opposing feelings

Happiness can come from noticing and embracing a wide spectrum of emotions--both good and bad. 

So don't ignore negative feelings. Embrace them--and then actively work toward overcoming whatever issues you face.

Invest in good counseling

Intangible experiences, relationships, and communication have greater benefits than possessions, things and money.

Studies analyzing if we get more happiness for our buck by paying for therapy or by receiving cash in hand found that therapy is 32 times more effective than money.

Say "no" to almost everything

Overworked and overburdened is a recipe for unhappiness. So if you want to be happy, get some quick wins by saying no.

But say no the right way: say "I don't." Using the phrase "I don't" is more effective than saying "I can't." 

Negative visualization

Prepare for the worst; hope for the best.

There's actually a lot of peace of mind to be gained in thinking carefully and in detail and consciously about how badly things could go. You might actually find that your fears were exaggerated.

Give up your favorite things

Just for a day or two, not forever.

It's about self-control and willpower:  Exerting self-control leads to more self-control over time. Plus, denying yourself something makes you appreciate the things you take for granted.

Celebrate strengths

... and embrace weaknesses.

Celebrate what you're good at, and appreciate that we all bring unique characteristics to the table.

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Cherish the current happy moment

Research has recently shown that people tend to feel unhappy whenever they focus on what brings them happiness in the long term. 

However, if they chose to stay in the present moment, their happiness would not be in any way affected. Therefore, if you really want to feel happy, try focusing on the current happiness instead of thinking at a future one, because that can only bring worries and stress to your mind.

Tips to be happy

Being happy is, in big lines, a matter of choice. If you try to pay less attention to everybody else's life on social media and accept the unpleasant moments that life makes you face, you might as well discover that happiness is reachable, as long as you do not make a constant obsession out of it.

Having No Routine

Having no routine or structure is so much more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be.

Why You Need a Routine
  • It gives you structure, builds forward-moving habits, and creates momentum that will carry you on the days when you feel like you don't have the strength to carry yourself.
  • Following a daily routine can help you establish priorities, limit procrastination, keep track of goals, and even make you healthier. 
  • It lowers your reliance on willpower and motivation.
Start the day with a mantra

... to get you into a positive mood for the day ahead. Put your mind in a good state right away, because left unchecked it will try to tell you the things that are wrong.

Pick a phrase or question that resonates with you. It could be as simple as smiling and saying "thank you" out loud, acknowledging that you have been gifted with another day.

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Spend time with furry friends

Play fetch with Fido or sneak in a few cuddles with your kitten. 

Interacting with your pets can release oxytocin in the brain ― you know, the “warm and fuzzy” hormone ― resulting...

Count your blessings

There’s nothing like a little thankfulness to boost your mood. Research shows expressing gratitude can make you happier

Try writing down three things you’re thankful for at the end of each night.

Remind yourself how great you are

 Studies show self-acceptance is crucial to a happier life, but it’s a habit we barely practice.

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Arguing over text

Couples who argue over text; apologize over text; and/or attempt to make decisions over text, are less happy in their relationships.

Not having kids

This isn't to say you can't be happy if you have kids--it's just to understand that it's normal to not feel happy sometimes. 

Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have a long-term partnership with children, but the reality of kids is that they're very stressful on relationships.

Having friends that stay married

Research shows you're 75 percent more likely to get divorced if a friend or a close relative has already done the deed.

Attending to the health of one's friends' marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one's own relationship.

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Think of Yourself Less

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.  - CS Lewis

Self-esteem that is bound to external success can lead to small spurts of happiness but is no...

Be Busy, but Not Rushed

Research shows that feeling “rushed” is a one-way street to stress and unhappiness. Too much boredom can be burdensome. 

To find a balance, learn to say "no" to opportunities that do not excite you.

Be Proactive About Your Relationships

Do:

  • Check-in regularly with good friends (around 2 weeks for very close friends).
  • Celebrate the good things in their life; let them know through active and constructive listening. 
  • Studies show people love hearing themselves talk and talking about themselves, so let them.

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The planning fallacy
The planning fallacy

Is our tendency to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task. Estimation mistakes can usually be attributed to 2 key factors:

  • Failing to consider how long i...
Use historical data

Start by asking: How long do such projects usually last?

If you’re coding a new feature for your company’s app, look at how long it took your team to build and release a similar feature in the past. If you’re writing a 4,000-word blog-post, review your data showing how many hours/days it took you to write a similar piece previously. Then, base your estimates off of that data.

Search outsiders' perspectives

While we tend to be optimistic about our own abilities to complete tasks quickly, we’re much more pragmatic when it comes to figuring out how long it will take someone else to complete a task.

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Understanding Stress
  • Dealing with Stress is imperative as it is unavoidable in modern life.
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Your Perception About Stress

With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.

Exposure to Stress

Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.

Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.

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Scientific Backed Ways To Learn Better
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