Happiness is something you know when you feel it and, man, is it ever great. Many have described it as joy, pride, contentment, or gratitude, but it may be different from person to person. One thing scientists know for sure is that being happy is good for you. It is linked to longevity, has the power to boost your immune system, creates a full social life, and can actually help you cope with stress and trauma.
With such great health benefits, it’s no wonder everyone’s searching for more happiness in their lives. While genetics or particular life circumstances may be out of your control, there are science-backed ways you can amp up your happy factor to discover a life where you smile wider, feel better, and get more satisfaction. Here’s how.
1. Go outside
Ever notice how, on a particularly grim day, a change of scenery helps put things in perspective? When you’re feeling blue, the secret may be right outside your front door. Literally. Research shows green spaces are associated with better mental health to the extent that just looking at image of nature can stimulate the parts of your brain connected to happiness, positivity, and emotional stability. By escaping your home, office, or classroom each day you’re not only taking steps to improve your mental state, but you’re getting sunlight, which helps your body produce vitamin D, which Greatist reports may help prevent depression.