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6 Simple Ways to Increase Happiness

HPeople say happiness is the elusive butterfly – you can run around it but you will never catch it. Then you sit calmly and it comes and rests on your palm.

We all have different ideas about happiness. Often we are so busy looking at ways to be as happy as the next person, without even knowing the burden of problems they may be carrying that we aren’t. It is actually very easy to be happy and here are six simple ways in which you will be happier than you were yesterday.

1. Exercise more

There was a talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout and the benefits of it. If you think exercising for your health is something you don’t have the time for, think again now. Exercising has a profound effect on our happiness and well-being. It has been proven to help overcome depression. From a study conducted with a group of people being treated for depression, the least relapse rate was from a group of people who started exercising. There were higher relapse rates from a group under medication and a group on a combination therapy of medication and exercise. Exercise makes the brain release proteins and endorphins which make us happier.

Make yourself happier – exercise

2. Move closer to your workplace

I have always wondered why I am always happier when I get to work every morning compared to many of my staff members. After comparing a lot of notes, we realized that I am chirpier and happier because my drive to work takes me 10 minutes on a day with traffic and 6 minutes on a day without traffic. My unhappy co-workers are the ones who travel for 45 minutes or more in traffic to get to work and to get home. Add to this the fact that they do this twice a day, five days a week. Many people can’t get used to their daily slog of work simply because driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day. Compensations like a bigger house do not really work because by the time you get home, you are in no mood to enjoy that home. Get a smaller home closer to work and be happier.

Make yourself happier – move closer to work

3. Spend time with your loved ones.

One of the top five regrets of the dying is spending time with family and friends. To improve your happiness, studies have shown that social time is a top vitamin. The only thing that really matters in our lives are our relationships with our loved ones. People who are loved and cared for are not only the happiest, but they also live the longest. People who made these people feel loved and cared for them by helping them, be it friends or neighbors or family, also tend to live the longest.

Make yourself happy – spend time with your loved ones

4. Help others

Think of how you felt when a family with young children thanked you for keeping the elevator doors open. Or when you helped the woman with an overloaded trolley and young kids at a supermarket. Or when you helped a blind man cross the road. You did feel a little surge of happiness, right? Research shows that if you spend two hours a week or do 14 helpful deeds a week, you will be happier. Spend a couple of hours every week at an old folk’s home or at an orphanage. Giving someone happiness is a sure way of getting double back.

Make yourself happy – help

5. Smile – the natural painkiller

At the end of a hard and long day if you are feeling grumpy, ask yourself how many times you smiled that day. You probably forgot this miracle pill all day for you to be feeling so down. People who smile through their work smile at others and smile at themselves are generally happy people who don’t complain, no matter how much they do. Smile is also known to be a natural painkiller. so, smile – at your children every morning, at your spouse, at the guard in your building, at the people who walk by, at the cashier at the supermarket – smile with your eyes and see how much happier you feel.

Make yourself happier – smile

6. Meditate – sync your brain for happiness

Although meditation is known as a way to improve focus, clarity and attention span, it also helps to keep you calm and happy. When you meditate regularly, you become compassionate, you look at small thing in a different way, you value things around you – you become happier. With every meditation session, the brain is rewiring and syncing itself to raise the level of your happiness.

Make yourself happier – meditate

When you do all of these things, you start feeling one important thing that leads to even more happiness – gratitude.

About Oksana Ostrovsky

Oksana Ostrovsky is a founder of LoveSense and an author of "Find Love By Finding Yourself" book. Over the past five years, Oksana has had the privilege of helping hundreds of singles and couples open themselves up to experience of more love, joy and fulfillment in their lives. She is a life-long student of human psychology, relationship dynamics, feng shui and other modalities of health and healing.