Happiness -It's a Science! 5 proven daily habits to spark joy


Many people are waiting for happiness and they believe that if they aren’t happy now, they will be happy when their career finally takes off, when they find Mr. Right, or when they strike it rich. Often, we think that happiness is something that we will find one day, yet research teaches us that a significant part of happiness is something we can create daily. A key element of being happy is understanding that happiness is a lot like exercise because it requires discipline, daily effort, and a commitment to a continual, ongoing practice.

Letting go of the idea that you will one day arrive at happiness, and instead practicing happiness habits is an effective way to increase your happiness. Many studies have found that it is small things done daily that add up to have the biggest impact on our happiness. Research shows that committing to one new happiness habit at a time and practicing it regularly can make a big difference towards living a happier life.

Although some people may have be born with bigger smiles than others, the truth is that with practice anyone can boost their happiness. As the world begins to open up again, try some of these proven habits, backed by science, that can boost your happiness this summer.

Shift your focus

One of the simplest ways to boost your happiness is to shift what you are focusing on because what you focus on is what you tend to notice in your life. If you’re always focused on the things that upset or frustrate you, then that is often what will influence your perception of reality. By noticing and focusing on things that make you feel happy, you train your brain to become more skilled at noticing and focusing on happy things.


Try making a habit of looking around and noticing the good, or the things that make you feel happy that are already around you. This practice is especially potent if you can focus on the “small” things such as the kind stranger who opened a door for you , the nice thing that someone said to you, or taking in a beautiful summer sunset.



Make progress towards a goal

It feels good when you reach a goal, especially when you’ve been working towards it for a long time. Research shows that when you feel like you are progressing towards your goal it has a positive impact on your happiness, even if you haven’t reached your goal yet. The journey, not just the destination has a significant impact on happiness (and the journey even more so because you spend much more time working towards goal then you do when you reach it).


Although there is still a lot to understand in the relationship between happiness, goal setting, and accomplishment, it is clear that goal progress, not goal achievement is most important.







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Savour

Stopping to smell the roses (which in the scientific literature is called savoring) means recognizing the good things in your life (e.g. a beautiful flower, a delicious cup of coffee on a warm summer morning, or the sun shining on your face at the beach) and then basking in the positive feelings associated with them. Instead of letting a positive experience pass by with little attention or appreciation, savouring means taking time to acknowledge, appreciate, and fully enjoy it. Research shows that savoring can be a potent happiness booster, and it doesn’t really matter exactly what you choose to savour (as long as you enjoy it).