Working Mother magazine shared an article by Inara Verzemnieks along with her panel of experts describe 10 secrets to being happy. And wouldn’t you know it, included in the secrets you will find “me time” and shaking up the routine, right up my alley.
Below you will find a snapshot of the secrets along with some of the descriptions provided in the article. You’ll want to head over to Working Mother to read the details Inara provides for each one.
1. Doodling isn’t just for dreamers.
Research shows that upbeat doodles ease stress and boost happiness.
2. Bring on disappointment.
Research suggests that we should just give it a go. Disappointment never hurts as much as we think it will, according to studies. The disappointment we imagine is far more painful than the reality.
3. The shorter the vacation, the better.
One study that recently appeared in the Journal of Happiness Studies suggests that you might be better off booking several short trips and “consequently experiencing many brief happiness boosts,” according to researcher Jeroen Nawijn of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, home to the world Database of Happiness.
4. Consistency is a killjoy.
Routines can be a very good thing, especially when it comes to kids and bedtimes or visits to the gym. But when you are too consistent, especially in conjunction with things that make you happy, you can ruin a good thing.
Go ahead and surprise a friend with flowers, volunteer at a soup kitchen and sneak a surprise snack into your child’s backpack just be sure you shake it up.
5. Getting older rocks!
Recent research suggests that we grow happier as we age. Stanford University psychology professor Laura Carstensen, PhD, led a study examining the emotions of 184 participants, ranging in age from 18 to 94. So many of us fear that aging will bring loneliness and sadness, says Dr. Carstensen, that we pretend it’s not happening rather than embrace what is possible. “Contrary to the popular view that youth is “˜the best time in life,” she says her research indicates the peak of emotional life may not occur until well into the seventh decade. Take that, Botox!
6. Forget the raise.
More money usually means more work, more responsibility and more stress. And studies have shown time and again that if you’re making from $50,000 to $70,000, additional money doesn’t bring additional day-to-day happiness. This secret, from economist Easterlin, is actually quite simple: “A reallocation of time in favor of family life and health would, on average, increase individual happiness.”
7. Visit Iceland.
Turns out, people in colder climates tend to be happier, according to the world Database of Happiness. One theory suggests that in colder places everyone must work together to survive, and that gives way to something powerful and lasting: “love,” writes Eric Weiner in his book The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World.
8. Your kids’ materialism isn’t so bad.
Lan Nguyen Chaplin, PhD, an assistant professor with Villanova University’s School of Business, who has studied children and materialism, says that it’s long been the blanket assumption that “kids want things and don’t want to spend time with their parents.” To test that assumption, she set out to define what really made kids happy, whether it was indeed tied to stuff.
“And I’m not saying that kids don’t like things they do,” she says, “but given the choice, they choose people.” In other words, it’s not so much a game console they crave, but a chance to be with you. “I have two kids,” adds Dr. Chaplin, “and I’m guilty of buying a lot of stuff for them, but I do try to step back and recognize that they want and need my time.”
9. Money can buy happiness.
Researchers have discovered that “how people spend their money may be as important to their happiness as how much money they earn and that spending money on others might represent a more effective route to happiness than spending money on oneself.”
10. Not getting what you want is good for you.
“We tend to underestimate how much we embrace things that at first glance we wouldn’t have chosen,” says Dr. Gilbert. Studies show that people report being more satisfied with what they have in the end, as opposed to what they originally thought they wanted.
Believe it or not, I related to #1 the most”¦ just the other day I was in a never ending meeting and before I knew it, I doodle a bouquet of flowers!
What are your tips for being happy?