Research-proven steps to happiness

Research shows that about 40% of your happiness is directly under your control. Engaging in happiness-producing activities gets results. Scientifically proven happiness-enhancing activities: One, express gratitude. Two, cultivate optimism: visualise a future in which everything has turned out the way you want it, then write it down. Three, avoid obsessing over things or paying too much attention to what others are doing. Four, practise acts of kindness – more than you’re used to. Five, make time for friends; be supportive and loyal. Six, develop coping strategies: write down your feelings when you’re feeling upset and try to see that traumatic events often make us stronger. Seven, learn to forgive. Eight, immerse yourself in activities and be open to new ones. Nine, savour life’s joys – linger over a pastry rather than mindlessly consuming it. Ten, work towards meaningful goals. Eleven, practise religion and spirituality. And finally, exercise. You won’t see the results from these activities right away: like anything important, you have to work at it. This, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology, University of California.

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