Happiness is something we all seek, and we each have different ways of pursuing it. Some try to disprove old sayings like "money can't buy happiness," and some rely on the stars. Whatever your approach to lifting your mood, one thing's for certain: Sometimes happiness is just hard to come by.
Inc. recently suggested that—beyond any inherited personality traits that can predispose you to landing on a certain part of the happiness spectrum—there are specific science-backed actions that you can take to make yourself happier. So genetics, star signs, and salary aside, here are a few of our favorites that you can try today. Doing any one will work, or you can make your own curated cocktail to see an increase in happiness.
Keep scrolling to see our top picks that you can try right now.
It seems simple enough, but we still don't seem to prioritize making the time to do what we enjoy and are good at. Obviously, you can't exclusively do what you love all the time, but you can integrate your passions into your everyday life.
Sure, you're good at your job, but are you capitalizing on the areas where you really excel? In your life outside of work, are you carving out time to pursue your passions in addition to ticking off errands? For example, Inc. cites Shawn Anchor's The Happiness Advantage, which says that when volunteers picked "one of their signature strengths and used it in a new way each day for a week, they became significantly happier and less depressed."
Do the things you do incredibly well more often, and you'll find yourself much happier (and more productive and successful).
Expressing gratitude can have a positive impact for both sides involved. Inc. notes that in one study, couples who actively expressed their gratitude during their interactions with one another "experienced increased relationship connection and satisfaction the next day."
The same practice can be effective in the workplace. If you communicate your appreciation for a colleague's hard work, you both will end up feeling better about yourselves.
While actually setting aside time and funds for a holiday retreat is sure to up your happiness, the mere act of planning it is an instant mood booster. Inc. refers to a study in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life that revealed that "the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as people enjoy the sense of anticipation."
While we all know that money can't buy happiness (Inc. notes that after $75,000, it doesn't have much impact), it's really the pursuit of materialistic goals that can decrease satisfaction with life. "New always becomes the new normal," notes Inc., so you'll find more lasting satisfaction chasing experiences rather than things.
Are there certain things that never fail to make you happy? Tell us about your mood-boosting go-tos!