Many people spend their whole lives trying to unlock the secrets to achieving true happiness.
However, the key to leading a cheerful life could be right in front of you.
It’s recently been discovered that some men find the failure of being unable to equal the academic achievements of their parents as distressing as going through a divorce.
If you similarly find that your psychological state is often marred when comparing yourself to others, then adopting a few simply daily habits could prove greatly beneficial for your mental wellbeing.
The tools to making yourself feel happy straight away are at your fingertips, from walking in a specific way to making a conscious effort to smile.
Here are eight simple things that you could do to instantly boost your happiness:
Listen to upbeat music
Purposely choosing to listen to music that’s more uptempo has a positive correlation with improving a person’s state of mind.
In 2013, the University of Missouri carried out a study in which participants who were trying to feel happier reported that their mood had improved after listening to upbeat tunes.
So the next time you’re feeling down and listening to a downcast James Blunt melody, try opting for some Pharrell Williams instead.
Believe it or not, walking as though you’re happy, even if you’re not, can make a huge difference.
Imitating the gait of a happy individual can make you feel far more uplifted, as found by a 2014 study published in the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.
Next time you’re walking down the street, push your shoulders back, lift your chin up, puff your chest out and see for yourself whether a new style of walking can make a difference.
It may sound slightly sinister, but forcing yourself to smile can actually have a beneficial effect on your temperament.
Psychological scientists from the University of Kansas conducted a study in which they assessed the impact of smiling on one’s physical and mental state, coming to the conclusion that making yourself smile can help lower your heart rate during stressful activities.
“The next time you are stuck in traffic or are experiencing some other type of stress, you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment,” advised co-author of the study Sarah Pressman.
“Not only will it help you ‘grin and bear it’ psychologically, but it might actually help your heart health as well!”
Choose your colours wisely
Certain colours have been known to have varying effects on a person’s mood.
While black may influence feelings of sadness and red may incite an angry emotional state, green has been found to inspire calmness, happiness and comfort.
If you’re facing a room redecorating dilemma or struggling to decide what to wear for work, a shade of green may be a wise choice.
Cuddles with furry friends
Anyone who has a pet will be able to tell you wonderful it feels to receive their unrequited love.
However, it has been scientifically proven that having a pet can do wonders for your overall wellbeing.
“Pets can serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive psychological and physical benefits for their owners,” stated researchers from the department of psychology at Miami University.
Never underestimate the power of your senses.
Selectively choosing the fragrances that you want to surround yourself with can have a surprising effect on your mood levels.
According to research published in journal Chemical Senses, certain aromas have been known to reduce stress and make people feel physically and mentally more relaxed.
The majority of people will know, albeit some more reluctantly, that exercising can make you feel far happier as your body releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings in the body.
However, you don’t need to run marathons to reap the mental benefits of physical activity.
Doing as little as 10 minutes of exercise a week or allocating one day a week for a workout can make a huge difference to your mood.
Following a study into the relationship between exercise and cheerfulness, researchers from the University of Michigan concluded that there was “a consistent positive relationship between physical activity and happiness.”
This may sound like more of a long-term fix, but practising little self-acceptance habits on a daily basis can benefit you in the short run as well.
In 2014, charity Action for Happiness carried out of survey of 5,000 people in which they discovered that almost half of people would rate themselves as five or less out of 10 when asked: “How often are you kind to yourself and think you’re fine as you are?”
If you catch yourself criticising your own endeavours or putting yourself down, switch it around and think about something that you value about yourself instead.