Summer Happiness Tips for a Happier Life

Summer Happiness Tips for a Happier Life

The Science of Happiness: How to Boost Your Mood and Improve Your Well-Being

People enjoying summer

It’s summertime, and many of us turn to sunshine, vacations, and quality time with loved ones for happiness. However, according to Lina Begdache, an associate professor of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York, true happiness requires a little more effort. If you want to lift your spirits, think positive thoughts.

Begdache explains that our brains are highly adaptable. The more we practice negative thinking, the higher the chances of developing a low mood and feeling miserable. On the other hand, positive thinking can rewire our brains and improve our well-being. Pioneers of positive psychology research have found that positive thinkers are better at appraising stressful situations as less threatening. They cope well compared to negative thinkers and are generally happier people.

While positive thinking sets the foundation for a happier mindset, our lifestyle choices also play a significant role in our mood. Eating healthy food, for example, can boost our spirits. Certain diets like the Mediterranean diet, which are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals, support brain and heart health and positively impact our well-being.

In addition to a healthy diet, maintaining a proper sleep schedule is crucial for a positive mood. Quality sleep helps the brain steadily produce the chemicals needed to maintain our emotional balance and well-being.

Another path to happiness is practicing gratitude. Jennifer Wegmann, a lecturer of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University, emphasizes the strong positive relationship between gratitude and happiness. To practice gratitude, slow down, be present, and acknowledge the goodness in your life. Identify the sources of this goodness. You can express your gratitude by saying “thank you” to others, writing thank-you notes, or setting a daily intention to be grateful through a journal or reminder app.

Wegmann offers additional suggestions for enhancing happiness:

  1. Cultivate supportive and healthy relationships: Building healthy relationships promotes happiness. Setting and respecting healthy boundaries is essential in fostering positive connections with others.

  2. Be mindful: Being present is key to experiencing happiness. Avoid living on autopilot, which deprives us of life’s beautiful moments. Set a daily intention to be in the moment and pay attention purposefully. Start with five minutes of mindful connection to the present and gradually increase the duration. During this time, unplug from technology and focus on your breath to help bring you into the moment.

By incorporating these practices into our lives, we can enhance our happiness and well-being. Remember, it takes conscious effort and a positive mindset to cultivate a joyful and fulfilling life.

For more information on enhancing happiness, you can visit the National Science Foundation’s website.

Man checking cellphone in bed

SLIDESHOW: The 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue – See Slideshow