10 Science-Backed Ways To Be Happier In Life

We all want to be happy. But who has time for happiness when we’re working hard, taking care of the kids, and running errands? It feels like there are never enough hours in a day. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Science is showing us new ways to make ourselves happier and more satisfied with life – without spending money or adding stress on top of what you already have going on! Here are 10 science-backed ways to be happier in life:

Get Moving 

We know, you already have enough on your plate. But taking care of yourself is among the best things you can do to be happier in life – and exercise is one of the easiest ways to take great care of yourself. Exercise has been shown to increase self-confidence, improve moods, boost good feelings, reduce stress, and more. Just 20 minutes of exercising, 3 times a week, can lead to big improvements in your life.

Walking is another way to stay active while enjoying yourself at the same time. One research study found that walking outside was an even more effective mood booster than walking on a treadmill indoors. So lace up your shoes, grab a friend, and head out the door!

Get Connected  

Science has found that being lonely is one of the greatest predictors of unhappiness in life. Partly, this is because we’re social animals – so feeling disconnected from other people takes quite a toll on us psychologically. But science shows there are steps you can take to combat loneliness even if your days are jam-packed with work and family commitments.

For example, try to get coffee with friends once per week, go for walks with your spouse after dinner, host game nights at your house. These little things will not only keep you connected, but they’ll also boost happiness in your life!

Get Inspired 

Positive psychology studies show that finding inspiration in your life can help you be happier in many ways. Whether it’s an idea that’s exciting to you or a person who inspires you with passion and confidence, inspiration can boost happiness in all sorts of ways. 

For example, when people are inspired by someone else, they feel more capable themselves! So even if it isn’t easy to find the time for things like working out or vocational exploration on top of everything else, know that inspiration can lighten your load in significant ways.

Get Into The Flow 

Flow is what happens when we’re so immersed in an activity (like writing a story) that we lose time and feel fulfilled by what we’re doing. It’s what scientists call the “optimal state of consciousness” – and according to positive psychology, achieving it can help people be happier in life.

One study found that even spending just 20 minutes each day engaged in flow-inducing activities (like writing) was enough to boost overall happiness, as well as alleviate symptoms of depression. It doesn’t take much to increase your chances for happiness with these simple steps!

Get Good Sleep 

Getting good sleep may sound impossible given everything you have going on in your life. But sleep has an incredible influence over our moods – so bad sleep could be causing problems with your happiness levels more than you know. Several studies find that getting too little or too much sleep increases the risk for depression and anxiety. And according to one study, getting just 4 nights of poor sleep can lead to lower moods and greater feelings of loneliness. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a perfect sleeper (nothing’s perfect). Even getting as little as 20 minutes more sleep per night can make a difference in your happiness levels. So whenever possible, arrange your schedule so that you can get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. You’ll be amazed by how much it lifts your moods and reduces stress!

Get Organized 

One of the biggest problems with modern life is often feeling like we’re on a treadmill, racing against the clock to get everything done. It gets harder and harder just to keep up – which is why many people feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the end of the day. But getting organized can help you escape that trap, and get rid of stress in your life.

One study found that spending just 15 minutes at the end of each workday organizing emails was enough to reduce frustration and boost productivity. And studies find that getting organized also increases your chances for happiness in big ways: it has been shown to reduce stress, increase self-confidence, and create more meaning in life! So whether you spend 15 minutes or an entire afternoon, getting organized can make a big difference for your happiness levels!

Be More Grateful 

One of the most powerful ways to be happier is to start being more grateful. People who express gratitude regularly have been shown to have increased positive emotions, better mental health, and stronger social bonds. So it’s important not to underestimate the impact of gratitude in our lives!

Even if you don’t feel that there’s much to be grateful for at first glance, you can always find ways to increase gratitude in your life – from picking up a pen and writing down 3 things each day to simply taking a few minutes each night before bedtime. In time, you’ll see how gratitude boosts happiness levels in many different areas!

Practice Mindfulness   

Mindfulness is the act of being fully aware and present in your surroundings. It’s a great coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, fear, pain – you name it. Studies have shown that mindfulness has numerous physical benefits, including lowered blood pressure, improved immune function, and slowed aging.

And how do you practice mindfulness? There are so many different ways to do so, but popular practices include yoga Nidra meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. Pick a method that works for you – and try it out! Even if just a few minutes of mindfulness a day can have a lasting impact on your happiness levels.

Get Curious 

Science shows that being more curious about your daily life has huge positive effects on your happiness. When you take the time to explore something at work or home, ask yourself questions, and get up to speed with what’s going on in your world – it will not only boost your enjoyment of the moment but also increase happiness overall.

When you’re curious about a new food you’ve never tried before, it makes the experience feel fresh and interesting – so try foods that are different from what you normally eat! Or when you’re curious about something someone says at work, there is a good chance it will make you feel more psychologically safe in the environment – which helps make every part of your job feel easier.

Get Excited 

Studies have shown that when we’re excited about something before it’s happened, it makes us happier at the moment – and also boosts our satisfaction with life overall. So if you can find a way to get excited before something happens (even if your day is already full of chores and commitments), be sure to jam on finding ways to do this!

For instance, be more excited about your lunch break if you know it means some extra time to talk with a friend for an hour. Or feel even happier at work when you can be looking forward to seeing your new coworker on the team – who’s always full of energy and smiles! But be careful – too much excitement can cause stress and anxiety. So be sure to take your time with finding the right balance between meeting interesting new people, having something awesome to do once you get home from work, or simply feeling more alive when you go for a run. The key is to find what works best for you!


The 10 ways to be happier in life that we’ve covered here are scientifically proven and should give you a great place to start. Of course, every person is different – so it’s important not to try everything at once! Instead, take a look through the list above and think about what will help make a difference in your daily happiness levels.

Then, after you choose one or two things to work on first, be sure to give them a try for at least 1 month. While we’re not exactly sure why it takes this amount of time for new habits to stick, the best thing you can do is be patient and give your practices a fair chance.

And remember: if something isn’t working, change what you’re doing and try again! It’s all about finding what works for you – so keep an open mind as you build out your happiness plan.

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