The Science of Happiness: What data & biology reveal about our mood
While true happiness may have a different definition to each of us, science can give us a glimpse at the underlying biological factors behind happiness. From the food we eat to room temperature, there are thousands of factors that play a role in how our brains work and the moods that we are in. Understanding these factors can be helpful in achieving lasting happiness.
If you feel less than stellar on a day-to-day basis I have good news for you! There are a ton of things that influence your levels of happiness and positivity. In The Science of Happiness infographic from WebpageFX, you can learn about all of them.
You might not be able to directly control all of these factors, but by being aware of them all you can engage in activities that will boost your happiness meter.
Something as simple as spending 20 minutes outside in good weather each day can improve your memory, broaden your thinking and help maintain a positive mood? Participating in activities like exercising is another way that you can boost your happiness. Walking for just 20 minutes releases endorphins and proteins that make your brain more active, keeping you happier. Why not take a 20 minute walk on your lunch break? It’ll keep you feeling energized and positive throughout the day.
In terms of brain chemistry, the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin play a large part in how happy, affectionate and positive you feel. Eating foods like fish, bananas and poultry help boost your dopamine levels, while foods like turkey have been suggested to boost serotonin levels. Therefore, eating foods like these can help you improve and maintain happy feelings and a positive outlook.
One of the best ways to keep a bad mood at bay is to get your 8 hours of sleep each night. Studies show that sleep-deprived people have a harder time remembering positive ideas and, instead, focus on the negative. By keeping your mind and body well-rested you’ll help the positive ideas flow and keep the negative ideas away.
One final tip for staying happy: don’t isolate yourself. We get so caught up in the business of our day-to-day schedules and routines that we often forget to make time for our neighbors and community members. Yet, research shows that two huge factors that contribute to happiness are a sense of community and frequent celebrations with that community. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your neighbors and peers. Not only will communal bonds make you feel happier, they’ll make your neighbors feel happier too!