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7 Ways to Shape Up and Live Happier

7 Ways to Shape Up and Live Happier

Happiness is a commodity that never loses its value. People often mistake it for money, but actually it has more to do with the people around us. It affects the way we live, how we spend our time, and most importantly how we see ourselves. Here are seven tips on how to live a happier life.


When spirits are low, sometimes you only need to think of a person or a situation that makes you smile. The sky can instantly become bluer and the grass greener. The physical act of smiling can make a person feel happier, even if it’s just a reflex. Scientists haven’t discovered the exact reason why smiling makes us happy – one theory says that facial muscles contraction stimulates blood flow to frontal brain lobes,  releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure.

Be Grateful

One habit of happy people is that they somehow always find something to be grateful for. Research has shown that positive gratitude influences depression and stress, which are the opposite of happiness. Happy people manage to be grateful for small things, like watching a busy stream of ants on hot concrete, or watching a misty March night turn into a warm April morning. Gratitude lies all around us; in a delicious meal, in a pungent glass of red wine, a beautiful movie, or a sincere smile.

Enjoy the Company of Supportive People

We are alone in this world for the greatest part of the journey. However, we need other people to help us feel better about what we are doing. Relations with other people can make us happier than money or property. Robert Putnam, professor of public policy at Harvard University says that “Making a new good friend is the amount of happiness equal to a triple salary raise. “ It is even proven that people with abundant social relations live longer and are less prone to chronic illnesses.

Stay Healthy

By adopting good habits like eating a balanced diet and having enough sleep, you will feel better about yourself. Activities like yoga and working out are directly related to happiness. This is because you can actually feel and see your progress, either in well-shaped physique or in loads you are lifting. If your time schedule gets you all drained up before workouts, good whey protein can give you that extra boost even for the most demanding regimen.

Don’t be Afraid to say “NO”

If you are looking to say “yes” to happiness, then you must learn to say “no” to people who annoy you and make you feel bad. Accepting everything and agreeing to every proposal leads to increasedstress. What is more, you are left with lesstime and resources for yourself. That kind of stress is mutually corrosive to one’s happiness and wellbeing.

Spend More Time in Nature

Even though our modern way of life often takes it for granted, people are not made for lounging in front of the screens, surrounded by all kinds of electronic conveniences. Spending time outside, unplugged, helps us feel happy as in the dawn of humanity, when people used to find happiness in the small things. A Harvard campaign has revealed that being outdoors raises our mood, similarly to vitamin D. You can even maximize this benefit of being outdoors if you combine it with aerobic training, yoga or other movement therapy exercise.

Find Pleasure in New Things

Having more experiences undoubtedly makes us feel better than being afraid to push our boundaries. Brené Brown in her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead says that getting out of your comfort zone can actually get you more good things than you bargained for. Theurge to try something new will prevent you from growing bored, and boredom is one of the first road signs on the way to unhappiness.

In a nutshell, happiness is closely related to how we see the world around us. We can learn to become happier by improving our experience of ourselves, the people around us and the things we cannot change.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.