More than a feel-good state of mind, happiness is described by the U.N. as a “fundamental human goal.” It comes with myriad benefits, including improving our health and even helping us live longer. Happier people are also more likely to make decisions quickly and contribute to society by voting and volunteering.
And while happiness can be a loaded subject, with many contributing factors that often aren’t in our control, science shows that there are plenty of surprisingly straightforward things that can help us feel satisfied.
Of course, happiness is not something that happens overnight; it’s a process that’s consciously cultivated with intention and purpose. But if you’re looking to embark on that journey, consider starting with some of these 10 science-backed tips.
1. Set a Regular Exercise Routine
Prioritizing movement is a popular tip when it comes to increasing happiness — and with good reason. Exercise is shown to ease anxiety, increase life satisfaction, and boost serotonin levels, which helps combat negative feelings. Even lunchtime walks are shown to “improve enthusiasm, relaxation, and nervousness at work.” Still not convinced? This report about walkable cities found that when someone swaps long commutes for a walk, “their happiness increases as much as if they’d fallen in love.”