Today’s Reading List: 7 ways to boost your happiness

The weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. It’s natural to feel the post-summer blues, for those not enamoured with fall and a pending winter.

But hope is not lost. Today’s reading list is on article at CNN that gives readers 7 tips to boost happiness.

Happiness isn’t just an emotional state. Decades of research proves it goes much deeper. In fact, science shows people who are happy live longer and healthier lives. The good news is that generating better bliss is something we can all do regardless of our environment or genetics.

Start by changing your attitude.

That’s right — I’m talking to you, pessimists.

A Harvard University study found that optimists are not only happier but are 50% less likely to have heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke. It turns out that keeping a positive outlook actually offers protection against cardiovascular disease.

Learn from people who are already happy.

Denmark has earned the top spot on the European Commission’s “Eurobarameter” for well-being and happiness every year since 1973. And when the United Nations went on the hunt for the happiest nation in the world, it ranked Denmark No. 1.

Work less.

The Danes seem to strike a great work-life balance, which ups their happiness level. Simply put: They don’t overwork. In fact, the average workweek in Denmark is 33 hours — only 2% of Danes work more than 40 hours a week.

Focus on experiences.

Danes also pay less attention to gadgets and things and more attention to building memories. Studies show that people who focus on experiences over “things” have higher levels of satisfaction, long after the moment of the experience has passed.

Build up your social network.

By simply being social, you could slow down your biological age. Research shows that a strong social support system can shorten our telomeres.

Volunteer.

People who volunteer are happier with their lives than those who don’t, according to dozens of studies. The United Nations even credits volunteerism as one of the reasons Denmark is the happiest nation in the world — 43% of Danes regularly give back to their community, compared with 25% of Americans..

Just start laughing.

Research shows that laughing doesn’t just signal happiness, it produces it. When we laugh, our stress hormones decrease and our endorphins rise. Endorphins are the same brain chemicals associated with the “runner’s high” you get from exercise.

Read the full article over on CNN.com

Posted on September 22, 2014 in Health in the News, Reading List

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