5 happiness hacks
1. Find your flow
Whether you’re sat in work, engaged in a hobby or just playing with your child, the satisfaction that comes from total absorption in a single activity pushes those happiness buttons.
2. Take a breath
Pausing and concentrating on the present moment helps let negative thoughts come and go, Coulson says. Breathe deeply, observe your thoughts and let them go. Meditation can help boost your mood even further.
3. Practise gratitude
Sounds twee, but it works. Studies say people who regularly focus on what they do have, rather than don’t, are more emotionally resilient. MJ Ryan suggests getting started by asking yourself each day to name three things you’re thankful for.
4. Get support
The biggest contributor to emotional wellbeing is a strong network of family and friends. ‘Happiness Cafes’, an initiative from Action for Happiness – actionforhappiness.org – are emerging all over the UK, to help people offer support to each other.
5. Relish the good stuff
From good news at work to a freshly made bed, focus attention on positive experiences – big or small, says Dr Hanson. ‘Try to notice energising emotions such as awe, joy and affection; you’ll hardwire your brain to feel more of them.’