Happy relaxed and blissful is what we all want to feel in life. It is easy and natural for some people but many can struggle in its pursuit. It is one of the most important aspects to be able to lead a progressive life. Luckily, there are several science research-backed ways to improve overall happiness. Here are 15 ways to help you on this journey.

Try to Be Relaxed & Calm

Staying calm and relaxed in hard times is the key to maintaining your happiness. Staying relaxed helps to remove any anxiety build-ups. If you keep on stressing out, it can be detrimental to your overall well-being. One of the easiest ways to stay calm is to practice deep breathing in stressful situations. It is very easy to do – you just have to sit in a place and take a few deep slow inhales, finning your whole chest area, and then slowly breathe out through the mouth. There is no set number for this, but six cycles are considered to be the minimum for this exercise – it is up to you to determine whether six is enough. Deep breathing for relaxation is one of the first things to be advised by psychologists.

Develop A Connection with Mother Nature

The natural surroundings and environment can have a magical effect on a person, both physically and emotionally. If you are feeling stressed out and exhausted, just go camping in a beautifully lush, green, earthy forest. A study was conducted on students in which they were sent to a forest to spend two nights there and then their stress hormone levels were evaluated. There was a significant decrease in cortisol levels, indicating more relaxation. One other research suggests that heart rate and cortisol levels are less in people living in a natural village environment compared to those living in cities. This paper quotes “Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy.” So, take all the goodness of Mother Nature and live a happy life.

Soil – Your Natural Friend

According to a study published the bacteria found in the soil named Mycobacterium vaccae causes mood-elevating effects just like any medication. It is due to the increased production of mood-elevating serotonin in the body that we feel good. Chris Lower says “Leave us wondering if we shouldn’t all be spending more time playing in the dirt.” – University of Bristol, England. So, now that we know the benefits and healing properties of soil, maybe we will consider spending more time walking barefoot in the park, or working in the garden.

Meditate Regularly

Meditation is not a new thing. People have been practicing medicine for a long time, and there is a reason why it is still being practiced today – the positive effects it can have on a person are numerous, and it is very easy to take advantage of it. First, it helps to live a mindful life. Second, it gives emotional strength and control. Multiple pieces of research have shown that long term meditators have more awareness of well-managed feelings and emotions. They tend to stress less and are better at managing stressful situations, relieving both themselves and the people around them. They also have improved memory and a better perspective on life.

Burn the Blues

Workouts are an amazing way to boost serotonin levels, therefore enhancing your mood, and helping to reduce anxiety. You don’t need to have long workout hours – according to Happify, 20 minutes of exercise is enough to get mood-elevating results, thus leading to a more satisfied and happy life.

Enjoy Dining Outside

Having lunch at your home, sitting on the couch, in front of a television, can be boring sometimes. The scientists at the University of Sussex found out people were happier when they had lunch at the beach instead of a regular environment, thus proving that the environment had a deep impact on one person. The environment is important because they identified elevated mood levels in people who were eating in a natural environment such as a park or a beach. So, I think it would be a great idea to take a BBQ grill at the beach to cook some food, and then eat it right away.

Be More Accepting

Acceptant people who look for the silver lining in every cloud tend to be happier and more fulfilled overall, say psychologists. The best way to be ready to take life as it comes is to loosen up emotionally by embracing the truth and letting go of the burdens. Not adhering rigidly to any one set of rules is not what we mean when we talk about adaptability and compassion.

Pretend – It Really Helps

There is a popular saying that goes “Fake it until you make it.” And, guess what, it is not just a sassy line, rather it is a much more science-based fact. A study in 2011 found out that people who pretended to smile and be happy were much happier after a certain test period.

Spend Quality Time with Good Friends

There was research done to see how being with friends, children, and parents influenced one’s happiness level. The result showed an 8% increase in happiness when with friends and 0.7 % & 1.4% respectively. So, it means the company of good friends can boost up the mood when you are struck by a sad arrow.

Participating in Volunteer Services

A recent review of 40 studies showed that participating in volunteer services has great health benefits. It was associated with fewer chances of depression and achieving higher satisfaction in life. This, in turn, increases the life span by reducing the chances of death due to mental illness. A very easy and approachable volunteer service is to visit an old home or a charity center and help in any way you can. Another study from 2008 shows that doing charity also increased levels of happiness in individuals.

Gratitude – A Road to Happiness

Gratitude is one of the master keys to an abundant life. The person who can feel gratitude for what he has now has a better chance of living an improved life ahead. Research shows that experiencing gratitude has a calming effect on the mind and body. It can play a pivotal role in overcoming depression and distress in life. It also builds up to emotional strength and a positive outlook towards one’s life, adding to their overall happiness.

These 11 ways mentioned above can be very helpful in overcoming a lack of happiness and help you find the silver lining when you are feeling in a dark place.