People play with pigeons at a park in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 10, 2013.
People play with pigeons at a park in Wuhan, Hubei province, April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer REUTERS/Stringer

A 2011 study led by a Michigan State University found that thinking about positive things is the key to happiness. It will trigger good feelings within you. Several studies have found that it is not just one but many factors that contribute to one's happiness level. Here are a few scientifically backed techniques that will help one stay happy.


So they say meditation calms the mind and the body, and indeed it is true. Meditation helps activate a few areas in the brain that are in charge of emotions and thinking. These areas are the anterior cingulate cortex and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex which controls anxiety and worrying. A study by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that meditation decreases activity in the thinking and emotion controlling area and increases the activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. This study is published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Exercise more often

Exercise contributes to health and fitness, but research states that it also boosts your happiness level. The New York Times reported that when you exercise it causes the body to release endorphins, this lowers your level of anxiety and makes you feel happier. It also improves your body image which makes you feel more confident and you will feel better when around people.

Smile as much as possible

No, don't pretend like your happy and neither will a smile change your state of mind and make you instantly happy, but smiling will make you feel good. A study by psychologist, Robert Zajonc found that the facial expression contributes to the emotions you feel. He conducted an experiment on a group of people, they were made to pronounce the letter 'u' and then they had to pronounce the letter 'e'. It was seen that the letter 'e' gave when pronounced gave the subjects happiness and they felt good, this is because the pronunciation changed their facial expression almost mimicking a smile.

Also, have you noticed when you smile at another there is an instant smile on their face as well. You have without your knowledge triggered a good feeling on them as well. So remember to always keep that frown upside down.

Listen to 'Happy', 'Upbeat' songs

Music is rejuvenating; it can alter your mood and your state of mind. It had the ability to change your very state of being. Make sure to listen attentively. A study conducted by the University of Missouri proves that music can lift one's spirit. They found that those who listen to positive music reported feeling happier even if they were sad before listening to the music. People since ages have resorted to music to feel better and to lift their spirit; there is no need of research to prove that you will definitely feel better after listening to a few dance numbers.

Don't spend too much time on Facebook

Though this may seem totally unrelated, a study published in the PLOS ONE journal has found that many young adults spend time on Facebook and begin comparing themselves with the others, resulting in a feeling of low self-esteem and loneliness. Human beings are meant to interact with each other in the real world and virtual interactions only serve to reduce human interactions in the physical level.

So follow these steps and stay happy. Remember, a happy person spreads only joy and contributes to world happiness.

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