Becoming Happier

Amira Novitzke, Reporter

While I’m definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity, probably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier. Happy people accomplish more. That’s easier said then done, right? Actually, many changes are easy.

Think exercise is something you don’t have time for? Think again. There are seven minute workouts you can do just at home! That’s a workout any of us can fit into our schedules. Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it is an effective strategy for overcoming depression.

In a study three groups of patients treated their depression with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study are surprising. The groups were tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock came from the exercise group, their relapse rate was only 9 percent.

We know that sleep helps our body recover from the day and repair itself and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out sleep is also important for happiness. Studies show that when you are more tired, you are more sensitive to negative emotions like anger and fear.

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. If you want more evidence that time with friends is beneficial for you, research proves it can make you happier right now, too. Social time is very valuable when it comes to improving your happiness. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel.

As you grow older, you naturally become happier. There are still debates on why this happens, but some scientists think its because as you get older you learn to seek out situations that will lift their mood.

 

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