You may have read a large number of articles in magazines, newspapers, books and internet with tips for living a healthy and fulfilling life. Things like meditation, taking a day off or being an understanding husband are different ways that helps people to make themselves happy. However, there are random activities that you would have never expected that can actually make you feel better about yourself and your life in general. They are as follows:
Watching Sad Movies
According to a research, watching a sad movie makes a person feel happy. Researchers conducted a study which included 100 participants who were made to see a film called, “Atonement” which is described as one of the depressing movie ever made. Before the movie started, the participants were asked, how happy they are in their life, including their goals and their relationships. During the movie, they were asked the same questions three more times. As soon as the movie was over, they were asked to rate their emotions.
They found out that the participants had become happier after watching the sad movie. Researchers theorized that they subconsciously compared their close relationships with the terrible tragedies onscreen. Watching others fail in their lives made them feel better about their own lives. So, next time you are sad or had a fight with your spouse, consider watching a sad movie, which will instantly help you feel better about the poor decisions you have ever made in your life.
Eat Red Meat
In a study, researchers found that the Australian woman who ate the recommended amount of red meat were less likely to be depressed. Researchers believed that the happiness was due to the presence of high levels of nutrients and omega-2 in the Australian red meat.
Keep your mind busy
You know that keeping yourself physically active is good for your internal happiness meter, but did you know that keeping your brain busy makes you happier rather than just lying on a sofa or on a beach. In a study, researchers found that the participants who multitasked, experienced happiness and emotional fulfillment than those who focussed on a single task.
In another study, researchers made the participant say a large number of positive and negative phrases quickly. Regardless of what they were saying, they felt a positive emotional boost from just thinking on a rapid and continuous pace. Such an emotional boost was due to release of a chemical called dopamine, which is a feel-good hormone. It is an important part of self-regulating system which is responsible for making you productive. Thus, the more tasks you give your brain to accomplish, the more dopamine gets released into your system.
Riding the Subway
Boarding an underground train can be a nightmare for some people as they do not like to sit next to the muttering strangers. However, researchers discovered that riding in a subway can actually make people happy. A study was conducted which included participants who drove to work. The researchers made them change their routine to daily subway ride for an entire month. Before the month began, researchers asked them questions regarding their lives and well-being. They were also asked to express their feelings regarding riding in a subway for a month. Most of them felt that it was going to be a nightmare. But that’s not what happened.
Over a course of a month, the participant’s moods and attitudes towards the subway improved. So much so that by the end of the month, they felt better about their general well-being and much content with their lives than before the experiment began. This is considered as focusing illusion. It means that the participants were so focused on the negative aspect of riding in a subway that they overlooked the advantages of travelling in public transport. The advantages can be low-stress level, taking a nap, reading a book or just sitting quietly with your own thoughts. On the other hand, driving yourself to work every day can be stressful with no chance to relax.
Thus, you can take a bus or a subway at least once in a while which could improve your general well-being.
A study was conducted which included 30,000 people from 34 countries. In the study it was found out that the more the housework men do, the happier they become. The research suggested that men are more supportive of gender equality roles than previously and so when they see their wives doing housework all alone, they feel guilty. So, they help their wives in cleaning the couch, the toilet and feel happy for helping their wives.
Researchers have also found that the act of trimming the grass makes you feel happy. When you cut the grass, certain chemicals are released that blocks the stress receptors in your brain, which may help you to calm down. Moreover, you can get a decent cardio workout from pushing the lawnmower back and forth. This kind of activity releases endorphins that may make you feel happy.
Thinking about death
Researchers suggest that when people think about death, they become more pleasant and less grumpy. To test this, researchers conducted an experiment in which they examined how people behave when the concept of death is introduced in their minds. In the experiment, they had a group of people walking near a cemetery and another group walking a block away, next to nothing in particular. An actor would passed both two groups and accidentally drop his notebook. Researchers noticed that the group of people near the cemetery showed altruistic behaviour and helped the actor to pick up his book. However, another group did not show any such behaviour.
Researchers theorized that the graveyard made them think about death. Whenever people are reminded of their mortality, they want to be a better person and want to spend their short life in a positive and a valuable way. Such thought process led the group of people near the cemetery to help the actor.
Thus, these are some of the most surprising things that most of us have never thought of, which can make us happy. Things that make us happy may differ from one person to the other. But have you ever tried these things? If not, try out and you will definitely see some positive results.