Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier.
The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that, according to research in the US, the more time teens spent on their devices, the more their psychological well being decreased. Increased mobile phone use has also been linked to depression and anxiety. Teens who spent 20 hours or more on their devices each week were least happy. So basically, teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier. You can find out more here.
David Hamilton's book, The Five Side Effects of Kindness, is a very interesting read. Being kind makes you happier. The science behind this is that, when we are kind it boosts our levels of oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin which are the body's happy chemicals. It even produces endorphins which are the brain's natural versions of morphine and heroin. So you can get a totally legal high by being kind. The book is full of examples of acts of kindness too. If you don't have time to read the whole book, you can check out his blog post here.
Here is another great article by Andrew Matthews on 5 Happiness Tips Anyone Can Use. He starts the article with this statement, Happy people don't have less problems. They think differently. All five tips are obvious and easy to do if you really want to. My favourite is quit complaining. You can read the full article here.
Happiness seems to be the ultimate goal in many people's lives. But seeking happiness is like trying to find the end of a rainbow. The closer you try to get to it, the further away it moves. Happiness isn't something you find when you're looking for it, happiness is something you achieve when you follow a higher goal or purpose, like helping others.
According to www.dictionary.com a natural high is a euphoric or excited state that is not due to ingestion of drugs or another substance. Drugs and alcohol can give you a high but they also have some rather unfortunate side effects such as drug induced psychosis and inhibited judgement. Why not try a natural high - here are some suggestions:
Go for a run
Do some vigorous exercise
Try yoga or Pilates
Eat spicy food - try a vindaloo curry
Listen to music
Sing or play an instrument
Give someone a hug
Go bush - go hiking or camping
Have a good laugh
Do something that scares you (within reason - I'm scared of sharks but that doesn't mean I'm going to go swimming with one to get a natural high)
Eat healthy food
Eat chocolate (not too much)
Do something nice for someone
Play frisbee with a friend
Bag a bargain at the shops
Go for a walk on the beach
Go swimming in the ocean (watch out for sharks)
Play with a puppy
Swing on a swing
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Just because you're having a bad day, doesn't mean you have to stay down in the dumps. It's called being resilient when you can bounce back. There's a great article on www.tinybuddha.com by Sirena Bernal on 10 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day in 10 Minutes or less. The first three are:
1. Sing along to your favourite song
2. Take a shower
3. Watch a funny youTube video.
If you want to find our more check out the full article here.
In his 2011 TED Talk, Ron Gutman referred to recent research about smiling. Apparently one smile creates the same amount of brain stimulation as eating 2000 chocolate bars! It is also healthier as it reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine while increasing the level of mood enhancing hormones like endorphins - basically it makes you feel better. You can view the whole talk here.
The Sunday Times published this article on the weekend. To feel happier they suggested:
1. Hug someone.
2. Pet an animal.
3. Buy some flowers.
4. Turn up your favourite song.
5. Wear Yellow.
If you need more ideas check out this article from www.bodyandsoul.com.au of 100 ways to be happy (Note: not all of them are suitable for teenagers).
When you are happy, you smile and apparently, when you smile, you are happy. Psychologists have found that even faking a smile can make you feel happier and help you deal with difficult situations. So next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, grin and bear it! For more information see Andrew Merle's article, The Science of Smiling, in the Huffington Post.