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Unlocking Joy: 6 Science-Backed Tips for a Happier Life in the Modern World

Why does it seem that there is so much depression nowadays?

It’s no surprise that depression has been cataloged as “a disease of modernity.” Modern lifestyle is making us sick: we are overfed, malnourished, sedentary, sunlight-deficient, sleep-deprived, and socially isolated.

Clinical depression needs professional health. With that said, if you feel some level of discouragement, fatigue, or melancholy, you may benefit from changing some daily habits.

In this article, you will find 6 tips to promote a healthier, happier lifestyle, according to science.

1. Push yourself to wake up earlier.

I know what you may think: “But I am a night owl!”. Yes, I was also a night owl, and let me tell you that it is 100% possible to change that with discipline and will.

There is magic in watching the sunset every day, and it has so many benefits. The ancient Indian healing tradition, Ayurveda, explains that waking up super early (between 4 and 6 AM) is one of the best ways to prevent negative thinking and depression.

But let’s take a look at what science has to say:

According to a 2021 study, those who wake up an hour earlier than usual were at a 23% lower risk of developing symptoms of depression. Natural sunshine helps us restore our circadian rhythms. Besides, we feel less rushed and stressed during the morning.

2. Drink enough water

A 2020 survey showed that people who drink six or more glasses of water a day were the most likely to strongly agree they are “very happy.”

Dehydration makes us grumpy. When we drink enough water, our body works well, and we will feel more energy.

Even in terms of mental health, those who drink the least amount of water are at the highest risk of depression, according to a 2018 study.

So, grab a 1L water bottle and push yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, and then drink it twice.

3. Wash regularly under cold water

Who doesn't feel like new after a good shower?

Yes, cold showers may not sound pleasant if you are not used to them. However, they can help you feel happier.

All those electrical impulses that are sent to the brain can trigger the release of endorphins (happy hormones) and decrease the symptoms of depression.

If you can control the temperature of your shower, start with the temperature you are used to and gradually lower it.

4. Go for a walk

Sedentarism is killing us, both inside and outside. So, going for a walk is a wonderful addition to your daily routine.

According to science, it lowers the risk of depression and anxiety, improves self-confidence, and prevents ruminating over negative experiences.

Grab some nice shoes, go for a walk, and notice those mundane details you generally ignore. Fall in love with everyday things.

5. Eat healthy and avoid processed food

Many people love eating pizza and hot dogs and believe it will make them happier.

However, pleasure is not the same as happiness. Although processed food may taste good and make you feel instant pleasure, it will impact your physical and mental well-being in the long run.

Eating healthy will not only make your body feel better. It will also make you happier!

Multiple studies show that adding whole foods to your diet will positively impact your happiness and well-being.

If you think you don’t have time to prepare healthy food, browse the internet, and you will find thousands of healthy recipes for busy people. Give it a try. It will be worth it, I promise!

6. Build meaningful relationships

A Harvard study gathered information from 724 participants around the world for 85 years to answer this question: What makes us happy?

Here is the most consistent answer they found: Positive relationships keep us happier and healthier and help us live longer. That’s it.

People who were the most satisfied with their lives were not those who had more money but those who had more meaningful and healthier relationships.

So, maybe too much effort in your job won’t make you happy. Instead, take some time to message old friends and suggest a catch-up soon.

Final thoughts

Yes, eating junk food and watching Netflix all day alone in your room will not make you happier.

We often believe that happiness appears from outside sources, but sometimes happiness is as simple as creating good habits.

More often than not, a balanced body and mind translate into a happy life. Although it may not solve all problems, it is a good place to start.

Then, you can add other practices: meditation, reading, journaling, setting new goals, etc.

Ask yourself, how many of these practices am I currently doing?

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Dilshan S. De Mel
Dilshan S. De Mel
15 dic 2023

Amazing as always! Really interesting article!

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