A number of factors contribute to the level of happiness a person possesses and how it is sustained. Scientists have examined this phenomenon for years, and there are now certain factors that they believe significantly correlate to the happiness a person feels.
Your relationship with happiness continues to evolve and transform throughout your entire lifetime as stress levels, responsibilities and other components change around you. Happiness depends on many factors, and criteria for what makes you happy can change over time as you age. However, some components seem consistent throughout many demographics, and understanding them can help you work towards greater happiness in your own life.
As highly social creatures, humans need interaction and solid interpersonal relationships to be content. Well-grounded relationships are associated with better health and longer life expectancy. Whether these relationships are familial, friendship or work-related, interacting and connecting with others plays an integral role in your level of happiness.
Relationships are connected to strong emotions, with positive ones producing a feeling of calm and contentment. Toxic relationships bring about anxiety and depression and can be detrimental to mental health. It is crucial to identify the positive relationships and excise harmful ones to affect happiness positively.
This kind of control requires that you be an active agent in your own life, which is also beneficial for your happiness levels. It is not necessary to change the entire world, but knowing you have the power to control your destiny can contribute significantly to your happiness.
Your location can influence your mood in a major way, and living in a calm place has been proven to lead to more happiness. However, everyone’s desires differ, and choosing where you want to live based on happiness is a privilege available to few people.
While some prefer a rural environment, a more urban environment is beneficial for others. Having access to nature has also been proven to affect mental health positively. Feeling a sense of security yields an accepting environment and is one of the keys to happiness.
There have been many studies done on the correlation between money and its effect on overall health. Recent research has shown that a higher income only brings happiness up to a certain amount, with findings suggesting that having more money doesn’t fulfill the cornerstones of psychological needs, such as a sense of belonging and competence.
While money doesn’t buy happiness, a comfortable amount of income that allows you to live without fear of financial ruin correlates to more happiness. Studies have found that in the United States, once income reaches $75,000 a year, overall happiness ceases to increase.
It is generally accepted that exercise can improve both overall health and mental state, with research showing that even working out as little as 10 minutes a day can improve mood.
Physical activity enhances happiness by releasing the body’s endorphins and regulating serotonin levels while boosting positive vibes. Additionally, exercise increases circulation that assists the body in healing itself both mentally and physically.
Sleep deprivation affects a significant proportion of Americans, with studies linking proper rest to a happy outlook. Suffering from a lack of sleep increases depression and elevates stress levels as it causes hormone levels to dysregulate.
Some studies indicate that improper sleep position can lead to poor sleep quality and physical pain, contributing negatively to your overall mood. To positively affect happiness, you should sleep on a mattress that’s suited to your needs. For example, if you sleep on your back, look into obtaining the best mattress for back sleepers to get the most mood improvement out of your night’s sleep.
The foods we consume play an important role in mental health, with the digestive system hosting trillions of microscopic bacteria that directly correlate with happiness. Research indicates that diets that prominently feature more fruits and vegetables lead to healthier moods, a significant benefit as the gut microbiome within the digestive system produces 95% of the serotonin in the body.
Change Your Habits to Boost Your Happiness
Across several research studies, what is definitively known about happiness is that it is a target in constant motion. Achieving it involves balancing all of the critical components that comprise it. Happiness is not just one experience, but an ongoing pursuit.