Psychology has loads of findings which can potentially allow us to lead happier – or at least more content – lives! Here are 10 which can improve yours. Or at least make you smile and think…
10 Research Findings Which Will Improve Your Life.
- A payrise won’t actually make you happy. At least not for long1. Don’t do it for the money.
Social connections, on the other hand will not only make you happier, you’ll live longer2. Double. bonus. Make more positive connections.
You may think so, but it is probably not all their fault3. We are terrible at recognising the effects of the situation on others behaviour. Give people a break!
You may not think so, but it might just actually be your fault! We are terrible at overestimating the effects of the situation on our own behaviour4. Learn from your mistakes!
People who help others actually receive more help themselves5. Help people more.
Singing creates oxytocin, the ‘happy-bonding pheromone’6. Sing more.
Being nice to people is important. Social rejection and pain share the same neural pathway7. Be nicer.
You can’t multi-task and be your most productive8. No-one can. Stop trying and get on with one thing.
Writing down an affirmation of what you want to achieve makes it more likely to happen9. Be affirmative.
If you can stay ‘in the moment’ and mindful you will be happier10. Try and be more present.
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- Diener, E. and Biswa-Diener, R. (2008). Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth. Wiley-Blackwell. ↩
- Jetten, J., Haslam, C., & Haslam, S.A. (2014). The Social Cure. Milton Park, UK. Routledge. ↩
- Gilbert, D. T., & Malone, P. S. (1995). The correspondence bias. Psychological Bulletin, 117(1), 21-38. ↩
- Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ↩
- Nowak, M.A. (2006). Evolutionary Dynamics. Exploring the Equations of Life. Harvard University Press ↩
See our blog post on singing
- Eisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science, 302(5643), 290-292. ↩
- Crenshaw, D (2008). The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done. San Franciso. Wiley ↩
- Ferrer, R. A., Shmueli, D., Bergman, H. E., Harris, P. R., & Klein, W. M. (2012). Effects of self-affirmation on implementation intentions and the moderating role of affect. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 300-307. ↩
- Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822-848. ↩