What can you do to ensure that 2018 will be a truly happy year? Medical News Today look at some tips that researchers have recommended for a healthier، more fulfilling life. If there is anything that everyone undoubtedly wants in their life، it is that often elusive feeling of happiness. Famously، a high-profile engineer called Mo Gawdat has even come up with a kind of algorithm for happiness in his book Solve for Happy.
"Happiness is equal to or greater than the difference between the way you view the events in your life minus your expectations about how life should behave. Which means that if you perceive the events as equal to or greater than your expectations، you're happy — or at least not unhappy،" writes Gawdat.
He spends more than 300 pages aiming to explain the basis for this algorithm and his philosophy of happiness. But there is، of course، no miracle recipe that all of us can follow to feel that glow of joy 247.
In this article، we do not tell you how to reach Nirvana. Instead، we look at the small things that most of us can reasonably achieve in the New Year so that we may improve our mental and physical well-being.
Here are some steps that you can take starting right now to boost your quality of life. The rest is up to you، so mind that you keep your New Year's resolutions!
1. Be more active This year، many studies have focused on the role of physical exercise not only in keeping us fit، but also in improving other aspects of our physical and mental health.
A study conducted earlier this year by researchers at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan، Canada، found that women's perception of their own bodies improves after they exercise. The effect appears to be immediate and doesn't depend on mood or actual state of fitness after exercising.
Furthermore، numerous recent studies have shown that exercise can counteract and prevent depression، which affects 40 million adults in the United States every year.
As little as 1 hour of exercise each week، regardless of intensity، can keep mood disorders at bay، found researchers from Australia's Black Dog Institute.
And، if you're struggling to keep up the motivation to go out for a jog or ride your bike، then there's a simple fix: just focus on doing the kind of exercise that makes you happy.
"[A]ny movement is better than nothing،" explains Michelle Segar، from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor، so we should stop feeling guilty about not reaching a set target or not exercising at a certain intensity.
What's really important is to find the fitness routine that suits us best، so we can follow it more easily.
And، while we're considering what new sports or activities we could take up in the New Year to boost our happiness levels، why not try something off the trodden path? Bouldering has been found to alleviate symptoms of depression، such as low moods، fatigue، and a lack of concentration. Medics Today said.
Why not try yoga and meditation? Speaking of mindfulness، practices such as yoga and meditation have been found to boost quality of life and increase our sense of well-being.
Various recent studies have suggested that yoga is effective in tackling depression، and that it helps to lower anxiety and stress levels. These effects، the researchers found، can last for up to 4 months after participation in a yoga program.
According to a study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles، both yoga and meditation can improve psychological and physiological resistance to stress factors.
This، the authors note، may mean not only that the mental health of people who practice yoga and meditation is not easily affected by negative events، but also that their immune system is better prepared to handle emergencies.
Another study reports that yoga and meditation may even play a role in how our brain contributes to the process of gene expression.
"These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells، which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed،" asserts lead researcher Ivana Buric.