10 ways to generate happiness.

How to boost happiness in 2022, based on science.

There are tons of things you can do to boost your happiness now. The research shows that the strategies that work best depend on you—on your interests, strengths, and abilities. So here are a bunch of strategies to try. You can choose your favorites.


1. Find out what to do first.

How are you supposed to build the right happiness skills if you don't know who you really are and what really serves you? This is why it's helpful to take this quiz that I created to explore your True Nature.That way, you can make an educated decision about what to focus on first. You can also take the Berkeley Wellness happiness strengths + weaknesses quiz to find out what to focus on first!


2. Give yourself a confidence boost.

Why would you bother increasing your happiness if you didn't think you could be successful at it? You wouldn't. That's why it's so important to build your confidence — to prove to yourself that you can increase your happiness. The best way to do this is by starting with easier skills — skills like gratitude or prioritizing your JOY. Get a quick win, and you'll be more confident that you really can change your life.

3. Fuel your progress by learning about yourself.

You wouldn't practice math to get better at cooking. And you wouldn't learn another language to lose weight. To be happier, you'll likely make more progress by focusing on the skills that are most closely linked to happiness. In my research, the skill that usually turns out to be most closely linked to happiness is: self-worth. Luckily, you can learn about yourself in simple ways —for example, notice your breathing by sitting quietly for 5 minutes and listen to/watching the movement of your breath. You can also do this by asking yourself these questions: “what do I love? How do I know this? How do I bring this into my reality on a daily basis?”

4. Create balance and overcome burnout.

How are you supposed to have the energy to boost happiness if you're stressed, exhausted ,and miserable from work? It will be really hard. Building the skill of self-connection will help you release the expectation that ALL OF YOU needs to be poured into work and embrace the truth that you matter outside of your work and career success.

5. Build a growth mindset for happiness.

Growth mindset refers to the belief that we can change ourselves. When we build a growth mindset for happiness, we believe we can change our happiness. This is super important, because if we don't believe we can increase our happiness, we won't even bother to try.

6. Make positive memories.

Every region in our brains can be strengthened through practice. If our brains are really good at remembering negative things that happen, it can be useful to strengthen the regions of the brain responsible for remembering positive things.

7. Find those silver linings.

Everything we experience can be a bummer if we choose to see it that way. But when you search for the benefits or silver linings in your life, you may be surprised to discover a lot more good than you thought. Keep thinking positive to decrease negative emotions to cultivate happiness.

8. Take breaks from social media.

Facebook tends to have a negative effect on our happiness. By choosing to take breaks from technology—or changing the way we use technology—we can boost our happiness. Get outside, get with real friends, or enjoy your peaceful solitude!

9. Spend smarter for more happiness.

How we spend our money impacts our happiness. If we constantly tell ourselves, “I can’t afford this” “I shouldn’t buy this” (even when it’s something you genuinely want or would improve your life) you are telling the universe and yourself that you don’t really want or deserve that. Don’t just tell yourself you matter, start putting your money where your mouth is.

10. End your self-sabotaging patterns of thinking.

Let's face it: Sometimes we are what's making us miserable. We just can't stop thinking about how so-and-so wronged us, or how our life didn't turn out as we hoped. Self-defeating thought processes — like worrying, ruminating, and self-judgment— just keep us miserable and unable to move forward. When you find yourself thinking negatively, pause and refocus your thoughts. The more you do this, the more your brain will be able to do this on its own.


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This article is written with support from Berkeley Wellness.


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