Would you like to be happier? Well, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a greater sense of happiness is well within your reach!

Researchers have found that minor changes in behavior can make people happier. You simply need to do the following:

  • Talk to strangers – I’m an introvert, so this sounds a little frightening to me. But researchers have found that talking to strangers (like a fellow commuter, or the barista who serves you coffee at Starbucks) is uplifting and gives people a sense of well-being.
  • Become a matchmaker – No, I’m not kidding. Researchers have found that acting as a matchmaker for your friends can increase your feelings of happiness. And the more unlikely the match, the happier you will feel! So get busy trying to fix up your difficult, single friend!
  • Avoid temptations (like chocolate) – Researchers took a group of chocolate-loving people, and divided them into groups. One group was given a big bag of chocolate to eat. Another group was told to avoid eating any chocolate. A week later, they brought the study participants into the lab and asked them to sample chocolates. The people who had been eating chocolate all week didn’t get much pleasure from this experience. But the people who had been avoiding chocolate felt very positive and happy. So apparently, to increase your feelings of happiness, you just need to avoid temptations – at least for a little while.
  • Walk in a happy way – This one sounds the most doable to me. Research has shown that if you walk in a happy way, you will actually feel happier! How do you walk in a happy way? Walk at a good pace, stand up straight, swing your arms, and move up and down (instead of swaying from side to side). Easy! I tried this technique just now, and I’m feeling happier already!

So what do you think of these suggestions? Are you willing to give them a try? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section below!

Reddy, S. (2014, November 18). Walk this way: Acting happy can make it so. The Wall Street Journal, pp. D3.