Happiness is tricky, and while some people may seem happy most of the time, others may struggle with finding meaning in their day-to-day lives. And while you can’t just ‘make yourself’ happy, there are science-backed actions you can take to work towards becoming happier now.

Happiness is defined as the state of being happy. And the word happy is defined as a state of joy or satisfaction. Of course, it’s impossible to be happy 100% of the time. But you can strive to find joy and satisfaction in your life as much as possible. Here are 6 science-based ways to become happier now.

1. Exercise

Before you roll your eyes and close out the article, hear me out. Exercise has been proven to have exponential benefits for mental health. Not only does it release endorphins (happiness chemicals)- studies show that exercise can alleviate symptoms of depression. And you don’t have to do any form of exercise that isn’t right for you. Yoga, dancing around your living room like a crazy person to pop-rock (don’t judge me), or taking a simple walk are all simple, yet effective forms of exercise.

2. Buy or plant flowers.

Harvard researchers discovered that keeping flowers around boosts your mood. Not only that, but participants also were more compassionate and worked harder in other areas of your life. Add to that the fact that flowers are pretty inexpensive (or free if you pick them in your yard.)

3. Smile

Have you ever heard the old saying “You’ve got to fake it to make it?” Well, as it turns out, it isn’t far from the truth. Research suggests that even if you aren’t feeling it- when you smile it helps activate the parts of your brain that enhance mood.

4. Take more microbreaks.

According to research, people who take mini-breaks during their busy day feel more motivated, energetic, and happy. And the benefits go above and beyond just mood enhancement- mini-breaks also boost the metabolism.

5. Listen to uplifting music.

Listening to music, especially uplifting music has so many benefits! Have you ever felt like you couldn’t shake a bad frame of mind, and then turned on the radio, only to feel instantly invigorated? Well, there’s a reason for this! According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience’s journal- music causes dopamine to be released in the brain.

6. Drink some coffee.

The Harvard School of Public Health tested men and women to see if coffee would improve their mood. They found that coffee can lead to more happiness and works as a mild anti-depressant. It won’t replace medication if that is what your doctor prescribed, but it’s helpful.

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