Did you know there are 10 scientifically proven Happiness Principles that boost happiness and wellbeing?
No, nor did we – until we discovered the Making Mums Happy programme, a three-week course of daily ‘happiness tasks’ from online support group Netmums.
The course is based on these 10 simple Happiness Principles:
- Count your blessings. Studies show that people who practice ‘grateful thinking’ are healthier, feel better about their lives and are more optimistic about the future.
- Have a good laugh every day. Laughter releases feel-good chemicals into our bodies and has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost the immune system, among other things.
- Cut TV viewing by half. It’s been proved that watching less telly makes us happier – the happiest people watch TV for two hours or less.
- Plant something and look after it. Gardening – even on the windowsill – has been shown to improve physical and mental health and reduce stress.
- Get physical. We all know that exercise is good for us and releases those feel-good chemicals, though it’s often hard to get started. For many mums, bite-size activities that fit in to their daily lives work best. See our FitMama app for some ideas to get you started.
- Talk time. An hour’s conversation with a friend or partner once a week helps maintain our closest relationships.
- Say hello to a stranger every day. Sharing an emotional bond with someone, no matter how fleeting, releases yet more feel-good chemicals, and others which lower blood pressure.
- Phone a friend or relation. Not just people we call every day, but someone we haven’t spoken to for a while – catching up with old friends is a proven happiness habit.
- Treat yourself every day. Doing something for ourselves, like a home pedicure or reading a magazine, is an important boost to our self-esteem.
- Do a good turn with a daily kindness. Performing an act of kindness wakes up those happy chemicals again, as well as those which reduce blood pressure. And it makes other people feel good too!
The Netmums team tested their Making Mums Happy programme on over 1,000 mums in 2006, improving their happiness levels by more than 10%. So go on – give it a go! It’s friendly, encouraging and fun, and can be found at the NetMums site
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