9 tricks to be happy for no reason

It is known that our behavior depends on emotions. But the opposite is also true: our mood depends on our actions. William James, one of the founders of scientific psychology, was the first to put forward this idea at the end of the 19th century. However, we received serious scientific confirmation only in the 1960s.

In the course of numerous studies, psychologists have ensured that people portrayed positive and negative emotions on their faces. For example, volunteers held a pencil in their teeth and their lips involuntarily folded into a smile. Or psychologists placed dummies of electrodes on the eyebrows of the subjects and asked them to move the “electrodes” as close to each other as possible, for this they had to frown their foreheads.

In another study, volunteers uttered certain sounds and words (for example, the well-known “cheese”). After that, the subjects were asked how they feel, whether they liked the study. The results convincingly showed that those who portrayed positive emotions actually experienced these emotions. By taking advantage of feedback, we can literally turn on joy and happiness.

1. Smile

To deceive our feelings, you do not need to stretch your lips in a fake smile: this will not work. Better do this exercise: relax the muscles of the forehead and cheeks, let your mouth open slightly; then strain the muscles in the corners of the mouth, trying, as it were, to pull them towards the ears; slightly raise your eyebrows. Your face should take on a joyfully surprised expression, hold it for at least 20 seconds. Do this exercise several times during the day, especially before stressful situations.

2. Get out of trouble

Many “magical” rituals involve the burning of failures and troubles written down on a piece of paper. And there is a rational grain in this. Singaporean researcher Li Xiuping asked students to write down their recent bad decision or action on paper. Some of the young people then sealed these records in an envelope. And even this simple action made them feel better. A symbolic farewell to failures relieved my worries. Try it too.

3. Get to know others

Usually, the closer people get to each other, the more they learn about each other. As with smiling, the reverse is also true. Psychologist Arthur Aron gave unfamiliar couples a list of 36 questions they were supposed to ask each other when they first met. As a result, people felt closeness and liking to the stranger with whom they exchanged personal information. At the same time, Aron’s questions did not at all concern any intimate details. Here are ten of them:

  1. Who would you invite to dinner if you could choose anyone?
  2. Would you like to become famous? In what field?
  3. Have you ever rehearsed for an upcoming phone call? What for?
  4. How do you envision your ideal day?
  5. When was the last time you sang to yourself? And for someone?
  6. If you were offered to keep the body or mind of a 30-year-old until the age of 90, which would you choose?
  7. What is your most treasured memory?
  8. And the worst thing?
  9. What are you most grateful for in life?
  10. If you could change anything in your life path, what would it be?

4. Repel the Bad, Attract the Good

Research shows that when we push something away from ourselves, we begin to feel worse about the object, even if we did not previously experience negative feelings. Conversely, when we bring something closer, we perceive that object more positively. This property can be used when you are on a diet . Push away harmful products from you, depicting disgust on your face, and useful, on the contrary, move towards you.

5. Use muscles and posture

When a person is determined, his muscles tense up, especially the muscles of the hand. No wonder they say: he gathered his will into a fist. As you probably already guessed, tightly clenched fists will help you get rid of indecision and lack of will. You can strain other muscles as well, or simply squeeze the handle with force in your fingers.

Social psychologist Ron Friedman conducted an interesting experiment. He gave volunteers to solve difficult anagrams. At the same time, one half of the subjects (as directed by Ron) stood with their arms crossed over their chests, and the other half with their hands on their hips. Surprisingly, those who crossed their arms were much more tenacious. If they couldn’t find a solution, they spent twice as much time trying. And those who stood with their hands on their hips quickly gave up.

Are you solving a difficult problem? Cross your arms over your chest.

6. Change your habits

British psychologists Ben Fletcher and Karen Pine studied people trying to lose weight. And they found that the rejection of other habitual patterns of behavior helps in the fight against excess weight . Even a simple change in the daily route to work had a beneficial effect. Therefore, if you are trying to get rid of a bad habit, try to break the normal course of life.

Try food you have never eaten. Go to a museum or an exhibition. Try to go to different stores, and not just the one closest to your home. Watch a movie that you would never have seen before.

7. Give yourself some comfort

A person who sits in a soft comfortable chair tends to be gentle and compliant himself. In simulating car price negotiations, psychologist Joshua Ackerman had some subjects sit in chairs and others on hard chairs. Those who sat on the hard side were more uncompromising and bargained more decisively. The results are quite expected. So if you want to feel a little happier, just sit back.

8. Drink something warm

Warmth has been associated since ancient times with safety and pleasant sensations, while cold invariably means something threatening and extremely unpleasant. Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado gave volunteers a cup of hot coffee or a cold drink and asked them to read a short description of a stranger. Lawrence then asked, “What do you think of this man’s personality?” Those who received the coffee rated the stranger better than those who drank the cold.

If you want to please someone, treat them to hot coffee, not iced lemonade. And do not forget to sit in an easy chair.

9. Feel the power of togetherness

An easy way to get rid of loneliness is to do something in sync with everyone. Researchers at the University of Southern California asked volunteers to walk in step for a while and sing the national anthem together. The other group walked the same routes, but at random, and they just listened to the anthem. After that, the subjects played a board game, where everyone had a choice: to help other players or interfere and win more. Those who walked in step and sang the national anthem were more likely to choose the helping strategy. Thus, even mechanical unity evokes in us a sense of community.

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