A friend told me last week that she knows exactly what will make her happy and does those things when she feels unhappy to try to change her mood. Obviously, these are short-term happiness fixes, but she thinks everyone should have a list. And not just in your head, but written down (See this video on Why we all need a happiness list).
It got me thinking, some people make bucket lists (what they want to do before they "kick the bucket") so why not make happiness lists just to be ready for when you're feeling slightly, or completely, miserable. Veerle swears that by going to her list she can make herself feel better every time.
In writing my own list I began to wonder how much we know about what really makes us happy. After all, most of us get it wrong when it comes to wanting more money: studies show that after a certain base income, more money doesn't make us much happier.
In order to further analyze the scientific validity of some of the items on my newly-written happiness list (for more see My happiness list: chat walks, snuggles, tanbark and obits), I have posted a few below and attached a bit on the corresponding studies from the field of happiness research.
A few things that make me happy (and the corresponding research)
- Taking a "chat walk". My former Manhattan roommate Penny and I invented the term. You could also call it an urban hike, but for those of us city folk, it's my favorite way to catch up with friends, take in the sites of the city and jointly ponder what we're all doing here. Research shows that friendship tends to have a bigger effect on happiness than income.