3 Ways To Increase Your Happiness Set Point
Do you know that we all have our own "happiness set point?" It's our baseline or average happiness level that we fluctuate up and down from. Luckily, we can increase our happiness set point. Here's how.
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Each of us has own own "Happiness set point", which is just our natural, everyday mood before being stressed out or excited by our daily events. Do you know what your happiness set point is? To find out, ask yourself, do you just walk around the world feeling a bit gloomy, or do you usually seem to be positive? This daily, regular experience is your happiness set point and all other emotions deviate, either positively or negatively, from this point.
Now wouldn’t it be great if you could shift your set point to be a little more positive? Well, good news. You can. Below are 3 ways to create powerful changes in your body that help you shift your set point upward, boosting your mood. With improved mood, not only is life more enjoyable, you'll have an easier time engaging in other happiness-increasing activities.
1. Get enough sleep
One way to adjust set point is to get more sleep. Not too much, but about 8 hours. You’ve probably heard that sleep has many positive benefits for our health, but getting enough sleep also helps us better manage our emotions. When we get enough sleep, we can better handle the ups and own of our daily lives, ensuring that our mood stays elevated.
2. Keep an eye on your nutrition
Like sleep, you’ve likely heard that good nutrition is essential for our physical health. But nutrition also effects our happiness. You see, certain foods, namely caffeine, affect your body in ways that can increase anxiety and harm sleep. So to maintain your happiness set point, try not to drink so much coffee and soda. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, and try to avoid excess sugar.
3. Exercise regularly, but not too much
Exercise is commonly applauded for its positive impacts on disease an overall health, but exercise has also been reliably shown to prevent and treat mental health issues. Both aerobic exercise and weight training have been found to boost mood and to be effective in maintaining an overall higher happiness set point. Keep in mind that higher intensity workouts appear to have the most benefit.
When we want to increase our happiness, it's helpful to keep in mind our happiness set point. If we shift is upwards, then increasing our happiness becomes a lot easier. So try these tricks out and see if you wake up every day a bit happier.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.