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Do you want to be happy? Researchers indicate habits to achieve happiness

Money may not buy happiness, but some simple habits help you achieve a happier life, according to scientists. A team of researchers at the University of Bristol have developed a course called “Science of Happiness ” which shows that contentment can be learned and achieved with a series of practices that must be maintained in the long term.

In a recent study, published in March this year in the scientific journal Higher Educationresearchers discovered that the habits taught in the course can lead to increased well-being, especially when they are part of people's daily lives.

“It’s like going to the gym – you can’t expect to do one class and be in shape forever. As with physical health, we have to continually work on our mental health, otherwise improvements will be temporary”, says senior author of the research, Bruce Hood.

Launched in 2018, the “Science of Happiness” course was the first of its kind in the UK. The objective is to teach students what studies in the areas of psychology and neuroscience say about happiness. According to the current study, students who took the course reported a 10% to 15% improvement in well-being . Furthermore, those who maintained the habits learned in the course maintained this level of well-being two years later.

What are the practices taught by the course?

You habits that can lead to happiness according to the “Science of Happiness” course, are:

  • Talking to strangers, even though many people avoid these types of meetings;
  • Giving gifts to other people, as this activates reward centers in the brain, providing happiness;
  • Have a good quality of sleep;
  • Walk in nature;
  • Perform acts of kindness;
  • Practice meditation;
  • Pay attention to the events and positive aspects of each day;
  • Practice physical activity;
  • Practice gratitude.

“Much of what we teach revolves around positive psychology interventions that take your attention away from yourself, helping others, being with friends, giving thanks, or meditating,” says Hood. “This is the opposite of the current 'self-care' doctrine, but countless studies have shown that getting out of our heads helps us move away from the negative ruminations that can underlie so many mental health problems.”

These lessons are also available in the book “The Science of Happiness: Seven Lessons for Living Well” (“The Science of Happiness: Seven Lessons for Living Well”, in literal translation from English), launched by Professor Hood in March.

Source: CNN Brasil

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