spring-in-your-step

4 Ways to Put Spring in Your Step (& Be Happier Right Now)

Dan Buettner has traveled the world to identify the statistically happiest populations on earth. Academically speaking, happiness is a meaningless term because you can’t measure it; instead we use a composite of things you can measure like health, emotional well-being, and the extent to which you’re living out your values. While there are many ways to boost your happiness in the long run, here are four things Dan says you can do right now:

Invest in Others

One of the best bits of relationship advice I ever received came from Ed Diener, a revered happiness expert. He used to winter in Illinois, and many mornings, ice covered both his and his wife’s car windows. I remember he told me, “When I wake up in the morning, I want to scrape off her windows before my own.” His message: find the partner, or develop the mindset, wherein you get more joy out of doing something nice for them, than for yourself.

Eat Your Fruit

Odds are, you need more fiber, folate, potassium and vitamins A and C in your diet. To get these nutrients, stock up on grapes, apricots, berries, peaches, cranberries, pineapple, watermelon, bananas, raisins, pears, oranges, and clementines. If eaten daily, the many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and enzymes in these healthy treats prevent disease and promote longevity.

[Related: Good Mood Foods—How Diet Affects Happiness]

Sleep

If you slept fewer than six hours last night, you were 30 percent less happy than you could be today. Note to self: The longest-lived, happiest people sleep between seven and 8.5 hours per night. How much do you normally sleep? Is it enough?

Take a Walk

I recently met a 50-year-old executive who was earning mid-six figures at his job. But he hated it. Finally, he mustered the courage to quit. Shortly after, he began to walk every day. “I used to do it occasionally, but it was always a rushed workout,” he said. “Now, it’s my daily routine and I’ve never been happier.”

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