19 Keys to Well-Being, According to Science

No matter what your idea of feeling good is, you can live a full, happy, and fulfilled life. Discover 19 keys to well-being!
19 Keys to Well-Being, According to Science

Written by Daniela Andarcia

Last update: 16 January, 2023

What does it mean to feel good? If we ask several people, it’s very likely that everyone will have a different opinion or perception. Perhaps for you, feeling good means appreciating the person you’ve become, having the opportunity to make your dreams come true, or perhaps having sincere friends. In fact, whatever your version is, you can live a full, happy, and fulfilling life. Sometimes all you need to do is change or establish certain habits. With that in mind, we want to talk to you about 19 keys to well-being.

Feeling good, 19 keys to well-being

Certain habits may not be tailored to you, cause you stress, or not fit your lifestyle. In these cases, learn how to get rid of them. So, how can you find out what works for you and what doesn’t? With time and practice. Discover the following keys to well-being to discover which ones best suit you!

1. Smile sincerely

Whenever you smile, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine. When released, it gives you the feeling of being happy. So it’s not entirely absurd to interpret a smile as a telltale sign of happiness: It’s almost impossible to smile and not feel a sense of well-being.

If you smile often, even if you’re feeling down, you can improve your mood. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to put a fake smile on your face – it should be genuine.

It might be a bit difficult, but when you feel sad, try a little smile; you’ll notice an immediate change.

2. Exercise

Exercise, one of the rules of feeling good.
How about practicing some sport? The health benefits are incalculable.

Exercising regularly isn’t just about keeping your body healthy; it also helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and the symptoms of depression, and even raises self-esteem. It produces a greater feeling of happiness.

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t really like to play sports, don’t worry. There’s no need to train daily until you’re exhausted. A simple training routine is enough to make a difference.

Some ideas for moving more could be:

  • Basic yoga or tai chi techniques.
  • Taking a little walk after dinner
  • Doing 5 minutes of stretching when you wake up

Recreational activities are great for exercising and having fun at the same time. Try to involve your friends. That way, you’ll share pleasant moments and you’ll receive many benefits.

3. Sweet dreams

It seems like not sleeping has become trendy. Indeed, the society we live in has become very demanding, and more and more people report not getting enough sleep or not getting quality sleep.

Putting work before restful sleep can lead to many long-term health problems.

An adult should get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If during the day you feel you need to sleep, have a heavy body, or can’t concentrate, chances are you aren’t getting enough rest at night.

To improve your sleep quality, follow these tips:

  • To understand or better control your sleep pattern, take note of how many hours you sleep you get each night for a week and how rested you feel when you wake up.
  • Try creating a sleep routine. Go to bed and try to get up at the same time every day, even if you’re on vacation or it’s the weekend.
  • Before going to bed, try a relaxing activity, such as taking a bath or reading a book. Instead, avoid eating or drinking too much and also try to stay away from screens for at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.
  • Organize your room so that it’s a cool, quiet, and dark place.
  • Buy comfortable bedding.
  • Limit your naps to 20 minutes.

If this still doesn’t improve your sleep quality, it may be time to go to the doctor.

4. The best foods for feeling good

It’s a well-known fact that food can have a positive or negative effect on the health of the body, but not everyone knows that it can also influence your mood.

  • Simple carbohydrates stimulate the production of serotonin. However, when consumed in large quantities, they create a short-lived energy spike, followed by a sharp drop. Therefore, complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole grains, or legumes are better options.
  • Protein-rich foods such as legumes, lean meat, and dairy products release norepinephrine and dopamine. These two substances provide energy and aid concentration.
  • Industrial or fried foods can make you feel depressed.

If you like sweets and the temptation is too strong, try replacing cookies with something sweet but healthy, like fruit and yogurt. It’ll leave you just as satisfied, but with a lot more energy.

5. Gratitude, one of the keys to well-being

According to a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, feeling gratitude brings out feelings of happiness and hope. It can therefore improve your mood.

In the small moments where you can take a pause, such as while you’re in an elevator or while you’re brushing your teeth, think about the things you can be grateful for. Focusing on this type of thinking at least once a day is good for your physical and mental health.

Being grateful, even for just one small gesture received, makes us more aware of what’s around us and helps to keep us positive.

6. Give compliments

Kindness produces a feeling of satisfaction. This is confirmed by a study published in The Journal of Social Psychology. Sending a sincere and genuine compliment can not only make someone’s day happy but yours as well.

If you want the compliment to be effective, the best way is to get the person’s attention and give them the compliment accompanied by a smile so they can see that you’re sincere. Try to observe their reaction – this could make you feel very good.

7. Practice deep breathing

Who hasn’t lost control? In these cases, in order to find peace of mind, the first thing you need to do is take a long, deep breath. It could be the best way to calm yourself down.

According to an article published in Harvard Health Publishing, deep breathing can be effective in reducing stress. When you feel on the verge of losing control, try doing this.

  1. Close your eyes and turn your mind to a happy memory or a beautiful place.
  2. Breathe calmly and deeply through your nose.
  3. Then, let the air out little by little.
  4. Follow these steps as often as necessary until you feel calm.

8. Accept difficult times

There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you’re going through a bad time. Being happy or staying positive when everything seems to be working against you can be exhausting. If you’re not in a good mood or you get bad news, don’t try to hide it and pretend you’re happy.

Keep in mind that it’s not healthy to be stuck in sadness for a long time. Allow yourself to experience this feeling, but then let it go.

9. Write in a diary

You may need help analyzing your feelings, organizing your thoughts, and making plans for the future. A good way to get ideas flowing is to keep a journal.

If you’re not that good at describing your feelings, at least try to put down some thoughts; it doesn’t matter if you tear the page out, tear it apart, or throw it away. What matters is the writing process – it will help you break free.

10. Deal with stressful situations

It may sound paradoxical, but there’s also positive stress. Life is full of factors that cause stress, but not all of them are harmful. For example, they’re useful when you need to get out of your comfort zone.

Taking on a situation that causes us tension head-on helps, first of all, to eliminate stress at its root, but it also helps you grow as a person. The sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll regain your balance.

11. Learn to get organized

You need at least 30 minutes, twice a week. This time is enough to put some corners of your home in order. For example, your closet, the kitchen drawers, or the living room shelves, as long as you keep order afterward.

These small efforts have a good effect at the end of the month. For greater effectiveness and time control, set a timer: 25 minutes to tidy up and clean specific areas of your room, living room, kitchen, or bathroom.

Use the remaining minutes to collect the misplaced items that create the most disorder.

12. Friends, one of the most important keys to well-being

Four friends laughing as they share a pizza.
Smiling and being with your friends: The essence of feeling good!

Quality friendships add emotional value and undoubtedly make us happy. Sometimes communicating by telephone isn’t enough. As social beings, we need human contact; that’s why seeing our loved ones at least once a week to be able to talk is undoubtedly comforting.

And if your closest friends live far away, you can explore other options like signing up for activity groups you enjoy. Sharing the same interests with other people offers conversation points and broadens your circle of acquaintances.

Are you convinced that making friends in adulthood is almost impossible? It’s scientifically proven that having a four-legged friend is as effective as human friendships.

13. Plan your week

Sunday’s the ideal time to plan the new start of the week. Try making a simple list that you can then gradually build up. Include jobs that can’t be postponed, like doing laundry and going grocery shopping.

Determination and commitment are the keys to meeting these deadlines, just as respecting the plan is vital to creating certain weekly habits. Don’t forget to add the activities you enjoy: Put them on paper or, if you prefer, on your cell phone calendar.

14. Put the phone away for a while

For at least one hour a week, set aside your phone, tablet, headphones, and any other device that keeps you connected to the digital world. This way, you can freely engage in other activities such as reading, walking, playing a game, practicing a sport, etc.

Start by turning it off for a short time, gradually increasing it until you reach the hour threshold. This gesture will make you appreciate everything around you more than ever.

15. Enjoy nature

Taking a walk for at least 45 minutes in the countryside, sleeping a little on the grass, or spending an afternoon on the beach enjoying the sound of the waves are all relaxing and rewarding activities.

A study published in Scientific Reports showed that spending 30 minutes in places like these reduces symptoms of depression and lowers blood pressure.

16. Feel good with meditation

Meditation is an activity to discover, as there are various methods for practicing it. For example, you can focus on movement, concentration, spiritual mantras, or a mixture of these.

Without a doubt, meditation is an interesting activity and it’s far from complicated. You can start by sitting quietly for about 8 minutes in a cool, relaxing place while trying to apply deep breathing exercises.

Overall, this will help you relieve negative emotions and improve your emotional health. Its continuous practice will make you aware of how important your attitude towards life is in order to achieve happiness.

17. Feel good with the help of a therapist

If you feel you need help, you can consider therapy. A therapist can offer you the resources and strategies you need to deal with problems that seem too overwhelming for you to handle on your own.

You can think of one meeting a week, even if you don’t feel bad. You don’t need to be going through a crisis to try the tools of therapy.

18. A weekly care routine is one of the keys to well-being

Taking care of yourself includes a series of habits ranging from hygiene to food, clothing, and outward appearance.

Small habits, such as a hot bath, a beauty mask, or a 30-minute run help make us feel refreshed. Find time to pamper yourself and feel special.

19. Learn to have fun on your own

There may not be anyone available to go out, but this shouldn’t be an impediment to eating at your favorite restaurant and ordering whatever dish you like the most. You can also head to the movie theater or take a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to see.

Spending time alone at least once a month can help you connect and feel good about yourself.

Make the decision to apply these keys to well-being

The meaning of the word well-being varies from person to person. Clarifying your idea of well-being can help you focus on the steps needed to achieve it. But regardless of your perception, feeling good can’t be separated from the concept of health.

Developing good habits can help you achieve deep well-being. Enjoying nature, breathing, smiling more often, or exercising are just a few examples.

Este texto se ofrece únicamente con propósitos informativos y no reemplaza la consulta con un profesional. Ante dudas, consulta a tu especialista.