Happiness. We want it. We NEED it. We’re damn near obsessed with it. The possibility of feeling it is what makes us not completely dread getting out of bed in the morning.
But as most of us know, it’s not always easy to find. In fact, it’s pretty freaking hard. So in the mundanity and routine of everyday life, we all desperately search for the tiniest things to boost our mood: a hot cup of coffee, a stroll outside, maybe a particularly good outfit.
Turns out there are some real, research-backed ways to increase your likelihood of feeling happy. Match recently pulled data from its Singles in America studies and uncovered the keys to happiness. Here’s what they found.
1. Live in any of these cities.
The top five happiest cities in the US are El Paso, San Antonio, Miami, Fort Worth and Austin. So I’d like to have whatever Texas is having.
2. Get a hobby.
The hobbies that inspire the most happiness are: cooking, doing sports or working out, and socializing with friends over drinks. Not sure if this is incentive to get healthy or become an alcoholic.
3. Go out with your friends more. Like, way more.
People who go out six nights a week (um, woah) are 536 percent more likely to be happy than people who never go out. Time to schedule a girl’s night!
4. Don’t eat fast food.
Those who consume fast food are 60 percent less likely to be happy than those who don’t. Those McDonalds Happy Meals? lies.
5. Stop stalking your ex on Facebook.
You’re 73 percent more likely to be happy if you do not stalk your ex on social media. As if you needed a better reason to stop torturing yourself with pictures of his new girlfriend.
6. Be open-minded when you date.
People who would date someone who doesn’t share their political beliefs are 13 percent more likely to be happy than people who wouldn’t. Go ahead, make an exception for that hot Trump supporter (JK NO DON’T DO THAT).
7. Keep the anticipation high in a new relationship.
If you’re dating someone new, don’t rush into having sex for the first time: If you wait until the fifth date before you have sex, you’re 35 percent more likely to be happy than if you just did it on the first date. So keep building that tension until you’re ready to explode.
8. Have sex as often as you can. But avoid one-night stands.
Single people who have sex every day are 187 percent more likely to be happy than single people who have sex weekly and 525 percent more likely to be happy than those who have not had sex in a year. Makes sense.
But that doesn’t mean you should ramp up your one-night stands: Every time a man has a one-night stand, his happiness decreases by 6 percent; for women, it’s 14 percent.
So overall, it doesn’t sound as difficult as we thought to stay happy. Move somewhere with warmer weather, don’t do sh*t that makes you mentally or physically unhealthy and bone as much as possible with people who at least somewhat care about you. Sounds good to me.
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