How to Make People Feel Happy (According to Science!)
23 Dec 2022
By Michael Jacobson
Can you truly measure happiness? Can emotions be explained through science? In recent years a lot of time, money, and energy has gone into understanding what makes us happy, and ways in which we can increase the happiness of ourselves and others.
The wellness industry continues to boom as people look for ways to eat, sleep, exercise, and medicate themselves to satisfaction. But is it more simple than we’ve been led to believe? One of the things that make humans happiest is investing in the happiness of others - and at a time when Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in decades, it’s important we look at ways in which we can help each other out. Here’s how to start spreading the joy in 2023.
The science behind happiness
Science shows that we’re not very good at anticipating what will make us happy, or how long those feelings of happiness will last. This can be a problem when thinking of ways to make someone else happy - there’s no guarantee that you will hit the nail on the head. But don’t let that fear stop you - research suggests that “how good your experiences are doesn’t matter nearly as much as how many good experiences you have.” This means that happiness is one of the rare occasions where quantity matters over quality.
Combine this knowledge with the common methods of achieving happiness - physical activity, surrounding yourself with happy people, and spending time in nature - and you can figure out how to start bringing happiness to yourself and your friends.
Small spontaneous gestures
Novelist Iris Murdoch says that “one of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” This approach is perfect for making other people happy, as it’s easily achievable for everyone, and doesn’t take too much time, energy, or money.
It could be as simple as sharing a funny article that you think they’ll enjoy, or surprising someone with their favorite candy bar, just because. When tested in a study by the American Psychological Association, it was found that we underestimate how much an unexpected note or gift can impact our friends. What might feel like an insignificant gesture to you might mean much more to them - especially if it’s someone you aren’t in regular contact with.
Your spontaneous gestures could include:
- Phoning to catch up at the end of the day
- Surprising them with a coffee
- Sending an unexpected gift, such as thinking of you flowers
If your friend questions you on why you’ve done what you’ve done, just let them know that it’s no less than what they deserve, and that you appreciate their friendship.
Spending time together
Humans are social creatures - we need connections to other people in order to thrive. Sociability is so key to our existence and survival that regularly spending time with other people has been shown to reduce the risk of health problems. So, there’s no excuse to not make the effort to spend time together.
If you have a little more time to devote to your loved ones, set a date for an outing or activity you can do together. Why not combine this with the mood-boosting effects of the great outdoors, and get out to one of LA’s many unique beauty spots? If you feel up to venturing a little further off the beaten path, you could even try some forest bathing for a guaranteed mood boost for both yourself and your friend.
Spending time together doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions, but going above and beyond to be there for someone to celebrate a special day will always make them happy. Whether this means showing up on someone’s birthday, flowers in hand, or taking someone for lunch to celebrate a successful job interview, it shows your loved one how invested you are in their happiness.
Everyone is loved by someone
A survey from 2021 has found that Americans have fewer close friendships than ever before, and are turning to their friends for support less than they used to. Despite technology increasing the ways we have to stay connected, it’s still very easy to feel lonely. Young adults are especially vulnerable to feeling lonely, and can benefit the most from someone reaching out. A good new year’s resolution for 2023 would be to always let the people you love know that they can rely on you for company and support.
If there’s someone in your life you think would appreciate a regular reminder that they can count on you, why not consider a flower subscription? With a monthly delivery of beautiful fresh flowers, arranged by the talented artisans here at French Florist, you can give your loved one the frequent boost that they need to maintain their happiness. Give them something to look forward to in anticipating the next month’s carefully chosen flowers, and let them know that they deserve consistent tokens of affection.
If a friend has done something to make you happy, you can let them know how much it means to you with thank you flowers sent the same day, and keep the cycle of happiness flowing. Order flowers from French Florist by 2pm for same-day local delivery across Los Angeles.