The science of happiness

It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking patterns that can affect mental well-being. But did you know that you can train yourself to be happy? In this article, we’ll explore the science of happiness and share tips on how young people can train their brains to be happy.

The science

Researchers have found that around only 10% of our happiness is determined by external circumstances. The other 90% is determined by our internal state of mind, which is influenced by our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Here’s how you can help young people train their brains to be happy;

  1. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can help train your brain to focus on the positive aspects of your life. You can help by encouraging your young person to start a gratitude journal, where they write down three things they’re grateful for each day. This simple practice can help cultivate a more positive outlook on life and shift their focus from negative to positive. Whether it’s the people in their lives, the opportunities they have, or the things they have achieved, taking a few minutes each day to reflect on the things they are grateful for can have a significant impact on their overall well-being and happiness.
  2. Mindfulness is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, develop a greater sense of calm and focus, and reduce stress and anxiety. Encourage young people to try mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or meditation, to cultivate a sense of well-being. Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to be present in the moment and breathe deeply.
  3. Positive relationships are an essential ingredient for happiness and well-being. Encourage young people to invest time and effort into cultivating positive relationships with family, friends, and peers who support and encourage them. Building and maintaining these connections can help foster a sense of connection and belonging.
  4. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters, and can help reduce stress and anxiety. Investing time in a young person’s physical health through a regular, enjoyable activity can have a positive impact on their mental well-being.
  5. Giving back to others through acts of kindness, such as volunteering, donating to charity, or helping a friend in need, can have a positive impact on our happiness and well-being. Encourage young people to get involved in volunteer work or community service to cultivate feelings of compassion and connection to others. Research has shown that acts of kindness can increase our sense of purpose and fulfilment.
  6. Learning something new and building knowledge can be a great way to boost confidence and satisfaction in life. Whether it’s taking a course, learning a new language, or trying a new hobby, learning can provide a sense of accomplishment and personal growth.
  7. Having goals that are personally meaningful can give your life purpose and direction. It’s important to take time to reflect on what you want to achieve in life and to set goals that align with your values and passions.
Quarterly Next Step events are a platform for young people to cultivate positive relationships with individuals who want to see them do well, and get a great sense of happiness knowing they have helped others in the process.

Through our programmes of entrepreneurial events and experiences, we’re helping young people to change their mindset, learn new things and get accountable for their own mental, physical and emotional health.

Have you trained your brain to be happier?

How did you do it and what was the impact on your life?