Oldschool Ways to Become Happy

If you want to be happy, you may want to try some tips from the 18-hundreds!  In 1820, writer and philosopher Sydney Smith wrote a letter to his unhappy friend, Lady Morpeth. In it, he offered his tips for how to be happy……and his suggestions are as solid now as they were 200 years ago.

For example:“Go into the bath with water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold.” Smith is basically saying – try cold-water therapy! And we now know that even 30 seconds of a cold shower can kick-start our endorphins. 

Another piece of happiness advice from Smith: “Read amusing books.” And new research has found that reading a novel forces your brain to turn the words into mental images. That occupies your brain’s processing power, taking your mind off your worries, creating a kind of meditative state.

More advice from the 1800’s: “Be as much as you can in the open air.” Translation: Get out in nature! And according to the University Of Michigan, people who feel connected to nature have more positive attitudes – and overall, have higher levels of happiness.  

One final piece of advice from writer Sydney Smith back in 1820: “Don’t be too severe upon yourself.” The essence of that is to treat yourself kindly! And according to the University of Texas, people who practice self-compassion have less stress and depression, and more self-confidence. 

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