How to be Happy Step #4: Increase Face Time with Friends
You texted your sister, G-chatted with a guy you like, and sent status updates to your 300 friends on Facebook, but when's the last time you met anyone for lunch? There's nothing wrong with social networks (in fact, they're a good way to keep in touch), but if you're feeling alone, the solution can't be found solely online. Seeing someone on a monitor doesn't have the same intimacy level as face-to-face contact does, and it can result in you feeling more disconnected than ever. "That loneliness should act in a similar way to thirst, motivating you to change your behavior in some way," says John Cacioppo, Ph.D., the director of the Center of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. "There's a deep need to have a sense of belonging that comes with having personal interactions with friends." Don't let your real-world relationships languish—make a date at least once a week.
ARTICLE: Are you alone or lonely?
How to be Happy Step #5: Do Good, Feel Fabulous
"Whenever you spend time or energy on someone else—be it picking up lunch for a swamped co-worker or shoveling your neighbor's car out of the snow—the other person gets the helping hand and you walk away with a lighter spirit and a good feeling about yourself," says Wicks. The reason for that high: By being compassionate and helping somebody out, you become more aware of all that you have and are generally happier with your lot in life. Spend a Saturday morning at a soup kitchen or drop off an action figure at a Toys for Tots drive this month.
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| Dec 01, 2010