Want to Feel Happier? Head Online and Do These 3 Things

You probably are on the internet all the time—checking email, reading restaurant reviews, learning how to be healthier on your favorite blog. But you may not realize you can also use the internet to get a mood boost. While too much screen time can be bad for you (it gets in the way of face-to-face interaction, makes it tough to fall asleep and can even boost your risk for cardiovascular issues), spending a few minutes doing these three things can really benefit your mental health.

  • Watch a funny cat video. Spend a few minutes checking out a funny feline and you’ll feel a boost of energy, increased positivity and fewer negative feelings like anxiety and sadness, according to a study conducted by Indiana University Media School. It can be tough to figure out which of the millions of available cat videos to watch, so try this compilation video for starters.
  • Comment on a few friends’ posts. Instead of just scanning what people write on Facebook, start interacting! Research from Germany and Cornell University show that updating your own profile and responding to others makes you feel happier and gives you a self-esteem boost. Don’t like to post too much? At least join an online group, like for people just getting into running, which will make you feel encouraged and part of a social circle.
  • Never feel like you’re too old to get online. In a two-year experiment, 76 elderly people between the ages of 60 and 95 were taught how to use the internet. They felt more self-confidence and an improved sense of identity as a result. They also engaged in a lot more social activity—something especially important if you don’t leave home for a job every day.

For even more, non-digital ways to boost your happiness, check out these blogs:

 

Photo credit: Don LaVange

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