5 Actions You Can Take To Lead A Happier Life

March 14, 2015 2:16 PM

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You're going to feel better when you take pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Research shows that the act of writing alone -- just 15 to 20 minutes once a month -- can improve your mood and lower stress levels. It even has a positive influence on asthma symptoms and how long it takes wounds to heal. Note: This is expressive writing, where you get down thoughts, feelings, memories and observations (grocery lists and tweets about interrupted cable service probably won't cut it). When you write an old friend, you strengthen your social connections. Letter-writing is like journaling with purpose -- in a way, it helps you strengthen your bonds. One study found that feeling disconnected is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Much better to find an envelope and a stamp instead. Read more on how to write your stress away.

Generosity literally makes you happier and healthier. That can mean volunteering, donating to a charity or lending your children's sleds to the neighborhood kids. But what if you don't have any enough time or money (or sleds) to give away? Here's the best part: Being generous with your words and emo...

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