Happiness Hack: Try Hugging Yourself for 20 Seconds a Day

If you’ve never tried meditating because you can’t sit still that long, this is easier.  A team at Berkeley published a study on a simple exercise that can make you happier.  It only takes 20 seconds a day, but you have to make it a habit.

Don’t try it if you’re driving, because you’ll want to have your eyes closed.  And you need both hands.  Basically, you’re giving yourself a 20-second HUG with intent.  Here’s what to do . . .

1.  Close your eyes and think of a recent mistake, failure, or something that’s been bothering you.  Then consider how thinking about it makes you feel.

2.  Bring one hand to your chest and the other hand to your stomach, like you’re giving yourself a hug.  Try to do it with the same warmth as if you were hugging someone you loved.

3.  Think, “How can I be a friend to myself in this moment?”  Then take a few seconds.  And when you’re ready, open your eyes and go on with your day.

People who did it for a full month felt less stressed about their life, and happier in general.  But the key is doing it every single day.  It didn’t do much when people only did it occasionally.  (Boing Boing / ScienceDirect)

(Here’s a video.)