Confessions of a Techie

Going on the ride of your life.

5 Ways to Make Yourself Happier in the Next 5 Minutes

Happiness is a lifelong pursuit of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. But while it could take years of persistence to deeply transform your life, there are scientifically-tested strategies that are shown to provide an immediate happiness boost. Read More

Happiness Now

I love this article because it explains how quickly you can change your state of mind. I found a great article that correlates with this written by Antonio de Nicolas. It can be found here:

Thank you

Thank you for sharing this article!

-- Ran

Mark Twain quote

Most of us are as happy as we make up our mind to be.

What are the qualifications

What are the qualifications to write this stuff? Call a family member? Nothing could ruin my day quicker. Imagine the best possible outcome? Good way to set up expectations that can't be met. I prefer a more realistic balance that sets expectations properly. Write down three things I'm grateful for? I'm grateful for everything all the time. I don't know, things presented without measured efficacy should be taken with a grain of salt. This seems like one of those times.

The scientific study of psychological well-being

Dear Ray,

Thank you for your comment.

The post includes references to a few research papers (far from being exhaustive though) that describe studies where efficacy was assessed. some of these are meta-analyses, meaning that they are aggregation of several relevant empirical studies.

You can also check out a paper I co-authored with Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky describing the efficacy of several such interventions in a naturalistic study (this was done in a mobile application that my company developed back then):

We are now in the midst of a longitudinal study of these interventions used over the course of a few years.

I do agree that happiness is a life-long quest, but evidence is that there are several strategies that have both an immediate and a long-lasting effect.

Thank you again and all the best,

-- Ran

I like the idea of writing

I like the idea of writing gratitude lists on a consistent basis, daily if possible. It really helps to re-wire the mind and encourage positivity over the long haul!

i think 5th one i.e setting

i think 5th one i.e setting of intention of the day is one of the most perfect way to remain happy. it directly means to be busy in a guided way or in fully concious way.

What is happiness tho?

Nice list apart from the jumping jacks! And not sure about the "scientifically proven". What is happiness though? We all have our own definition, and in the words of Fall Out Boy, "The best of us can find happiness in misery".


Hi there,

I agree that happiness has a tricky definition, but psychological well-being is better defined (see Ryff's model).

Jumping jacks (or any other physical activity) could have a powerful effect on psychological well-being :)

And while the best of use can find happiness even in misery, the rest of us can do this type of stuff to become happier

All my best,
-- Ran

In search of inspiration

Excellent tips - and simple too - a lot of us could do with seeing this article.

I keep coming across the gratitude exercise, and I have found it helps a lot. It seems people have an inbuilt mechanism to eventually take a lot of things for granted - to the point where we don't have much appreciation at all -so when I find myself getting stuck in a bit of a rut - maybe focussing too much on whats wrong - I try to take a step back and think of things I'm grateful for. For example whenever I get struck down with illness, flu etc and feel a bit rubbish - I tend to have a lot more gratitude for my relative good health when I get better. It takes constant work though - as the feeling of gratitude can ease off after a few days/weeks - so I guess it's like going to the gym - you've got to keep on doing it to see the lasting benefit! I tend to write down a lot of the things I'm grateful for now - and revisit it every now and then. In fact I even created a page on my blog/website which lists a lot of quotes and ideas that helps me be grateful - I'm sure anyone interested would get something from it and they would help perk up your day like this article has - please visit to find out a little more!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Ran Zilca is a research scientist, entrepreneur, and author.


Subscribe to Confessions of a Techie

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.