Increasing Happiness One Step At A Time

Increasing Happiness One Step At A Time

It might be the ultimate life quest: how to be happy. Over the last century, hundreds of songs such as ‘Happy’ by Pharrell (2013) or ‘Get Happy’, famously sung by Judy Garland in 1950, have hoped to inspire and lift our spirits. Numerous coffee table and academic books have been written on the subject; podcasts are dedicated to happiness such as Fearne Cotton’s personal development gurus have been banging the ‘happy drum’ for decades. Whilst there is no magic wand or quick fix when it comes to finding happiness, inner or otherwise, there are some key simple top tips to consider, especially linked to exercising, getting some fresh air and listening to music.

Can Exercise Make You Happy? 

Whilst this phrase might sound like an oxymoron or contradiction of sorts, especially if you don’t actually enjoy exercise, generally speaking, most of us will feel better after some form of exercise or movement. The ‘touchy-feely-happy’ chemicals released in our bodies when we exercise are the body’s way of congratulating us for our efforts.

Smiley brain running on a treadmill

How Does Exercise Make You Happy?

If we want to get a little bit scientific, physical exertion can impact upon the reward centre in the brain. In addition, when it comes to building self-confidence and satisfying vanity, especially as we age, managing weight and muscle mass can have a significant impact upon how we see ourselves and project who we are to the outside world.

What Makes You Happy When You Exercise?

When it comes to the ‘what’ behind ‘what makes you happy when you exercise’, it can be the music you are listening to – taking you back to a different time in your youth or making the most of the sunshine and enjoying Mother Nature. For those of us who are competitive or motivated by goals and achievements, exercise can be part of the mechanism to help you to reach your physical prime – coupled with diet, sleep and plenty of hydration.

How Can I Increase My Happiness Instantly?

This is a slightly trickier question to answer as we all know that the greater the high, the greater the fall. Whilst a lovely bar of chocolate or roller coaster ride might get the adrenalin going in the short-term, the ultimate life goal for most of us is sustained and lower-key happiness – probably best described as ‘contentment’. We wouldn’t necessarily advocate instant gratification as a longer-term goal or message, even though The BBC recently offered some recommendations.

What Happy Hormones Are Released During Exercise?

If we are defining hormones linked to exercise and their biological names, different types are released, depending on the specific type of exercise you are doing. Higher impact activities such as running or jogging on a Roger Black Treadmill will release endorphins, the brain’s ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters. Most types of exercise can help you to better manage stress and your adrenals if undertaken within safe guidelines, especially if you have a heart condition. For some people, exercise is like a form of meditation, especially when you get yourself ‘in the zone’, so can have a calming effect. Regular exercise can also increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, also known as ‘Happy Hormones’.

Why Exercise Makes Us Happy?

Whilst there is no one fool-proof answer to this question, stepping outside our day-to-day humdrum and doing something for our mind, body and soul, is essentially rewarding. For busy singletons, couples, parents, grandparents and workaholics alike, balance is always needed in order to function as our best possible selves.

What Exercise Makes You Happiest?

For an answer to this question, you need to find out for yourself. You should also consider that your tastes might shift as you age or change circumstances. If you are working long night shifts, evening exercise classes won’t necessarily work for you. You need to be practical and also sensible but don’t be afraid to try something new. You might surprise yourself! If you need motivation, have a read of our recent blog entitled ’23 And Me’ 

How Does A Lack Of Exercise Affect Your Mental Health?

We know that life is not easy for many, especially if you are juggling family, work and trying to survive financially. We would always recommend that you try to find some time every day to move around, even if you are confined to the house. If you are over-consuming calories and not creating a deficit with output, you may be prone to weight gain, which, in turn, can increase vulnerability to heart disease, stroke, a loss of self-confidence and other chronic emotional and mental illnesses.

Does Exercise Help Mental Health?

According to a study conducted by The University of Glasgow, published in BMC Medicine in November 2022, 19% of affective disorders could be prevented by at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week”. The facts speak for themselves, as well as the body’s natural physiological responses to physical activity.

How Can Exercise Help Mental Health?

The ‘how’ is quite tricky to define, especially if mental health conditions are linked to chemical imbalances within the brain or addictions linked to substance abuse. It is universally undisputed though that looking up at the sun and appreciating the simple things whilst on a walk in nature, for example, is a relatively simple way to boost your mood and Vitamin D levels.


In summary, our quest to ‘be happy’ is a very personal journey, one that should be treated with respect and self-care. If in doubt, join in with the lyrics from Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 hit ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’, just one step at a time.

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