A lot of these seem to be counter intuitive to being happy, but according to a variety of studies, they actually have the opposite effect of what you expect!
Watching Sad Movies
Another study by Sage Journals has found that when people indulge in sad fiction, it allows them to feel high on real life.
The “greater sadness led to greater enjoyment, mediated by life reflection; specifically, both self- and socio-focused thoughts mediated this sadness impact on tragedy enjoyment. Furthermore, more sadness led to greater life happiness increase during exposure,” the report says “The present findings suggest that tragedy-induced sadness instigates (a) life reflection that increases tragedy enjoyment as well as (b) specifically thoughts about close relationships that, in turn, raise life happiness, which (c) subsequently increases tragedy enjoyment further.”
Taking Public Transport
If it ever actually turns up the bus is a lot more relaxing and enjoyable than driving your car. Lets face it, you’re dealing with a ton of assholes on the road, but when you’re on the bus you’re leaving that to the bus driver, and you’re off reading a book or catching up on Facebook.
The UEA Norwich Medical School did a test to see if it was true. “You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress.” lead researcher Adam Martin told The Telegraph “But as buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialise, and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station, it appears to cheer people up.”
Getting Into Fights
Fighting it seems, is just as rewarding as sex, which explains a lot of our fascination for blood sports and youtube videos of people getting beaten up by Elk.
The study which was put out in 2008 by the Vanderbilt University and found that the “reward pathways” in your brain are fired off when you become engaged in an aggressive event. This is so we feel good about protecting our territory and securing important resources back in our heyday as cavemen.
Thinking about Dying
What’s beyond this life? What happens when I’m flung from the mortal Coil? I feel a lot happier now! A very shaky study drew a tenuous link between death and happiness when they got two groups of people, one to walk past a cemetery, and the other to walk past nothing much at all. They then got an actor to “accidentally” drop a notebook on the ground. The people walking past the cemetery were 40% more likely to help the actor pick up his book than the people who weren’t walking past nothing much at all. They concluded this was because the cemetery group was thinking about death, and consequently feeling more generous.