Buying yourself a pricey necklace or splurging on a meal at a fancy restaurant may not make you any happier, says new research. Instead, try a leisurely stroll. Free or inexpensive activities enhance our sense of well-being more than costlier ones—even among lottery winners—the study found. "Spending time relaxing is the key," says study author Richard Tunney, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Nottingham in England.
The more frequently you indulge in the following simple pleasures, the more often you'll crack a smile:
- Find a cozy spot, and curl up with a book.
- Crank up the stereo and listen to music.
- Enjoy a bar of chocolate with your husband.
- Take a long snooze one weekend afternoon.
- Devote time to your favorite hobby.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the March 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.