COPENHAGEN, Denmark — We see dieters downing “detox” cleansers as a means to healthier bodies in a pinch, but what about a quick fix for those of us looking to de-stress and boost our minds? A study launched by The Happiness Researcher Institute in Denmark just may have found the solution.
(And with a name like The Happiness Research Institute, how could we not expect them to tell us the secret?)
As it turns out, all it takes to inject some good vibes into our brains is Facebook — err, actually, lack thereof. The folks at the HRI found that keeping off Facebook for one week can significantly improve one’s, aid concentration, and even perk up overall life satisfaction.
To come to this conclusion, the study had 1,095 people — 94% of which admitted to using Facebook at least one per day and 78% using it for at least 30 minutes a day — split into two groups. One group was banned from logging onto Facebook for a week, while a control group was told to continue using the site as they normally would.
After the week was up, the participants were asked a series of questions that provided some astonishing results.
People who continued to use Facebook were 55% more likely to be stressed. Those who stopped their social media habits experienced less concentration difficulties, felt more satisfied in their (real life) social lives, and were 18% more likely to feel present in the moment.
More people who didn’t use Facebook also reported feeling happier, enthusiastic, and decisive than those in the control group. Meanwhile, more people who stuck with Facebook reported feeling lonely, sad, depressed, angry, and worried than those who stopped using the site.
The researchers also concluded that people who use Facebook regularly are 39% more likely to feel less happy than their friends. “Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have,” they wrote.
So next time you find yourself looking at your Facebook friend’s new car or gloating about that incredible Caribbean vacation, you might be even happier than they are if you simply log off, and don’t come back again. At least not for a week.