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I've been studying the science of happiness for 10 years - here are 10 sentences I try to use every day

I've been studying the science of happiness for 10 years - here are 10

By Stephanie Harrison/ I have spent the last decade immersing myself in the science of happiness and have learned that our relationships are the single most important factor contributing to our personal well-being.

Your words have the power to make someone else feel seen, heard, and loved. And by creating happiness for someone else, you end up experiencing it yourself.

Here are 10 sentences I try to use every day to keep my relationships thriving and put what I've learned about happiness into practice.

1. 'How are you really feeling?'

Asking this question lets the people we care about know that we want to hear about the wide range of emotions they are experiencing.

2. 'Will you tell me more?'

We use four types of questions in our conversations, according to researchers from Harvard. The most powerful by far are follow-up questions that dig deeper and ask for more information.

3. 'I'm grateful for you'

Taking a moment to thank someone not only makes them feel good, but it helps us too. Studies have found that gratitude acts as a 'stress buffer'.

4. 'You're great'

We grossly underestimate the effects of a simple compliment. In fact, being paid a compliment activates the same part of your brain that receiving money activates.

5. 'I'm sorry'

We tend to judge other people's mistakes much more harshly than our own, like when a spouse forgets to do a chore, a colleague makes a mistake in a report, or a friend promises to call but doesn't.

6. 'Go on'

Everyone we know is trying to achieve goals that matter to them – and facing challenges and obstacles. Our words of encouragement can inspire them to persevere.

7. 'What do you need?'

Help the children and adults in your life get the help they need by using this question.

8. 'It's okay if this feels hard'

Our culture teaches us that pain is shameful. As a result, when someone we love is suffering, we can tell them to look on the bright side and rejoice.

9. 'You Matter to Me'

It's all too easy to take our most important relationships for granted. It's the result of a phenomenon called hedonic adaptation, where our brains are wired to get used to the good things in our lives.

10. 'I Love You'

All these sentences are, at their core, different ways of expressing our love - but it cannot replace the simpler and more direct statement.