Need an extra push to get yourself out of bed an hour early to hit the gym? Well, chances are you'll not only be in better shape afterwards, you'll be happier, too—just because you did it. As our parents always said, discipline and happiness aren’t mutual enemies after all. Now science confirms it.
Researchers at the University of Chicago conducted a series of studies to see how self-control influenced happiness. They did this by conducting phone surveys to see how people rated their self control and how many good moods and bad moods they experienced both in the past and present. The researchers found that the happiest people had the highest levels of self-control.
The idea that someone could be happier by denying himself or herself something they want—or pushing themselves to do something they'd rather not—seems weird until how it works is exposed. The study’s abstract says, “Self-control positively contributes to happiness through avoiding and dealing with motivational conflict.” In other words, just do it.