Happiness is one the most important assets we can have. If you are not happy, then life can become pretty meaningless. An unhappy person is not at their optimum at work, as a parent, or as a friend. You must look after yourself before being able to look after others.
So how do you become happy?
Whilst there’s no magical wand you can wave to become happy, there are several things you can do that will help. Here are 10 ways to be happy in life.
1. Connect with Friends and Family
Whilst we all differ in how much time we need to spend with people, we ALL need to connect. Put the effort in to reconnect with family you haven’t seen for a while, and friends you’ve neglected. Give someone a call out of the blue. Pop round for a visit. It’s easy to get bogged down with work and family commitments, but you MUST make the time to connect with people. It’s worth it.
2. Have a Long-Term Goal
You need something to work towards. Something to motivate yourself to keep going. It could be to save up and buy a holiday home, a yacht, or even to become a published writer. Find something that is possible to attain in the long term, and that excites you. Now work towards this, one step at a time. This gives your life hope that something better is on its way, and give you a sense of purpose.
3. Have Things to Look Forward to
Having things to look forward to helps keep you positive and happy. It might be a holiday that you’ve booked, or a concert. Make sure you regularly provide yourself with things to look forward to. Once you have done the thing you planned, quickly start looking for the next thing to plan.
4. Have a Laugh
Laughter is fantastic medicine for the soul. Seek out people who have a good sense of humour and make you laugh. Avoid those negative drains. Watch some funny films and TV programs. Learn to laugh at yourself and things around you. Life shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
5. Smile in the Mirror
To a fair degree you can “fake it until you make it”. By deliberately smiling, you send a positive signal to the rest of your mind and body, and it will follow suit. So when you look in the mirror in the morning, put on a smile and give yourself a great start to your day.
6. Eat a More Natural, Balanced Diet
A good diet has been proven to improve your mood. Avoid processed and ready-made foods. Do more cooking. If you are not a good cook, then learn. There’s loads of free recipes and tips online. It really isn’t that difficult, and can be a fulfilling hobby in itself. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and meats. A good rule of thumb is to strive to eat foods that were available 1000 years ago.
7. Watch Your Stress Levels
Stress can turn the most laid back person into a moody monster. It is also harmful to your health. If your job is stressful, consider ways to reduce this stress. Can you offload some responsibility? Maybe talk to your boss about getting some help? If things can’t be improved, then consider finding a new job – even if the pay is reduced. A job is not worth a life time of misery. Most people tend to over spend when they’re stressed, so you might not actually be worse off financially anyway. Learn meditation. This is great for stress reduction. Also walks in the countryside are great for de-stressing your mind and body.
Through millions of years of evolution, we are designed to work physically harder than most of us do in this modern world. This leaves us with an excess of unburned energy. Find an exercise that you enjoy. This could be the gym, swimming, playing tennis etc. Exercise also releases those feel-good hormones into your body, leaving you feeling great afterwards.
9. Do Someone a Favour
Doing a good turn for someone can boost your levels of happiness. It might be something simple like buying them a small gift that you know they will like. It could be something practical like giving them a lift to work. Doing good turns for others creates a good vibe that you will also enjoy.
10. Don’t Be a People Pleaser
Although it is good to do favours for others, only do them when YOU want to. Learn to say no to people who ask for too much. Do things that make you happy, even if people in your life don’t approve. As long as it isn’t harming anyone else, then chase what you feel you want to do. You may have people in your life who like you to do things for them instead of for yourself. They may try and put you off so that you can be there for them. Ignore them and carry on. They will get used to your new way of being. If people in your life value your happiness, they will support you.
Always remember the importance of happiness in your life. Remember to laugh and play and look after yourself. Follow your passions. This helps you get the most out of yourself to help others.
If necessary put reminders on your wall, and on your fridge to “Be Happy”. Focus on your happiness. After a while it will become second nature. Choose to be happy. If you put in the effort, it will happen. Enjoy!