How happy are you now – really? What does it mean to be happy? Being happy often means being satisfied, feeling joy and leading a purposeful life. Nobody is elated or happy ALL the time, but some people are happier than others.
Some studies say that happiness is generally not related to possessions and comfort. So having things isn’t the solution. That said, it can help – if it something you really want.
Whether you are into materialism or not, whatever your version of true happiness is, there are habits and strategies that can help you to be happier.
Read on to find out about nine such ways to be happier.
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Happiness Habit # 1 – Look after your health
Taking care of yourself physically is one of the best ways to be happier. But that’s not all it does – it also helps you live better, help you have more energy to do all the things you want, and helps you become a stronger person, both physically and mentally.
So eat well, exercise and get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep.
It’s a lot easier to be happy when you are healthy.
Happiness Habit # 2 – Practice gratitude
Being thankful for all the big and small things in your life is another great way to be a happier person.
Being thankful is good for you – it reduces depression and anxiety. Feeling grateful also makes you more compassionate, and strengthens your relationship with other people.
It is easy to do – next time you feel appreciative about something or someone, practice active gratitude, say a word of thanks and make someone else feel appreciated. It will make the other person feel good, and help you to feel happier too. Win-win!
Happiness Habit # 3 – Stop assuming the worst
Assuming the worst is one of the biggest reasons why people feel unhappy, so guess what one of the easiest ways to feel happy is…
Don’t assume anything, especially not the worst. Stop worrying about whether you did something wrong unless there is obvious, irrefutable evidence that you did.
Happiness Habit # 4 – Discard black and white thinking
Black and white thinking is problematic – “always” and “never” are words that should be used sparingly. These words are part of the “all-or-nothing” style of thinking which does not leave room for any grey area. This creates an environment where there is no room for improvement and understanding.
Sometimes using ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes the situation appear worse than it is.
Don’t use absolutes. This change will help you to be happier, and more emotionally resilient.
Happiness Habit # 5 – Nurture positivity
Filling your mind with positive thoughts is a great habit to adopt, one that makes a huge impact on your happiness levels.
Focus on experiences happening in the present moment without judging them, or yourself. People have a natural tendency to have negative thoughts. If you notice yourself holding a negative thought, detach from it and just observe it, but don’t follow it.
Cultivate the habit of thinking positively.
Happiness Habit # 6 – Give (and get) hugs
Hugs are great – they help us feel connected with others, helps us feel good. But that’s not all they do – as research shows, hugs are also good for boosting our health.
A nice hug can make you feel happier and healthier. It increases the feeling of safety, security, trust, and belonging. Positive physical contact, whether from friends, loved ones or even pets, can instantly pick you up.
Get and give hugs.
Happiness Habit # 7 – Connect with good people
Being around good, healthy, happy people can help you become healthy and happy as well. People’s positive energy will affect you greatly.
But there’s a flip side: you need to choose carefully the people you hang around with. Happy, healthy people help you feel happier, but unhappy, unhealthy, negative people have the opposite impact.
Increase your social activity – hang around with positive, happy, healthy people.
Happiness Habit # 8 – Help others
Helping others is one of the most effective ways of increasing your levels of happiness, and volunteering is a great way of doing just that.
You can volunteer in many ways – financially, by giving your time and/or resources.
Be compassionate and think of ways to make your community (and the world) a better place. The more positive energy that you give, the more you will get in return.
Happiness Habit # 9 – Deal with your inner critic
We all get negative thoughts from time to time, but dwelling on them is a surefire way to bring down your happiness levels. So if you want to be happier, don’t dwell on the negatives. Challenge the negative thoughts when they show up.
Often, we are our own worst critics. It’s never productive and only causes a lot of unnecessary stress and grief.
To help you better deal with negative thoughts, try going for a walk, listen to music or call a friend.
If you want to learn more, check out our guide on how to deal with negative thoughts.
Happiness isn’t this elusive thing that some people have and others don’t – everyone can be happy. In fact, using the tips and practices above, you can be happy every day 🙂
With a little time and practice, these tips and strategies will become habits. One day, you will look back and be surprised how far you’ve come.
Choose to be happy.
What are your thoughts on deliberately being happy? Do you have any suggestions, or tips, to share?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
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