How to Be Happy: Tips on Happiness!
When you ask someone what they most want in life, they may say that they want to be rich or that they want to have a family. Maybe they’ll say that they want to travel all over the world or be famous. If you ask them why, there is usually one common answer: they want to be happy, and that’s what they believe will make them happy. What if you can start being happier today? There’s no reason to push off happiness until maybe someday you’re rich and famous. These tips will have you feeling happier in no time!
- Build meaningful relationships. Human beings are social creatures, and one of the things that science has found makes people happiest is the presence of meaningful relationships in our lives. Studies have also found that people with more meaningful relationships delay physical and cognitive decline as they age, so they stay healthier too! These relationships aren’t about how many friend connections you have on Facebook. Make a point of keeping in touch with friends and cultivating your relationships with family members.
- Get moving. Exercise has been shown to make people feel happier and less anxious. You don’t even have to run a marathon to get the benefits of runner’s high! Try dancing around your house, walking your dog (or volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter), or take a karate class. In addition to feel-good endorphins, you’ll also sleep better, which can improve your mood. Exercise is also an important component of good health, and nobody likes being sick.
- Listen to happy music. Neurological studies have found a link between music and happiness. Music with an upbeat tempo is a better choice for boosting your mood than slow, sad songs. An Australian study found that people who listened to live music at a concert reported even higher happiness levels.
- Learn to love yourself. It’s hard to feel happy if you don’t love or even like yourself all that much. Saying positive affirmations can help, as well as writing a list of everything you do love about yourself. You may want to ask a close friend what they like about you if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas on your own. You should consider therapy to work through any underlying issues regarding your low self-esteem.
- Meditation has been scientifically proven to increase happiness levels. You can use an app like Headspace for guided meditation or do a web search for how to do a specific meditation called the loving-kindness meditation. What’s important about meditations is that you do it consistently, so set aside a few minutes each day to breathe and clear your mind.
- Keep a gratitude journal. One important aspect of happiness is learning to be grateful for everything that you already have in your life. Start a gratitude journal where you list five things every day that you’re grateful for. You’ll start noticing more of the good in your life because you’ll be keeping an eye out for things to add to your journal.
- Stop complaining. The more you complain, the easier it is for your mind to see negativity in everything. Stop complaining in its tracks. When you catch yourself complaining, even if it is just a silent thought, replace it with at least two more positive thoughts.
- Be present. We spend so much time not really present. We are always multitasking, especially with our smartphones. You may be talking to a friend and checking your phone at the same time, or watching a movie and checking your email on your phone or tablet. Stop. Live in the present and fully engage in each moment.
- Practice forgiveness. If there is a grudge you are holding, it’s time to let it go. Anger and hatred will poison you and your happiness. According to the Buddha, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone -- you are the one getting burned.” This doesn’t mean that you have to start hanging out with your abusive family members again. It means, however, that you are able to let go of that anger.
- Get off social media. There is a paradoxical relationship between social media and happiness. Research has consistently found that the more that people use social media, the less happy they are. One reason may be comparing yourself to others who are posting about their perfect husbands, luxurious vacation, and full social calendars. If you’re having trouble letting go, try deleting social media apps from your phone or installing a social media timer app.
- Go outside. A connection to nature has been shown to boost happiness. Spending time in nature has even been found to boost happiness regardless of other factors in your life. Go for a walk on a trail, explore a park, or spend time at the beach. Even just getting outside and into the fresh air and sunshine in your neighborhood can help!