Happiness is not a one size fit all thing – it changes according to every person’s wants and needs. Hence, what works for one person may not work for the other. In order to be truly happy, you need to find what makes you happy.
How to be happy? This question is something that is very difficult to answer if asked, because the key to happiness is actually understanding what makes us happy. Happiness is a very subjective concept, which means it differs for everyone. What makes one person happy, may not make another person happy. In order for you to be happy, you need to understand what makes you happy and what brings you pleasure.
There are a few ways that can lead you to the path of happiness, but these may not work for everyone. One thing you must understand is – happiness is not a one-time thing, it is a constant on-going process that requires you to strive for the best in you. You have to constantly keep at it, until it becomes a second nature.
Here are a few methods that you can use to get you started on your goal to happiness:
Develop a happy outlook
To get started on the quest of happiness, this is usually the first step. In order for you to become happy, you need to look at things with a positive outlook. No matter how bad things get, you need to be positive. People have this tendency of focusing on the negative aspects and experiences, while forgetting the positive ones. If you can overlook the negative experiences in life and focus on the positive ones, you can train your mind to be more positive.
This ties in with the first point. For every event, focus on the glass half full. Try and look at the silver lining of the situation, instead focusing on the negative aspects of it.
According to numerous researches, gratitude is good for living a happier lifestyle. It helps you become more positive and also helps reduce anxiety and depression. The more thankful you are of your situation and the people you surround yourself with, the happier you will be with your life.
Visualize your best self
This exercise has been proven to increase feelings of happiness. It requires you picturing your best self and a happier self in the future. After that list all the goals and things that you will need to learn to achieve that happier self. It basically requires you to figure out your optimum happiness and then try to learn the skills you would need to achieve it.
Don’t beat yourself up
We are often our own worst critics and we tend to look down upon ourselves, making ourselves feel like we are not good enough. However, you need to eliminate this self-doubt in order to make yourself happy. You need to learn to accept yourself – mistakes and all. You should accept yourself and work towards making yourself better as you see fit.
Set small goals
Don’t jump into this with huge end goals planned, which will only end up overwhelming you. A lot of people jump in with ideas that they will be able to change themselves in a couple of days, but then give up because it doesn’t happen. Set smaller and more achievable goals instead. This helps as smaller goals are easier to achieve and will also provide more motivation in the long run.
Learn to say no
There are always times when you will keep adding on to your overflowing plate of things because you don’t want to seem like the type of person who is not helpful. However, sometimes it is okay to say no. When things are starting to get stressful because you have absolutely no time for yourself, you are going to feel unhappy and negative. However, when you reduce the amount of things on your plate and make time for yourself or things you care about, you will feel happier.
Do the unexpected
Studies also show that when people step out of their comfort zone, they actually tend to be happier. This technique does not work with everyone and people who suffer from anxiety issues should not push themselves unless they are fully comfortable. For others, doing something that is out of the ordinary can often lead to a happier experience.
Don’t focus on materials
Many people believe that they will be happier if they get material items such as money, jewelry a big house or even a fancy car. However, research shows that people who have more material items are comparatively less happy than people who crave less materialistic items. People who instead focus on giving and on other people’s happiness are often happier than the people who focus on materialistic objects.
Exercise and sleep
A healthy body is a happy body. Even 10 minutes of exercise in a day can help elevate your mood and change your outlook on the daily grind. Remember the famous scene from Legally Blond, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy.” Well, this is actually true, exercise releases endorphins, which do give you more energy and generally keeps your mood light. Sleep and healthy eating also play a huge part in how you function daily. Healthier food will keep you from getting lethargic and similarly more sleep means you will have a better mood throughout the day.
Meeting people and going out are bound to take you out from the daily grind and can also help you be happier. The more cooped up you are at home, the more chances of you being an unhappy and stressed out person. Hence, kicking it up, going out once in a while and meeting new people can make you happier.
Leave behind unhappiness
There are always certain things or people in life that will make you unhappy. It is a good to trim out the negativity from your life. Reduce the amount of time you spend in this situation or with these people and instead stick with things and people that make you happy.
A lot of unhappiness comes from holding grudges against people that have done you wrong. However, this unhappiness is only for you. Those people who have made you unhappy have moved on with their lives. For times like these, it is best to forgive. Do not forgive them because they deserve it, but instead forgive them because you do. Holding on to that hurt and pain is only causing you to be unhappy and not them.
Another one of those proven studies include that sharing actually makes you happy. If you are generous to people and share, it helps make you happier.
Get professional help
The tricks above will work for a lot of people who simply need to change up their routine a bit, the people who suffer from serious medical conditions such as depression or anxiety require professional help. There are somethings that you cannot always do alone and in these situations you should not be ashamed to seek professional help. These people will understand why you are unhappy and the real root of the cause of this unhappiness.
Find the right path to happiness for you
As said before there is no general one solution for everyone. For this reason, everyone must try to find the path that makes them happy.
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