The question of how to live a happy life has plagued generations before us and is likely to trouble us for the foreseeable future. Many people want to be happy but are unsure of what to do (or, more importantly, stop doing).
In an effort to not focus on the negatives, we’re not going to look at what can make you unhappy. Instead, we want to take a closer look at the things that can make your life much happier instead.
Check them all out below to find out more about living a happier life.
1.Build and Nurture Meaningful Relationships 👩❤️👨
Source: National Library of Medicine
No matter how strong we are, we all want someone to be there with us during the tough moments in our life. We also want someone to celebrate our victories with. And it doesn’t have to be a romantic partner.
We just need a person/s who will be there for us, whoever they may be. No one really likes to be alone. So, one of the ways to truly be happy is to spend time with your family, friends, and other loved ones. Time with them is time well spent indeed🥰.
In fact, research has shown that social relationships can have a positive benefit on your mental health and your mortality. Positive friendships are associated with a higher perceived level of life satisfaction, so if you want to live a happier life, spend more time with your loved ones ♥️!
2.Indulge in Nature 🌿
Source: Scientific Reports
Spending time in nature has been proven to have a positive effect on your mental health. Indeed, in this research on the benefits of nature for those living in urban areas, time spent outdoors was shown to have a positive effect on anxiety, stress, and depression.
While we all live busy lives, getting out into nature is essential. So, you’ll be pleased to know that one study found that spending just 120 minutes in nature per week could benefit your mental health and well-being.
Fortunately, you can break this up over the week. Indeed, just 30 minutes spent in nature 🌳 is thought to reduce blood pressure by 10%. So by spending 30 minutes in nature four times per week, you’ll be able to hit your quota of outdoor time, feel happier, and even feel physically fitter.
3.Savor Your Victories 🏆
Little or big, a victory is something that should be celebrated. Doing so will remind you that life is not all hardships and suffering. Praising yourself for your achievements will increase your optimism and motivate you to do more for yourself and others.
Hint: If you’re working on BIG things, break them down into smaller victories! That way, you won’t lose motivation and can celebrate each of the little wins along the way.
Research suggests that there is positive psychology behind celebrating small wins. Celebrating victories along the way to a bigger goal is a trait of happy people. It improves motivation and ensures people feel they are making progress. As progress is part of human nature, if you have this sense of purpose in your life and work, you’re likely to feel greater happiness.
4.Practice Gratitude 🙏
Source: Harvard Health Publishing
If you’re looking for an effortless way to reduce stress and improve your overall happiness, practicing gratitude is the best thing you can do. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude have better mental health and cope with stress better.
Practicing gratitude daily can be incredibly simple. You could spend a few moments each evening writing down a few things you’re grateful for each day, or you could incorporate gratitude into a meditation practice 🧘.
However you do it, gratitude has been proven over and over to have a positive effect on happiness. So if you want to feel happy in life, start giving thanks.
5.Live in the Moment ⌚
We typically regret what we didn’t do in the past. Or sometimes, we tend to worry too much about our future. But that shouldn’t be the case as we live in the now.
While it’s not wrong to reminisce sometimes or plan ahead 📅, remember the importance of being present. You can only live a specific moment once, so make the most out of it. When you do so, you’ll appreciate your life more, and you’ll be thankful that you did.
If you frequently feel your mind wandering to the future, overthinking about past actions, or you simply don’t feel present, you could try grounding techniques throughout your day. A grounding technique brings your mind and body back to the present moment.
Grounding techniques to try:
- 5-4-3-2-1: This technique uses all four senses. In your mind, think of five things you can see 👀, four things you can touch 👇, three things you can hear 👂, two things you can smell 👃, and one thing you can taste 👅. By becoming aware of what your senses pick up on, your mind will be forced back into the present moment.
- Body scan meditation: A body scan meditation helps you to focus on your body and how it is feeling. It pulls you away from everything going on around you and reminds you to stay present. It can improve focus and help to calm you.
6.Be Honest With Your Friends and Yourself 🗣️
Being honest is a simple way to lead a happier life. If you’re constantly lying to people or hiding things, you’ll run ragged, trying to keep up with all the lies you’ve told. Being fair and honest with everyone in your life will boost your connection and ensure your relationship thrives.
Honesty is also something you should respect yourself enough for. Being honest with yourself and building self-awareness ensures you keep growing and keeps you moving forward.
If you lie to yourself, like telling yourself you’re happy when you’re not, you may overexert yourself, feel more stress, and stay in situations you know harm your well-being because you cannot admit to yourself that you made a mistake.
Be honest with yourself and with others to feel good.
7.Love Yourself 🫂
Source: Oxford Academic
While saying ‘love yourself’ probably won’t do much good, loving and respecting yourself is key to happiness. It will take work, but once you get to a stage where you truly love yourself, you will feel more content than ever before.
Self-esteem is an important part of good mental well-being 🧠. Developing self-esteem can actually help you to feel better both mentally and physically. But how do you learn to love yourself? There are a few ways, including the following.
- Be kinder to yourself – Being kind to yourself includes speaking more kindly to yourself. A good way to do this is to speak to yourself how you would speak to a friend. You wouldn’t be cruel to a friend, so don’t do it to yourself.
- Recognize the positives – Instead of constantly pointing out your failures and mistakes, take more time to focus on the positive things you have done and achieved.
- Have a support network – Friends and family are excellent for supporting you and helping you to feel good about yourself.
- Stop comparisons – While the age of social media has made it difficult not to compare yourself to others, self-love comes from knowing we’re all on our own journeys. Remember that people often only advertise their wins, and everyone has bad days. You could even try culling your social media to follow accounts that help you to feel more positive.
8.Focus On Your Passion 🔎
In life, you must spend time doing things that you love. While it may be quite difficult to have a job that you’re passionate about, you can use your free time to engage in hobbies that make you smile. And if you’re lucky, you can build a career out of this passion too.
Harmonious passion is defined as a passion that originates from an internalization of an activity into your identity. This kind of passion creates positive emotions and is thought to contribute to sustainable psychological well-being. Psychological well-being can be defined as happiness, life satisfaction, and self-growth and is key to efficient psychological functioning.
So, how do you find your passion?
Well, chances are, something in your life already makes you smile. It could be reading 📚 on a rainy day (granted, we can’t control the weather, but you can definitely carve out time for reading more!), or maybe you like to build model airplanes ✈️ in your free time. Whatever it is, if you’ve already found it, keep doing it!
If you’re struggling right now to think of something you’re really passionate about, then there are a few ways you can work it out for yourself. These are as follows.
- Make a list of things you do like to do and things you don’t like to do.
- Look for the high points in your day. When do you feel most happy?
- Consider what you spend your money on. Is really good coffee ☕ something you have to have? Do you like to buy director’s cuts of your favorite films?
- Rekindle your childhood passions. What did you love to do as a kid?
9.Keep On Learning 🤓
Personal growth is a vital part of mental well-being. While you may have goals you want to meet, a huge part of happiness is the journey to those goals. Personal development helps you to feel more fulfilled as a person, and fulfillment translates into happiness.
Humans, unlike many other animals, have the capacity for learning and intellectual advancement. There is a link between those who are dedicated to lifelong learning and those who are happier, and in the digital age, lifelong learning is easier than ever.
With books, podcasts, documentaries, online courses, and more, all available at our fingertips, you can spend your free time growing your knowledge of almost anything. This learning could also lead to a new passion and even a shift in your career direction.
10.Ask For Help When Needed 👫
One of the greatest things you can learn in your life is when to ask for help. In fact, it is the first thing that we learn as babies 🤱. Asking for help when needed isn’t weak, contrary to what people think these days. Instead, it means you can get the support you need to ensure you don’t burn out or overwhelm yourself trying to deal with everything alone.
Talking to your support system when you have problems, asking for help from colleagues when you have too much work, and asking for more guidance if needed can all ensure you get what you need from others. If you get help when you need it, you are more likely to be able to help others when they need it too.
You can’t pour from an empty jug 🏺, so always ask for help when you need it to continue to help others too.
Living a happy life isn’t about meeting a series of checkboxes ✅, but there are things you can do to make it more likely. The list we have provided here offers a few recommendations based on scientific research into happiness. Try to implement them into your life to lead a more fulfilling and happy life.