- Mental Health»
How to Be a Happier Person
What is happiness?
Answering this question might be the beginning of your journey towards finding it. To each person, happiness with be a different thing and therefore require different steps to attain it. One lesson many people have learned throughout time, is that happiness is NOT a destination. There is no “getting there.” It involves good daily living that enables one to feel useful and continent.
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Happy Feelings- Frankie Beverly and Maze
Don’t Worry, Be Happy-Bobby McFerrin
Somewhere Over the Rainbow-Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole
I Can See Clearly Now-Johnny Nash
Walking on Sunshine-Katrina and the Waves
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What follows is a list of tools to promote happiness in your daily life. Take what you like and leave the rest.
1. Enjoy the simple moments: Life is happening and each moment is unique. At any given moment, there is something to find amusement, comfort or even joy within. Sound over stated? Try it and you might surprise yourself! What you chose to focus on grows in significance in your mind so choose wisely.
2. Gratitude lists: In times of hopelessness, sadness or apathy the last thing you may want to do is make a list. Push yourself. Get out of your funk by making a simple list of all you have to be grateful for. This can be as complicated or minimal as you make it. I often start my list with the breath of life I was lucky to wake up with. Again, shifting your mind’s focus is essential to changing your mood.
3. Get out of your comfort zone: Stepping out of your own box always allows for a new perspective. Usually an introvert? Try getting out and being more social. Usually an extrovert? Take some time for yourself. Getting out of what feel safe could be what enables you to let some light into your dark spaces.
4. Socialize more: Conversations with others is essential to our happiness and sanity as human beings. We need to relate and to share our thought, feelings and life happenings. Socializing more might be anything from picking up the phone more often to dedicating one night a week for meeting with friends.
5. Stick with the winners: Who you chose to spend your time with can have a huge effect on your own attitude and mood. Find positive people that are either happy or seeking happiness. These friends are sure to be encouraging and fun to be around.
6. Get out of yourself: Much of our own unhappiness can often be linked to our constant thoughts of ourselves. Taking time out of day to meet the needs of others, even by just being an attentive ear, can change your mood. I often find that when I help others I get a new perspective of my own problems. How important are my gripes and complaints in the face of others real issues and problems?
7. Get a NEW routine: If what you are doing is not working for you, why not take some time to reevaluate? Making a new schedule that allows for more time doing the things you enjoy or need, such as more rest or fun, can bring a much needed breath of fresh air.
8. Take yourself out: How do you feel when you know you have a hot date with loads of possibility? Excited? Well, why not take that excitement and turn it inward. Dating yourself means that you are bound to do some things that will make you smile. For me, this has been an invaluable tool that I use as often as possible for a quick sense of personal enjoyment.
9. Dress up…for no reason: It’s a known fact that when we look better, we feel better. So why not pick out an outfit or two that makes you look your best and where it. My dad taught me to dress for myself. In his toughest days, I saw him stave off depression through simple tools such as this one.
10. Go the extra mile…for you: Most of us would go to the ends of the earth for those we love. Why not practice some self-love and go just as far for yourself. This might mean spending more time taking care of yourself, completing your goals or simply treating yourself to your favorite ice cream. Going the extra mile for you is an attitude worth taking.
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11. Let it go: Holding on to anything can block our happiness. So instead of holding on, try letting go. For small irritances in your day, to unforgiveness, letting go and accepting life allows us to be free to be present to what is happening right in front of us. The longer we hold on to the past, the more we spent the minutes, hours, days and years stuck.
12. Meditate: Meditation, when practiced regularly, helps reduce stress and promote serenity. Sit quietly, breath and accept.
13. Write: Writing is an outlet and many times we must see what blocks our happiness before we are able to move towards it.
14. Find your spiritual core…and nurture it (often): Finding a sense of spirituality has been known to cause people to experience a sense of peace and purpose. Knowing you have a source of strength to draw from when you are feeling weak can lead to happiness. If you have a sense of spirituality or religion and feel disconnected, why not reconnect?
15. Find a cause to support: Finding a good cause to support can bring a sense of usefulness and purpose to your life. Feel passionately about education? Volunteer as a tutor or become an advocate for children. Is there a disease that is particularly close to your heart? Walk, run, bike or volunteer for the treatment or cure.
16. Pursue your passion: What do you love? Music, art, building things, etc? Whatever you enjoy, do it! Even if you don’t think you are good at it or feel as if it will go “nowhere,” doing what you like will make you happy every time you do it.
17. Learn to say “No” and “Yes” only when you mean it: If you’re anything like me, you may have times where you put others needs first. While it is a good thing to be giving, it is not healthy to do it at the expense of your own peace. Next time you are asked to do something, find out what you really want to do before answering follow it.
18. Clean out your closet: Clutter can be debilitating. It literally keeps us stuck, weighing us down. If you’re looking to feel lighter, start by letting some material items go. If you don’t need it, someone else might.
19. Get a “spot”: Many couples have a place they see as their own. Where is your place? Whether a restaurant, a nature trail or a certain room, having a “spot” gives you a place to escape to. Who doesn’t need their own hide out?
20. Reward your good efforts: Do you compliment yourself? Well start! Taking time to acknowledge your accomplishments, strengths and growth is self-esteem building. Happiness starts inside of you. Happy you, happy life.