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Ten Tips for Increasing Your Happiness

Updated on March 2, 2012

Happiness is an elusive thing. It comes and goes, often in ways that we can't understand. Sometimes, we'll look at our lives and realize that we have a lot to be happy about, but we just aren't ... it can be a horribly frustrating experience. But there are things that you can do to increase your happiness in small ways on a daily basis. By doing so, you won't always avoid the downtimes but you'll significantly improve your average level of happiness.

Here are ten tips for increasing your happiness:

1. Make a list of 100 things that make you happy. Do it right now. Sound intimidating? Once you start to brainstorm the little things that give you pleasure, you'll see that the list adds up. Include everything that makes you even slightly happier than you are now. Examples would be seeing a rainbow, hearing your favorite ring tone, and making someone else laugh. Include big things (like being with family) as well. Post this list somewhere where you can see it every day.

2. Keep a happiness journal. A big part of happiness is being able to focus on what makes you happy. Your list is a good start but it's only a beginning. You should also regularly check-in with yourself about your own happiness. Spend ten minutes at the end of each day writing down the things that made you happy each day. At the end of each week, you can use these entries to make a new list of items to add to your original 100 ‘happy things' list.

3. Eat well. You probably don't want to hear it, but it's true. If you're surviving on a diet of caffeine and sugar, you are probably experiencing a bunch of emotional ups and downs throughout the day. A healthy diet will make your emotional self more consistent and allow you to feel a more stable sense of happiness.

4. Be healthy. If you are sick, you aren't going to be able to be truly happy. If your unhappiness and general sense of ill-being continues for an extended period of time, you should check in with a doctor and make sure that there's not a deeper problem.

5. Simplify. Stress is a major cause of people's unhappiness. To increase happiness, you need to reduce your stress levels. To do that, you need to simplify your life. If you're running around every day like a chicken with its head cut off, you aren't going to be happy. Figure out where you can cut back on work so that you can add more fun into your life. Reducing your debt, decreasing your commitments and making your home management more efficient are all related to simplifying your life.

6. Adopt childlike wonder. It's true in some ways that children find happiness more quickly than adults. A big reason for this is that they approach the world with a sense of awe. They ask questions about the things that they see around them instead of just taking them for granted. They get excited about small things like wishing on dandelions. Try to adopt an attitude of childlike wonder when you are out in the world. Ask yourself what is new about the situation and why it is the way it is. Search for answers with abandon. You'd be surprised how much lighter this can make you feel.

7. Experience new things. Part of being able to capture that sense of wonder is by not always doing the same things that you usually do. Schedule time to experience new things on a regular basis and approach them with an eye towards enjoying them. These can be small things in your hometown like walking a trail that you've never walked before. They can also be big things like learning to scuba dive, taking a vacation to a foreign country or starting a new business. Always push your own limits and you'll stretch your capacity for happiness.

8. Surround yourself with positive people. One of the biggest drains on our happiness is the people around us who like to sap our energy. It's time to do some assessment about your life and really look at who does and doesn't belong in it. If your sister Sally calls every day and complains about her life and asks for your advice and generally expresses neediness, she's bringing you down. Nothing says that you have to cut her out of your life completely, but minimize the number of calls that you'll take so you can maximize your own happiness.

9. Stop complaining and seek solutions. The more that you complain about anything negative that's going on in your life, the more likely you are to feel unhappy. Misery breeds more misery. Every time that you catch yourself complaining about something, stop yourself. Ask yourself, ‘what am I going to do about it?' In this way, you'll find solutions to your unhappiness on a regular basis. And if you regularly find that you're not willing to do anything about it, you'll have a better basis for understanding why it is that you are unhappy.

10. Accept sadness as a part of life. A major part of being happy is knowing that you're not going to be happy all of the time. When you have genuine reasons for being sad, let yourself feel that emotion. Curl up in bed with a good book and a comfy pair of PJs and wallow for awhile. Acknowledging your other emotions and taking them seriously will give yourself more of a chance to feel true happiness.

There are many things that you can do on a daily basis to improve your own happiness. Some are going to be more difficult than others. You'll have to mix and match ideas to find out what really works for you. But the key thing to remember is that you want to spend time focusing on the things in life that are making you happy instead of the things that are not.

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  • profile image

    a_vaha1978 6 years ago

    Hey Kathryn,

    I have to say this is a great list of things to increase your happiness level. But I can add a few more. First of all, you have to look at what motivates you to keep on going and focus on that. And then, this one is especially huge: do not watch the news in the morning. Overall, a fantastic list. Great job!!

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 6 years ago

    I love the little 'signpost' image. Which direction do we chose to go? Where did you find this?

  • midnightbliss profile image

    Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

    i love this article. we have more reasons to be happy if we decide to see things on the brighter side.

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 6 years ago

    Cool. Don't worry, be happy. Blessings, Debby

  • amymarie_5 profile image

    amymarie_5 6 years ago from Chicago IL

    Great tips! It's so true about having positive people around you. I noticed my attitude changed for the better when I stopped associating with negative people. This is also wondefully written. Voted up.

  • profile image

    Carlo 6 years ago

    Thanks! I'll keep on trying.

  • ReggieD06 profile image

    ReggieD06 6 years ago

    Kathryn,

    Nice hub!

    After reading "The Secret" I have a better understanding of why I am attracted to hubs like this one. Also, I understand why my closest friends are my closest friends. I try to surround myself with the most positive, supportive people I can find. This is the case in work and in play. When we are operating with others on one accord, even the challenges that we face are less harrowing.

    As TFHodge said in one of the earlier posts, I believe that happiness begins with the choice to be happy. If we choose to be happy and find ourselves in situations that do not support that choice, we are going to actively remove ourselves from those situations. As Kid Cudi said, I'm on a "pursuit of happiness".

    Take care, Kathryn.

    Reggie D.

  • Dr.Ope profile image

    Olive Ellis 6 years ago

    Thanks for the 10 tips. I tried, but could not come up with 100 things that make me happy. I cant even think of 20! I will keep trying. I agree with all your suggestions. I am inviting you to visit my hub Forty-Plus-And-Fab-u-lous.

  • st lucia for sale profile image

    st lucia for sale 6 years ago from St Lucia

    Great article content with easy to follow tips. Hopefully I can increase my happiness levels!

  • domandtiff profile image

    domandtiff 6 years ago from Midway Park (Camp Lejeune), NC

    Hello, I really like this posting, I am actually new to the HP, although My second posting is alot similar, and since you have alot of traffic and seem to be alot more firmiliar with posting and blogging I would like you to check out my most recent Post and let me know what you think, It is about turning your everyday life around with a smile.. Let me know. Thank you soo much for this posting, it was very inspirational!!

    https://hubpages.com/health/what-it-takes-to-be-a-...

  • gajanis786 profile image

    gajanis786 6 years ago

    Good article...I am sure if someone try to follow at least the half of the tips here will feel real happiness...thanks.

  • profile image

    The_Idea_Gal 6 years ago

    Good stuff, words to live by. Thanks!

  • Ashantina profile image

    Ashantina 6 years ago

    Great article! I intend to do all of the above :)

  • onrea profile image

    onrea 7 years ago from Rochester, NY

    Nice hub! Very good tips on how to improve your quality of life.

  • profile image

    helene.bliss 7 years ago

    there are many things we can do to feel happy and contented. Great hub! I really like the tips and info that you shared to us.

  • profile image

    shameemloves 7 years ago

    Great post!Thanks for good hub

  • profile image

    moons 7 years ago

    I enjoy reading this. Thanks!

    The purpose of my life is to be happy - Dalai lama

  • Daniela Daljac profile image

    Daniela Daljac 7 years ago from AUSTRALIA

    I am so happy positive person and love reading what will make me happy more! Thanks for great hub love it!

  • tjmatel3 profile image

    Peter Grant 7 years ago from McDonough, GA

    No. 11 tip for happiness - "The way to be happy is to make others happy." Good hub!

  • Rastamermaid profile image

    Rastamermaid 7 years ago from Universe

    Simply lovin it!

    Thanx for sharing!

  • withyouamalive profile image

    withyouamalive 7 years ago from Lagos

    I love this part: Accept sadness as a part of life. Although it's kind of touchy, but it's the plain truth. Tragedies are meant to happen and we are meant to fall the victims. So why worry? It's like thinking that because you are a good person, you've escaped pain. I wrote something on happiness; maybe you should check it out http://gettingyourfreedom.blogspot.com/2010/10/how...

  • AllieRambles profile image

    AllieRambles 7 years ago from Bay Area, California

    Just reading this made me happy. I am going to follow your advice. I have one more to add, it makes me happy. Set small, easy daily goals and fulfill them everyday. This makes me feel fulfilled and happy. For example, play a board game with my daughter, do 2 loads of laundry, walk for 30 minutes. You get the idea. These are simple for me, everyone is different, some may choose harder or easier.

    You really got me thinking today! THX!

  • profile image

    sharada 7 years ago

    just simply superub.

  • TheWorldNow profile image

    TheWorldNow 7 years ago from Washington DC

    Would you say that making other people happy could be one way of making yourself happy? I mean, think about the feeling it gives you when you make someone's day. You know what I mean?

  • profile image

    universaltruth 7 years ago

    One key to happiness is not measuring your success by your material possessions.

  • BalanceTree profile image

    BalanceTree 7 years ago

    Great hub!

  • TroyM profile image

    TroyM 7 years ago

    Be thankful, that helps too. Seriously, say a prayer each day for what you are thankful for.

  • fucsia profile image

    fucsia 7 years ago

    this is a very good hub! Too much often we forget that the power to be happy is just within us... Thank you for sharing

  • selfbetter profile image

    selfbetter 7 years ago

    Good tips. I would add one more though: base you life on true principles.

  • tfhodge profile image

    tfhodge 7 years ago from California - U.S.A.

    Great tips, great hub. These and many other methods of inducing happiness only begin to produce the outcome one seeks when one decides, first, to BE happy - from within. Although there are numerous moments of 'feeling' good or happy, sustained and lasting happiness, as a state of being, is a manifestation of one's choosing. I enjoyed reading your hub. Thanks for sharing.

  • music2electro profile image

    music2electro 7 years ago from Germany

    Your an excellent writer!

  • music2electro profile image

    music2electro 7 years ago from Germany

    Great! Realizing the stress in my life really inspires me to make my life more simple to be happier. Thank you!

  • digitalexplorer profile image

    digitalexplorer 7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Thanks for reminding us to be happy all the time and acknowledge that there is a point in our life that we feel sad. Keep smiling!

  • easylearningweb profile image

    Amelia Griggs 7 years ago

    Another great hub! I agree totally and you've certainly got the right idea.

    Have a great day!

    :-)

  • Johnyboy profile image

    Johnyboy 7 years ago

    If you've gotten my smile in that picture you should know that mine is "copyrighted" :P

  • Bail Up ! profile image

    Bail Up ! 7 years ago

    This is an example of hubs I just love to read. Great tips!

    Thank you.

  • shaunese profile image

    shaunese 7 years ago from Brampton

    This was a good hub! You are a great writer, hence the many followers! Jumping on the band wagon!

  • treasuresyw profile image

    treasuresyw 7 years ago from Savannah, GA

    I really enjoye this hub. I even read it aloud to my sweetie. Thank you for sharing it and we will try to apply some of these things. Peace

  • profile image

    Tina 7 years ago

    I enjoy what you said ,and they work very well !yeah,life is as simple as a child!we should be happy but complaint!And share the happines with all of you!

  • profile image

    scheng1 8 years ago

    I enjoy reading this article so much! It's such a simple and nice article with practical tips for happiness.

  • BeiYin profile image

    BeiYin 8 years ago from Ibiza Spain

    How can I really be happy when receiving some goodies occasionally or when working hard for it, - when I can have access to the whole abundance of creation?

    Holding people at their limited view, confirming them in their misery and giving them some sweeties maybe is not the most efficient... But you might be right: better they suck on their thumb and be happy, then growing up and reaching out for more! Indeed, we have to deal with reality and offering too much will just cause rejection...

  • Healthyminds profile image

    Healthyminds 8 years ago

    great hub, thanks

  • nigelking profile image

    nigelking 8 years ago from Planet Earth - I think!

    Happy to have read your Hub!

  • Lexy profile image

    Lexy 8 years ago

    Great hub! I like your suggestions they are very positive and "do-able"!

  • Cleanclover profile image

    Cleanclover 8 years ago from Piece of land!

    Fantastic hub. I feel i am happy cos i am always aware of the moment. Thank you

  • Health Wise profile image

    Health Wise 8 years ago

    Great hub, lots of tips. I think most people would rather complain about their lives rather than doing something about it. I've found Subliminal CD's a great help in changing any situation.

  • Navy Jobs Source profile image

    Navy Jobs Source 8 years ago

    Every one of your tips is very important for achieving happiness in your life. Your hub is a wonderful reminder to people to what happiness really is and how you achieve it.

  • profile image

    scheng1 8 years ago

    Good article. sometimes just reflecting on life is happiness itself, and dont think so much about the seemingly successful life of others

  • EcoAsh profile image

    EcoAsh 8 years ago from Hemet

    nice hub. good information. check out mine

  • Suki C profile image

    Barbara C 8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

    great hub - lots of good sense ideas to take on board.

    Now I've just got to put them into practice! :)

  • Hope Wilbanks profile image

    Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana

    Of all these, I think #9 is my favorite. :) Way too many gripe and complain about their problems, or things they don't like, instead of trying to figure out a solution to change it. Great hub!

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 8 years ago from Canada

    Couldn't say it any better.

  • happylabtails profile image

    happylabtails 8 years ago from FLORIDA

    Couldn't have said it better. The truth is when life gives you lemons.........

    I believe the closer you are to prayer and the almighty the happier you are.

  • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

    Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

    Wonderful, and I agree with you on the whole hub and in the details!