It seems as if everybody is constantly in search of true happiness and wants to live a happy life, but as happiness is subjective, what does happiness mean to you? To some people, happiness is waking up every day and being able to do something that you love. For others, happiness is having a large bank balance, a big house, and a fancy car.
The truth is that, as happiness is subjective, it doesn’t matter what it is that makes you happy, what matters is that you truly feel happy deep in your soul.
Though on the outside, being happy and leading a happy life is simply smiling and laughing more, in reality, happiness is an emotion and feeling that is much harder to achieve than we realize.
According to recent scientific research, in the United States, only one-third of the population claims to be truly happy. With mental health issues now more prominent than ever before, something drastic needs to change sooner, rather than later.
Being positive is a great first step in your quest towards a happy life, but in truth, there is so much more to achieving true happiness than that.
Here are several tried and tested tips to help you achieve and live a happy life.
1. Sort out your sleeping pattern
To begin with, one of the easiest and most effective ways of getting your quest towards a happy life off to a flying start is to sort out your sleeping pattern.
Sleep is essential for physical and mental health, as it helps us charge our metaphorical batteries ready for the next day ahead.
Sleep helps our bodies heal, improves organ function, boosts your mood, helps us to focus, helps us feel better, helps ward off depression, anxiety, stress, and other negative feelings and emotions.
Too many people find themselves staying up late at night, either waking up too early or too late, which can disrupt their sleeping schedules and patterns.
Each night, aim for between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, try to go to sleep before midnight, and avoid electronic devices such as phones or tablets at least an hour before you plan on sleeping.
Getting a good night’s sleep might be one of the easiest steps to take on your quest for a happy life, but it is also one of the most important.
2. Understand that wealth isn’t indicative of happiness
Far too many people find themselves consumed by trivial and superficial matters such as wearing designer clothes, driving sports cars, owning a big house, and having a large bank balance.
Okay, if your goals are to be financially stable and make money, then, by all means, work hard and do what you need to do to make your dreams a reality, but don’t assume that money is the only thing needed for a happy life because it isn’t.
The problem with that frame of mind is that people assume that money is all that is needed to be happy, and if they fail to become what society would deem as “rich” they feel like failures, and it has the exact opposite effect.
It may be a cliché, but the saying that ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ is true for many people, so stop focusing solely on money in an attempt to live a happy life. As mentioned, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be financially stable and successful, but please remember that happiness requires a lot more than a large bank balance.
3. Embrace your smile
What’s the easiest way to see whether or not a person is happy? Easy, just look at their face and see whether or not they’re smiling.
If you want a happy life and want to achieve true happiness, one of the most effective and easiest things you can do is smile more.
When we smile, we usually do so because we’re happy. This only heightens this emotion because smiling has been scientifically proven to stimulate the production of endorphins such as dopamine, which makes us feel happy and content.
We aren’t saying that you should fake a smile or force yourself to smile when you don’t want to because that would be weird and would look creepy. What we are saying, though, is that if you do find yourself feeling happy and wanting to smile, don’t try to hide your smile or suppress it, instead, embrace it and show it off to the world.
4. Get more exercise
If you’re serious about achieving a happy life and finding true happiness, another thing you can do is get more exercise and become more active.
Exercise isn’t simply for the body; it also works wonders on the mind. It is essential for anybody looking to live a happy life and generally lift their spirits and feel happier.
Exercise promotes the production of endorphins; it can improve how we look, improve our self-confidence, help us sleep better, improve our sex lives, strengthen our immune systems, improve health in general, and a whole lot more on top of that.
If you want to live a happy life, find the time to exercise more and become more active. How you exercise is entirely down to you. If you like to work out at the gym or lift weights, go right ahead. If however, you prefer gentler, more relaxed exercise, how about a leisurely stroll through the park or countryside?
As long as you are active and moving, your mind, body, and soul will benefit from exercise.
5. Leave the past in the past
Another very useful strategy for people looking to achieve true happiness and to live a happy life is to make sure that they leave the past where it belongs, which is in the past.
No matter what has happened negatively to you in the past, the thing to remember is that it only has the power to negatively impact you and your life if you let it. After all, we can’t change what has already happened, so why should we worry about it and stop it from allowing us to achieve a happy life?
6. Eat healthy foods
Another very effective strategy for people looking to live a happy life and feel a great deal happier and more content in life is cleaning up their diets and eating healthy produce.
They say that ‘you are what you eat’ and whilst we shouldn’t take that saying too literally if you look at it objectively, it actually makes a great deal of sense. If you eat a lot of processed junk food, drink alcohol, eat heaps of sugar and trans fat, you feel like, well, junk. We find our energy levels drained, our skin suffers, we gain weight, get dry or greasy skin and hair, get spots, and our hormones are disrupted, and we simply don’t look or feel healthy.
On the other side of the coin, if we clean up our diets and eat fresh and healthy produce full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we find that our energy levels increase, we feel happier, we look better, our skin and hair becomes healthier, and our bodies and minds become healthier.
You should never under-estimate the importance of a healthy diet regarding leading a happy life so ditch the junk food and instead make sure you consume plenty of healthy, wholesome, nutritious foods.
7. Seek out activities that emphasize your strengths
If you’re seeking a happy life, another very effective strategy that you can utilize is to seek out new activities and pastimes that emphasize your strengths.
If for example, you are a keen cyclist and are good at cycling, why not take up cycling regularly as part of your weekly exercise and activity regime?
By engaging in activities that you are good at, not only does this make it more likely that you will enjoy them, you will also benefit from a sense of accomplishment because you have actually achieved something easily.
A happy life is not something that comes easily, but if you find things that you’re good at that give you a sense of accomplishment, all of a sudden meeting your goals and targets for achieving a happy life will become a whole lot easier.
8. Express gratitude
For those who seek a happy life, another tried and tested tip for achieving precisely that is to express gratitude daily.
From the moment you open your eyes in the morning until the second your eyes close at night, try to find things in life to be grateful for.
Studies have found that those who express gratitude daily are far more likely to be happy and feel content in life, making it much easier to achieve a happy life.
As your day goes on, look for things in life that you feel grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant they may be. Whether it’s warm sunshine, rain for your flowers, your friends, your family, your loved ones, your health, your favourite TV show, or anything else whatsoever, if you are grateful for it, be sure to address these feelings and embrace gratitude.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling blessed, and if you are on the hunt for a happy life, gratitude will go a long way towards making your dreams a reality.
9. Try to be kinder to others
As well as being a hugely successful movie star, former WWE wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is also somewhat of a motivational speaker. He often says, ‘It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice’.
If you want to enjoy a happy life, make a conscious effort to be kinder to others.
You never know how somebody else is feeling or what they’re going through, and sometimes a small gesture like a smile, a polite hello, a compliment, or even a gift, could literally be the difference between happiness and misery.
For anybody in search of that elusive happy life, one way of not only lifting your own spirits but also those of somebody else is to make an effort to be kinder to others.
10. Practice breathing exercises
If you want a happy life, another very useful tip for you to try is to practice deep breathing exercises.
Breathing is great for de-stressing and relaxing as it can help our muscles and minds relax. When we feel stressed, we’re often told to take a deep breath and to relax.
If you ever feel tense, stressed, angry, or unhappy, try closing your eyes, visualizing a happy memory, taking a slow and deep breath in through the nose, and then out through the mouth.
Repeat this process over and over again until whichever negative feelings or emotions that you are experiencing have passed.
It may not sound like much, but if you truly seek a happy life, this is a great tip to help you on your way to meeting your goals and targets.
11. Make sure to acknowledge the tough times
As we’re talking about leading a happy life and achieving general happiness and well-being, it’s important that we acknowledge the tough times along with the good times.
Bad times happen to us all, and we all have our own stories to tell, but one of the worst things we can do is repress these memories and not acknowledge them because they will always be there in the back of our minds, simmering away.
If you happen to slip up and make a mistake, get some bad news, experience something negative, or anything else that you consider to be tough or stressful, don’t just try to repress it and put it to the back of your mind, instead, acknowledge them, remind yourself that you can’t change what has happened, and move on.
Okay, none of us like remembering the bad times, but you need to acknowledge it and move it if you want happiness and a happy life.
12. Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to say NO
If you are truly set on achieving a happy life, another thing you need to be willing to do is to say no.
Self-care is a key component of a person’s happiness, and you need to say NO when necessary. Set boundaries to avoid people taking advantage of your good nature.
If somebody asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, be willing to say NO, set boundaries and stick to said boundaries for your own personal happiness.
To live a happy life, sometimes you will need to get a little selfish and put yourself before others, and you know what? That’s perfectly fine.
Set boundaries and limits and don’t be afraid to enforce them and stick to them, even if it potentially upset others. At the end of the day, people that truly cared about you would understand that you are doing what is necessary for you to live a happy life, and if they don’t, they obviously don’t truly care about you.
13. Don’t be afraid to try
Again, it may be another cliché, but as the saying goes, ‘we miss 100% of the chances we don’t take’.
Would rather live your life full of regret, wondering what if, or would you rather have a happy life, safe in the knowledge that you tried something, gave it your best shot, and still failed?
Far too many of us find ourselves holding ourselves back because we’re afraid of trying something new, not because we’re scared of what will happen if we succeed, but we’re scared that we’ll get our hopes up, fail, and will be right back at square one.
To live a happy life, you need to realize that, sometimes in life, it is worth trying something, even if it doesn’t work out and you fail.
Failure is thought of negatively, and the mere mention of the word conjures up negative connotations, yet if you change the way you think and alter your mindset, failure can be a positive on your journey to a happy life.
If you try something and fail, okay, failing sucks, but now you know that your previous method doesn’t work, so you either know that the venture in question wasn’t right for you, or you know what not to do next time.
Put simply, if you’re serious about a happy life and true happiness, make sure that you embrace failure and make sure that you push yourself out of your comfort zone so that you can try new things.