16 Ways To Become Happier
1. Savoring – studies have shown that really relishing a moment, taking it all in, taking a breath and sitting in the moment with whatever is wonderful, is an easy way to happiness. It also promotes positive coping. It can be something as simple as looking up at the sky for 30 seconds in wonderment and taking in the sunshine.
2. Give others a break (and yourself!). Everyone screws up. So when someone makes a mistake (including you) practice being gentle and kind and forgiving instead of judgemental. Practice loving kindness with yourself too, give yourself a break.
3. Be realistic in your thinking. Instead of aiming for happiness, try being realistic in your thinking. The brain has a tendency towards a negativity bias and negative events will often be remembered more sharply than the positive ones. So if something unpleasant happens, try to challenge being negative about it. Ask yourself “Does this really matter?”, “Is it really as bad as I think?”.
4. Connection really is what its all about. The human brain is wired to be social and it is a fundamental source of happiness and psychological well being to connect with other people. Even if you are an introvert, be mindful of connecting with others.
5. Be proactive in resolving conflicts. If conflicts arise it is helpful to be proactive in finding solutions and resolving them instead of letting them fester. You can do this with kindness without letting others take advantage of you.
6. Love yourself and your body. Your body works hard to give you the life you have. Recognize what it does for you and you take care of it. Show it kindness and attention through eating well, exercising and perhaps some pampering.
7. Gratitude and thanks – There is a significant body of research that supports the idea that being grateful and thankful for what you have increases positive affect (that is, happiness). Write down five things that happened to you today that you are grateful for.
8. Focus on the positive and try to let go of the negative. – Our brains through evolution are wired to concentrate on the negative. When starting to get overwhelmed with negativity, try to proactively look for the good in your life. To really make this effective, on a daily basis write down give positive things and five things you are grateful for. An easy habit that can immediately increase your happiness.
9. Take a holiday in your hometown. You don’t have to go on holidays to have one. You can try out new experiences close to home. Novel experiences will often increase happiness. Don’t wait till your vacation, you can do it this weekend.
10. Fake it till you make it. If you are feeling down, try smiling. Even better try smiling in the mirror. The brain will get signals that if you fake a happy exterior you may in fact be happy and will release dopamine in the brain
11. Fun. Is that one your daily to do list? If not you need to put it there. Laugh, have fun, do things that you enjoy. Happiness will often follow.
12. Spend money on experiences, not stuff. Money can’t necessarily buy you happiness, but if you spend your money on new experiences, connecting with other people, instead of more stuff. you are more likely to experience happiness.
13. De clutter – clutter and having too much stuff can make you stressful. Strip down your life and your possessions to those things that really make you happy. Overloading on stuff and activity can mean that the things that you really do love can get missed in the clutter
14. Stop comparing yourself to others. Besides what you see on the outside in people is often different to what is really going on in their lives. Just concentrate on yourself, your family and friends and what is important to you.
15. Find meaning in your life and follow it .. happiness follows living a meaningful life.
16. Give – Altruism has been shown over many studies to be a quick trip to happiness.