According to The Wall Street Journal, happy people are more motivated and more successful in achieving their goals as compared to unhappy people. It is inevitable that there will be ups and downs in life work, but this does not mean that you cannot remain happy in life. Happiness is a choice made by you and there are many things that you can do to enjoy a happier state of mind.
Here are the 14 small steps to get you started.
- Enjoy little things around you: Happiness lies in small things and you just need to seize the moment. Look at the sun, look at the trees and flowers, look at the beauty of nature, beauty of people around you and savor it all. Take out time from your busy schedules and enjoy the little things today. This can be done by being more mindful and aware of the surroundings. A growing number of scientific studies are showing that mindfulness has direct impact in many aspects of your life including your physical and mental well-being, relationships and performance at school and at work. Start being mindful today or else tomorrow you may look back and realize how much you have missed in your life.
- Include exercise in your daily routine: Body and mind are connected and it has been found that being active makes people happier as well as improves their physical health. This is why regular physical exercise is very important if you wish to remain happy. Devise a workout schedule, even if it is only something quick and simple. You can enjoy half an hour of walking in the morning, swimming in the afternoon or bicycling in the afternoon. Exercise will instantly improve your mood and can even lift you out of depression and reduce stress in life. If possible fit meditation into your schedule as it has got many health benefits. Studies have shown that meditation can actually rewire the brain to permanently reduce stress level while increasing feelings of contentment and happiness.
- Try your best to smile: Choose to smile more often if you wish to spread happiness around yourself. A smile is a choice, not a miracle. Don’t wait for people to smile and instead be ready to show them how to smile. A genuine smile will make you and everyone around you feel better as the act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you are happy. Smiling will also lift you out of a depression because it releases endorphins, brain chemicals that relieve pain and increase your feelings of contentment.
- Be an optimistic person: When you expect the best from life and you will receive the very best. In fact, life will treat you exactly the way you expect to be treated and so it is highly recommended to remain optimistic towards life. Always focus on positive aspects of yourself, your life, and others. Positive thoughts create positive feelings and a constructive external behavior. Also over time positive emotions helps to build the resources that lead to happier lives, such as friends, knowledge, better problem solving and even better health.
- Learn to express gratitude: Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Life will look much better if you take out the time to feel grateful, to appreciate things and to express that feeling of appreciation in some way. You must express gratitude for what you have and also for mistakes you made in the past and the lessons you have learned from them. Also be gratitude towards people who made your life easier and helped you whenever there is a need.
- Nurture social relationships: Just as relationships are a two-way thing, there is strong connection between happiness and relationships. Not only do relationships help to make us happier, but also happy people tend to have more and better quality relationships. So, go out and meet new people, spend time with family members and friends. Do not forget that people are social animals and you cannot be happy by living alone. People who prefer to remain alone often feel lonely, one of the main reasons behind unhappiness.
- Avoid over-thinking and comparison: No one is perfect and each person has a unique personality. Your personality and achievements in life are the result of your upbringing and how you look towards life. So instead to comparing yourself with others and wasting time on over thinking, you need to spend your time and energy towards improving yourself and your life. Also success and happiness is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction. Learn to accept the person you are with all your pros and cons to increase your enjoyment of life, your resilience and your well-being. It also helps you to accept others as they are.
- Have faith in God: Having faith in God makes people feel safe and secure. It also gives them strength when in danger and faith when in doubt. There is an invisible force that created us all and this force is watching over us. By knowing this you become a lot happier and at peace due to the fact that you feel you are not alone. In fact, several research works have shows that religious and spiritual people are happier, perhaps because of the social connections they get through their community. Also such people tend to report more life satisfaction than others.
- Write your own journal: Keeping a journal in which you imagine and write about the best possible future for yourself or practice looking at the bright side of every situation is a great way to remain happy in life. Many a time people express their desire or wish in front of others. But by writing down the dreams, the aspirations, the things that meant a lot to you and lot more you can feel more relaxed. This also helps to reduce stress level.
- Keep learning: No matter what age you are and how successful you are, you must keep learning new things. Many of us make the mistake of not learning new things and often become unhappy in life. So, always look for new things in life. This will keep you engaged and there will be no room for boredom in your life. Take a look at yourself, your skills and interests, and find something that you can enjoy doing every day. You can so something creative, such as drawing, painting, playing music, writing, cooking, etc. even if you are not an artist. Doing new things or learning a new art will expose you to new ideas and help your stay curious and engaged.
- Set achievable goals: If you want to be happy, you need to set goals. Know what is it that you want from life, ask for it and trust that in the end you will receive it. Set personal as well as career goals. Doing so will give you a sense of direction and you can feel security in life. But make sure to set achievable goals or else it will cause more unhappiness.
- Learn to forgive: According to Buddha, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.” It has been found that forgiving people tend to be happier, healthier, and more empathetic. But very people realize the huge impact the ability to forgive others can have on their happiness. Learn to forgive yourself and those people who might have hurt you in the past. The moment you forgive, you free yourself from pain and you allow happiness to enter your life once again.
- Care about others: When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Random acts of kindness have been scientifically shown to increase happiness and wellbeing. Try to do good things for others, whether friends or strangers, directly or anonymously, spontaneously or planned. Doing good things and caring for others also create stronger connections between people and helps to build a happier society for everyone.
- Take care of your body: A health body is one of the secrets behind happy life. This is why you need to take proper care of your body. Eat healthy foods, preferably plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and dairy products. Avoid fried or processed foods. Also make sure to stay plenty hydrated. Studies show that even mild dehydration can lead to increased irritability and decreased happiness. Plus, try to get a good night’s rest. Enough sleep has been shown to increase natural resilience against negative emotions and helps to reduce stress and increase happiness in life.
By incorporating these small but useful steps in your life you can bring happiness in your life as well as others.