How to Be Happy
Everyone wants to be happy. It's the one goal we all share. Being happy is an internal experience of joy and satisfaction.
But being happy doesn't mean that life is perfect. Part of the challenge is that we assume everyone around us is happy and we are being left behind. That just isn't true. We only see what people show us, and in general, they show the world the good stuff.
Did you know that if you spend at least 25% of your time socializing, you are 12 times more likely to feel happy? Having a friend that lives within one mile increases happiness too. Research shows that socializing makes a major impact on happiness. Being married increases it by 10 percent. So having your tribe is important!
Another factor in determining happiness is physical health. Those who are physically healthy are about 20 percent happier than the average person. Unhealthy people are around 8 percent more unhappy. Keeping fit and eating healthy are things you can strive for today!
Money Doesn't Buy Happiness
You might assume that making tons of money creates happiness but studies show that making at least $75,000 contributes to happiness by only 3 percent.
Couples with children report a slight decrease in happiness. This is largely due to new economic strains that often accompany parenting.
The point is that we all have a list of things we think we need to achieve in order to be happy, but in reality, being happy doesn't have to take much.
"People are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln
Focusing on Today not Tomorrow
There are moments you can enjoy every day. Waking up to a great cup of coffee, watching your favorite movie or having quiet time before the kids get home can be treasured. No one is happy all of the time. Anyone who knows me know how much I LOVE my morning coffee!
Living one day at a time makes life easier. Living in the past, or the future, robs you of enjoying today.
Here are some things you can do to get the joy going.
Do More of What you Love
What gets in the way is thinking that you don't have time. Some things like reading only take ten minutes. Don't overthink it!
- Go to the beach
- Ride bikes as a family
- Read your favorite magazine
- Have coffee with an old friend
- Read a good book
- Find a new hobby (or rediscover an old one!)
- Get together with friends
Hang Out with People OFTEN
Make an effort to stay social. Friends make life fun. These are connections that remind you, you are not alone.
Compliment a Stranger
Have you ever noticed that when you do a good deed you feel better? Giving (in moderation) increases gratitude.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
Great music is a fast track to feeling happy - especially at work when things get tense. It only takes a few minutes and it really shifts the mood!
Get and Give Lots of Hugs
Affection increases happiness but sometimes people who are not in a romantic relationship forget that. Touch comforts and eases stress, so don't forget that hug!
Fulfill a Dream
One of the best things I ever did was fulfill a childhood dream of going to film festivals. It was my dream to meet George Clooney and eventually I did! It took a lot of planning but dreams can be fulfilled!
Carving out "Me time"
Is there a time of day that you enjoy the most? Carving out some “me time” provides solitude and moments of peace. Happiness doesn’t happen all the time.
Make a Gratitude List
It's easy focus on the bad stuff but listing your blessings can boost mood fast. Next time you're feeling down, say out loud 10 things that your grateful for and you'll notice a shift more to the positive.
It's important to remember is that we all have ups and downs. If you felt happy all the time, it wouldn't be special, it would be just another day. What is one thing that you could do today to boost your happiness?
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