25 tips for more happiness August 5, 2015
Having a positive outlook on things makes life much easier and more enjoyable. So here you will find a list of tips for more happiness in your life!
1. Find happiness by slowing down
Do less and be more choosy when it comes to how you spend your time and who you spend it with.
Listen to your feelings and needs. If something or someone makes you feel bad, it is probably not worth your time. Focus on the important things in your life. What matters to you or makes you feel good? Spend your time doing that and do not let stress dictate your life and schedule.
Try to declutter your to-do list and try to free your life from everything that feels toxic or like an unnecessary extra you also want to get done. Over scheduling kills your energy and it makes you stressed out. Feelings of stress and being constantly overwhelmed are the main killers of happiness.
I am not telling you that your life can be absolutely stress free, to me that does seem overly optimistic. There are things that are annoying or uncomfortable but need to be done as an adult in this world. I am also not telling you that you need to change careers or slack at your job (although I will get to the job part later in this article) because you only live once, because I do not believe in general advice given without actually knowing you .
But I do suggest that you become aware of what causes your stress. Take inventory of your stress levels. Notice the negative stress that makes your stomach hurt, gives you headaches or makes you upset on a regular basis. Listen to your body! Listen to your feelings! And if you do that and make choices that make you feel good, you will get to a more peaceful and happy lifestyle. I also think that if you have a job that you really hate, it might be time to look for a different one!
Minimalism in productivity is meant in the sense that you can only manage to do that many things on any given day. If you declutter your life and reduce the things on your to-do list , you will have less things to worry about and a life overall that is less time consuming and more manageable. You do not get lost in your physical or emotional clutter any more.
Do what needs to be done but do not overfill your daily to-do lists!
2. Focus on the positives
Try, and I mean that, really try to stay positive no matter what happens. You take away your inner peace and make life way harder for yourself if you constantly worry about things and get overwhelmed in the negative aspects (real or imagined) of your life. I believe that there is a 98% chance that there is still at least something good that has happened to you today, even on a pretty bad day.
Put it into perspective and focus on the positive things in your life. If you do not come up with something positive, be thankful that you are still breathing. Appreciate something small like that! And take a deep breath.
3. Shut your inner critic up
Do not let your own thoughts bring you down. You can train yourself to think more positive thoughts. Use affirmations or watch motivational Youtube videos. You are enough! You are wonderful! Be as kind to yourself as you should strive to be to the people around you. And whenever you find yourself thinking badly about yourself, try to distract yourself or think about how you would treat your friend if they were in your shoes right now.
We should all be self-critical and evaluate our lives every now and then. But be your own best friend! Do not be so hard on yourself all the time and if you failed at something, try again tomorrow or try doing it in a different way.
Be grateful! Think about all the reasons you have to be grateful and take a mental or physical note of the things and people that you are grateful for every day. Some people even have a dedicated gratitude journal. This also helps you to stay positive and appreciate your life more.
5.Realize your potential and find your passion
We all have potential and we all have our own abilities. Find your potential and focus on what you are passionate about in life. Do something incorporating your gifts! It will make you and other people happy.
6. Build better relationships and cut out toxic people from your life
What really matters at the end oft he day is the quality time we spend with the people closest to us. Human interaction is crucial for happiness and life is so much happier if you have strong, healthy relationships with people that matter to you. Become a better friend, child, partner or parent by listening to your loved ones and make time for the relationships in your life.
If you have to deal with toxic people, cut them out of your life. If for some reason that is not possible try to avoid them as much as you can. Life is too short to spend time with people that are a constant source of hurt and distress to you.
7. Find a free time activity that distracts you from your every day stress
Focus on things you love to do and make time to do them! You will feel refreshed after spending time on your hobby and we all need distractions every now and then. Sometimes we get too focused on our problems and it is better to spend your time on hobbies that you enjoy than worrying about the past day at work. If you do something you love you forget everything around you for a while. Think of it as your mini vacation.
8. Make time for yourself
You need to take breaks and you need time for yourself. It is important to really make the time for calm and quiet every day. If you have small children and you are spending the majority of your time with them, let your partner or a babysitter take care of them at least for so long that you get the time to breathe every now and then. Meditation or set aside quiet time can work wonders for your relaxation and stress levels.
9. Learn something new every day
There is always something that you can learn. You can also try to learn something like a foreign language or brush up on your maths skills. Exercising your mind is always a good idea and continuous education and learning are linked to increased happiness.
10. Build on the love in your life
Love is the most amazing feeling in the world. If you do not have a partner, you should see that love also means friendship, family, or the compassion you have for others. Love comes in a lot of forms. There is the love we have for our spouses, the love for our families, the platonic love between friends, and the love we feel for our pets. Be kind and loving towards others!
11. Share and spread happiness
Be thoughtful! Help people, do something good for others, care for animals and show compassion for those around you. Kindness and compassion not only make you a better person, they will also give you a feeling of having a purpose in your life. If you share your happiness with others and help people out, those small deeds have a way of coming back to you. And positivity is contagious! Smiling and making people smile will create even more happiness and it will also lead to more positivity in your life.
12. Let go of the past and live in the present
Try to adopt an attitude of gratitude and stay in the present with your thoughts. You cannot change the past so try to let things go. See past negative events as lessons that made you the person you are today and try not to judge everything. Let it go! It happened and there is nothing you can do to undo it. When it comes to the future, it is important to have a positive outlook on life and make some plans but you should not postpone your happiness! You live now, in this moment. What choices can you make in this exact moment in time to be happier? Happiness lies in the moments that happen right now. The future will be great, but you are not there just yet…
13. Change your perspective on what really matters in your life
Of course it is a great feeling if you can buy the things you want to have, go on a great vacation and yes, having a new car is awesome! But you should focus on the now and realize that you do not have to fulfill a major to-do list to arrive at your happiness.
Make choices that will affect your future in a positive way but also and first and foremost look after yourself and your well-being today! Look for happiness in the experiences you make every day, in the relationships you have with other people, romantic relationships or friendships, and appreciate the little things in life. If you appreciate the small things you will notice you will become a more happy and grateful person. You can collect moments, not only material things or those great major life-changing moments we all have. Enjoy your five minute break in the sunshine or that new song that you love!
14. Find and see your beauty and strengths
Focus on what you like about yourself instead of being overly critical. Think about your strengths and what you like about your looks, think about your abilities. You are amazing! You are enough! You can do it! Believe in yourself and accept yourself for who you are.
15. Exercise and take care of your health
Maintain a healthy body. Health is so important and if you are making more healthy choices when it comes to food and exercising, you feel so much better overall. Get some exercise in, go to your doctor check-ups, take the stairs, drink more water….you know the drill.
There is a link between nutrition and exercise and your immune system and your overall health. Even small steps can have a great impact on your long-term well-being. If you eat healthier you will most likely feel happier, too. Just take care of your body. You only have one!
16. Integrate art and especially music into your life
Appreciate the beauty around you! Spend some time nurturing your artistic side and enjoy art, and especially music. Try to make it a part of your daily routine and it will keep your mind engaged and it will very likely increase your happiness.
17. Do not take yourself too seriously and find humor in every day life
Laugh about yourself! Watch funny movies, videos and read funny books, comics, articles(…the list goes on) if you need a quick pick me up. Humor is proven to make you feel better and even when you had a bad day or especially if you had a bad day, it is so nice if someone or something can make you laugh out loud. It is also a really good stress killer.
18. Step out of your comfort zone and set goals to challenge yourself
To find new motivation and to grow as a person you should think about what it really is that matters to you and what you want from your life. If there are changes you want to make it is a good idea to set yourself goals. Change will make you grow as a person and if you challenge yourself with goals you might surprise yourself of what you can accomplish. Do not go overboard though! You should not overdo it and stress yourself out even more. It is all about feeling good about yourself and not an opportunity of being overly self-critical or risking a burnout.
19. Go outside and connect with nature
Just spend some time outdoors and appreciate the nature around you. If you live in a city go to a park, create your own oasis on your balcony or go on a trip where you can spend a lot of time outdoors.
Spend time with your pet. If you do not own a pet, spend time with your friend’s pet or volunteer in an animal shelter if you like. Connecting with nature will boost your mood.
20. Redefine happiness
Sometimes what you think is essential for your happiness is misleading. I believe that to find happiness and meaning in life you have to look for the things that money cannot buy you. Of course, health comes first and it is also important to have a roof over your head and food on your plate, but happiness in life is not measured by the amount of things you buy, what car you have, or if you even own a car.
It is about connecting with people and the experiences we have in life that make up the defining moments of our happiness.
21. Connect with your spiritual side
We need to center and ground ourselves. To be able to rest in ourselves it is crucial to focus on the moment every now and then. Like a minute of perfect silence very early in the morning.
It doesn’t matter if you are a religious person, or if you are into philosophy or meditation. It is a good experience to calm yourself down, let go of stress and to feel at peace. To find your own peaceful moments and center yourself again, try different approaches to connect with yourself and get relaxed again after a stressful day or week. Find strength in those quiet moments and make time for them.
22. Reward yourself – no you do not need money to buy something as a reward
Rewarding yourself means being good to yourself. Do something that makes you happy and acknowledge your accomplishments. You deserve good things. Allow yourself to feel good and be happy about yourself. When was the last time you did something to make yourself feel good?
23. Believe in yourself and imagine a positive future for yourself
Be your own cheerleader and believe that you can reach your goals. Do not let other people tell you what your limitations are. If people tell you your dreams are unrealistic or that you can never do something it has all to do with their limited perspective of you. You can do anything you want to accomplish with your life. You are in the position to live the life you want to live. You are the one making the plans and choices and you have the right to dream, plan and adjust your plans. As long as you do not hurt other people with it or break any laws there is no reason why you should not be able to live your dream. We are create and design our lives every day by the choices we make and nobody gets to live our lives for us. So you are the person that gets to call the shots in your life! Let them talk – it does not matter. Believe in yourself and your happy future! But do not forget to live in the present! Remember: In the present moment lies your happiness.
24. Be open-minded and accept change
The future is not set in stone yet. Life happens and sometimes things change that you do not want to change. They still do change, whether you like it or not. So you have to work with what you have and embrace change. Sometimes things that seem to be negative turn out to be blessings in disguise because they take you on the path you need to be on. And sometimes horrible things happen, and there is no reason for it at all. But you cannot fight the past, so in order to be happy (again) you have to move on with your life. Live changes constantly and sometimes change makes us grow. Try to be open-minded and play the cards you were given, so to speak. Everything will be alright in the end! And if it’s still not than most likely it is not the end. Just remember that you will get past this and you will somehow manage!
25. Choose happiness and allow yourself to be happy
What keeps you unhappy? What ideas or people stand in your path to achieving happiness? Constant striving for perfection can limit your happiness just as much as the habit to constantly compare your life to others or thinking you will be happy if this or that has happened in your future.
We all want to be happy and we all strive for happiness. But we should also reconsider what happiness looks like. Sometimes the happiness of a day lies in the little moments like the perfect cup of coffee we enjoyed in the morning, or our partner telling us that he loves us. Or your little niece saying your name for the first time and mixing it up. Sometimes happiness is more quiet or small or even shorter than we would like it to be, but it is us that either recognizes the happy moment for what it is or brushes it away as just a thing that happened and lust after the next big purchase to make.
Happiness is everywhere. It is just not always shaped in the same way.
Photography by: © Aaron Burden