Happiness is a choice.
Happy people choose to believe that they can be happy right now. Unhappy people believe that they can only be happy when they get what they want.
This way of thinking is flawed.
You can spend your whole life waiting for things you want but they may never transpire.
Happiness is right in front of you. You just have to choose it.
1. Avoid Social Comparison
We all like to compare ourselves to others. If we think we are better looking, wealthier or more popular than someone else then it gives our egos a boost. However, if we think someone else is “better” than us then our self esteem takes a hit. Either way, comparing yourself to others is not good practice.
If you must compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to yourself. See whether you are a different person now compared to a few years ago. But always remember to be happy with who you are.
2. Be around happy people
Your mood is influenced by others. At a party everyone is happy so you feel happy. At a funeral everyone is sad so you feel sad.
Surround yourself with happy people and notice how your mood changes. Everyone wants to be around people who are having a good time. Their good feelings rub off on you.
Meditating for as little as 10 minutes a day can change your life for the better. People who meditate daily go through life happier and with less stress.
Meditation has such a positive impact because it reduces gray matter in the amygdala. Or to put it simply, the area responsible for anxiety, stress and your emotions.
My decision to start meditating 3 years ago was one of the best decisions I ever made. Read 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life to get started.
4. Be grateful
Being grateful for what you already have cultivates happiness. You feel as if you don’t need anything else to be happy. You are perfectly happy with what you have. It is difficult to be happy when you are constantly wishing for things to be different.
5. Enjoy the little things in life
Your day is filled with little things in which you can find joy in. Waking up to see the sun shining through the window, sleeping in on the weekend, the time spent with your kids etc. These are all the simple things that life has to offer which are essential to your happiness. Happy people are able to savour and enjoy the little things in life.
6. Look after your body
Exercising and eating well are essential to your well being. Feelings of self accomplishment and self worth start to become the norm when you take care of our body. Your mental and physical state changes for the better.
Research conducted on depressed people showed that taking care of their body increased happiness in the short term. 6 months later, these same people stayed happy and were less likely to relapse into depression.
7. Help others
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up” | Mark Twain |
Helping someone for no other reason than to be nice can immediately fill you with happiness. When you don’t seek to gain anything in return you are acting from a place of selflessness, or in other words from the heart.
The attitude in the Western world is, “What’s in it for me?” In the Western world greater emphasis is placed on the collective well being of society. Is it any surprise that the East is happier than the West?
8. Be your best you
Give your all to everything you do. When you are fully committed to something you feel as if you have a purpose. Unhappy people feel as if they don’t have a purpose. This is why it is important to stick to your goals. The sense of accomplishment and self worth will lead to a healthier state of mind.
When you are angry at someone, negative energy builds up inside of you. Your mind is filled with anger leaving no room for happiness to enter. The person you are angry at doesn’t have to live with these emotions, you do. Not being able to forgive someone is only detrimental to your own well being.
10. Embrace change
Your life is in constant change. Change is always going to happen whether you like it or not. Don’t look at change as being for the better or for the worse but just see it as being something different.
You can hold on to the past or embrace change. I know which one happy people choose to do.