How to Be Happy Again: 11 Ways to Get Happier
If you ask a group of people how they would like to improve their lives, a large number will say that they want to become happier. This is not really surprising because everyone wants to be happy, but many people do not know exactly how to do it.
Becoming a happier person is a personal journey that can be influenced by various factors. Here are ten proven ways to increase your level of happiness:
- Practice Gratitude
Taking the time daily to practice gratitude is one of the most effective ways to become a happier person. We often forget all the good things we can account for in our lives, as well as how fortunate we are compared to many other people. By reflecting daily on the things in your life that you appreciate, you develop a more positive mindset and remind yourself that, while your life may not be perfect, you have much to be thankful for. This works wonders for your overall outlook in life.
- Cultivate Positive Relationships
Nurturing and maintaining meaningful connections with family, friends, and loved ones is another proven way to boost your levels of happiness. Human beings are social creatures by nature and having close relationships with others satisfies an inherent need we all have. It is important, therefore, to surround yourself with supportive and uplifting people who bring joy and positivity to your life. Try to regularly engage in activities that foster social connections and create opportunities for shared experiences since this bolsters our bond with others.
- Take Care of Your Health
Prioritizing your health by engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a nutritious diet goes a long way in promoting happiness. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, and this will improve your mood and overall well-being. Daily exercise is one of the quickest and most effective ways to boost your happiness.
- Practice Mindfulness and Self-Care
Make time for self-care activities that promote relaxation and mindfulness. Engage in practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindful eating, yoga, or spending time in nature. These activities help reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and foster a sense of calmness, and these, in turn, promote happiness.
- Set Meaningful Life Goals
Establish clear goals in your life and work towards achieving them. Why? Setting and accomplishing goals give life meaning. Too many people let life pass them by rather than setting specific goals and planning what they want out of life. Having a sense of purpose and direction contributes to a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. These small victories boost morale significantly and increase self-confidence.
- Engage in Specific Activities You Enjoy
It is important to make time for activities that bring you joy, so find and engage in hobbies or activities that matter to you. It could be reading, painting, playing a musical instrument, cooking, etc. Many people overlook making time for activities that they enjoy doing and, instead, get stuck in the same old rut. Allocating time for activities you love increases your overall happiness.
- Practice Acts of Kindness
If you’d like to boost your happiness, engage in acts of kindness towards others, whether through volunteering, helping a friend in need, or simply offering a kind word or gesture. Research shows that acts of kindness not only benefit others on the receiving end, but also contribute to one’s own happiness and well-being. It turns out that making a difference in someone else’s life makes a positive difference in your own life.
- Limit Exposure to Negativity
Be mindful of the negative media you consume and the influence of negative people you surround yourself with. These can weigh you down and have a negative impact on your psyche, even if you do not notice it. Seek out and surround yourself with positive, upbeat people, try to limit the amount of time you watch negative TV programming, and make a conscious effort to consume positive and uplifting media.
- Let Go of the Past and Forgive
Another effective but often overlooked way to become happier is to let go of the past and forgive yourself and others. So many people live in the past, hold grudges against others, and have regret and self-loathing for mistakes they have made. There is nothing you can change about what has happened in the past so it is pointless to dwell on it. Instead, forgive yourself and others for any mistakes made and realize that we are all human. Once we forgive and let go of the past, we can move on and choose to be happy.
- Embrace a Positive Mindset
You can develop a positive outlook by reframing negative thoughts and focusing on the good in every situation. Focus on the glass being half-full rather than half-empty. Practice self-compassion and challenge negative self-talk (most negative self-talk is not based on facts). We are all much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Mistakes are wonderful learning opportunities if you can look at them in a positive light. That’s what a positive mindset does.
- Accept What You Cannot Change
One of the most important skills to possess in life is the ability to recognize the things you have no control over and cannot change and, therefore, would be wise to accept. A good example is the weather: you cannot control it so it is best to accept what mother nature doles out and, instead, focus on the things that you have the power to change. Learning this wisdom is empowering and helps increase happiness.
Everyone’s journey to happiness is unique, and it’s important to find strategies that work best for you. Experiment with the different techniques listed above, and be patient with yourself. Remember that finding happiness is a journey and getting there is half the fun!