Tips for Being a Happier Person
Learning how to be happy is easy to talk about and give tips for, but truly becoming a happier person is one of the hardest things you’ll do in your life.
You could win a $100 million lottery tomorrow and, if you’re a naturally pessimistic person or victim of depression, your base happiness would only peak for a short period of time.
That being said, there are steps that a person with a desire and the will power to become a happier person. Below are some of the best of those suggestions.
Be Optimistic – Being Happy
Find things to be optimistic about. Get in the habit of optimism. Stay positive. There is science that shows people have a certain level of happiness, and circumstances in their lives do little to change that happiness. Furthermore, being an optimist is shown to make a person an all-around happier person.
This is tough if you are a natural pessimist. It’s hard to make yourself see the bright side of life, if it’s your natural instinct to see the bleak side of things. But you can get in good habit, if you work on being more optimistic. Habits form not just from motor memory and psychological reinforcement, but also because you stimulate parts of your brain which become more active. Trying to become more optimistic will lead you to becoming a naturally more optimistic person, in the end.
Follow Your Gut
Don’t over-analyze things. Many intellectuals want to analyze every aspect of a question before arriving at a decision. It’s laudable to dissect a problem, before coming to a solution. But this habit can become stultifying, if applied to every aspect of your life. This is just opening yourself up for stress.
While there are certain things that need to be analyzed and studied, learn when gut instinct serves you better. That’s actually quite often. Most of the time, simply choosing what you want or choosing what you think is right on a hunch is better than calculating everything out – and it’s a whole lot less stressful.
Make Enough Money to Avoid Worry
I’m not saying you should devote your whole life to your career. I’m not saying money is the key to happiness, because it surely isn’t. What I’m saying is that you should be free from want, that you’ll be a lot happier if you don’t have to worry about putting a roof over your head, how to put gas in the gas tank, or how you’re going to make rent.
Money issues are a huge part of daily stress to moderns. While you don’t have to be rich to be happy, you’ll be a lot happier if your job covers base expenses, makes it so we don’t have to lose sleep over how to pay off the credit card bills, and otherwise doesn’t occupy your mind every waking hour. Cover the basics, at the very least.
Find Happiness in Your Job Situation
No matter what your job is, find reasons to be happy with it. I’m not saying you should be content with a dead-end job. If you don’t think your job is right to handle your financial needs or you weren’t made to compete in that industry, work towards another job, but find reasons to enjoy the job you’re working at. Make friends and build relationships at your job.
Eventually, you want to find a career, not a job. You want to enjoy the kind of work you do. I used to say, “I don’t need the job; I just need the money.” But that’s a bad attitude to have. While work is work, you want to have a career in a field you are good at and enjoy. If you have enthusiasm for a job, you’ll be better at that job.
Always Be Improving Yourself
Along the same lines, find a way to always improve yourself. This gives you a sense of accomplishment, while also making you a more interesting, more marketable person.
Take a class. Join an organization. Volunteer. Start a new exercise program. Find a way to make improvements some way. People who do this are more optimistic, more attractive, and more interesting. It also makes them happier.
Stay Close to Family – Friends
If at all possible, stay close with friends and family in your community. Humans are social creatures. People need human interaction. Having a support group around you helps you during the bad times, which are sure to come.
Smile and Laugh
Remember to smile every day, and hopefully all day long. Find something that makes you smile and expose yourself to that every day. Even if you aren’t feeling so great, practice smiling and being friendly. This is a habit, like anything else.
Also, laugh every day. Laughter procudes endorphins which stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain. The more you laugh, the more pleasure you feel. So find something that makes you laugh and make that a part of your daily routine.
Studies have shown that people who “multitask” tend are more prone towards high blood pressure than those who do one thing at a time. This is especially bad on the computer, where you’re likely to have 10 screens open at once, while you email, check your Facebook account, read about the news, and write something for work or school.
Instead, do one thing at a time, give it all your focus, do it well, then move on to something else.
Get the Clutter Out of Your Life
If you’re have trouble concentrating, it might be because there’s too much clutter in your life. People get more work done on a cluttered table. People are more creative when they don’t have clutter around the edges of their personal space. It’s more relaxing to have a clean space around you.
In fact, the repetitive act of cleaning appears to have a relaxing quality to it. Not only do you burn off nervous energy and gain a sense of accomplishment, but scrubbing and wiping is a meditative exercise.
Listen to Music – How to Be Happy
Music brings joy and relieves stress. The rhythm of songs naturally takes the stress away, while musical stimulation, whether you like lyrics or melodies, gives you an escape. Also, it’s been said that the sense of sound is actually just a facet of the sense of touch, because hearing is sensing soundwaves touch our inner ear. Those soundwaves are also bounding off the rest of your body, which means rhythmic sounds are likely getting a subtle little massage from the radio. Turn it up and get that bass line pumping.
Get Into the Quiet – Be Happy
This might sound like just the opposite of the last tip, but while you need to set your life to music occasionally, you also have a need to some peace and calm every day. Find a place where you can be away from the din of modern life. Go for a walk in the woods. Go to a museum or library. Find a place of worship or meditation. Get away from the noise for a while and you’ll relax.
Ignore the News – Ignore the Stock Market
You need occasional quite, so turn off the television and radio at certain points of the day. You do not need someone talking at you 24/7. Eventually, having a little peace and quiet lets you relax and collect your own thoughts. Moreso, the constant flow of certain types of information is not good for our health.
Don’t follow every up and down in the stock market. This has shown to cause unneeded stress in people. Don’t follow every story in the news. Sure, you want to be informed, but stressing out over the news is a form of self-torture. It’s wallowing in the negative. And by all means, don’t like to political talk radio. That’s all about finding someone else to blame and conjuring up things to get afraid of or mad about, and that is not good for your state of mind.
Get Some Rest
A big part of your daily routine is getting enough rest. One of the main causes of stress is not getting enough sleep. When you haven’t gotten your sleep, you become more irritable. This means your stress level is higher. Getting rest eliminates a lot of the natural stresses in our lives, and helps you cope better with stresses.
There are few activities that are going to make your life richer than actually taking the time to catch up on your rest.
Have a Pet
Studies have shown over and over again that people with pets have less stress than people without them. Having other living creatures around to focus your love and affection on creates a stress buffer that is worth whatever trouble you take with a dog or cat. In fact, one study shows that pets relieve stress better than a husband or wife does (no duh).
Focus on the Good Things
Be thankful for the good things in your life. Find time every single day to reflect on what makes life worth living. If you’re reading this, you’re probably living in a western nation with personal liberty. Reflect on your freedom, your good health, the friends you cherish, your family, the education you’ve been able to gain, the entertainment that stokes you imagination, even the hobbies that bring you joy. Each and every one of us has a happy place, so be thankful every day about what brings you happiness.