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26 Things To Remember If You Want To Be Truly Happy

26 Things To Remember If You Want To Be Truly Happy

If you’ve asked yourself how to become a happier person, this is already a very good sign. Happiness is not something that happens to us by chance. Being happy is an achievable and learnable skill, which requires constant work on your attitude and depends on how you interpret your life situation. Happiness is largely a matter of choice. And it is probably the smartest life choice you can make. Recent studies show that happy people are 35% less likely to die early than unhappy ones!

So, what do you need to remember if you want to be truly happy?

1. Never dwell on the past

“Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.” – Unknown

Your past is just a story. Everyone has a past – often full of pain, disappointment, missed opportunities, and unfulfilled expectations. No matter what your past looks like, it’s just a story – so don’t let it influence you. Make the present meaningful.

2. Never focus on what’s missing; look at what you actually have.

 “Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.”- Unknown

Be grateful for what you have. You could waste hours counting the things you would like to improve, which would only take you away from appreciating your real life. Gratitude puts situations into perspective and rewires your mind toward a positive direction.

3. Never underestimate quality time with yourself.

 “Focus on loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.” – Unknown

Don’t confuse happiness with excitement; a lasting joy of life grows when your mind is in peace. Making time for yourself is as important as devoting time to your everyday duties. Regular meditation, sport, contact with nature, and quality (offline) time spent reading will help you reconnect with yourself and hear your intuition again.

4. Never stop improving yourself.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”. – Mahatma Gandhi

We are all different, and there is no perfect direction or path to our personal evolution. The whole point is to become the best version of YOU, and never stop taking lessons from your own life experiences.

5. Never be too harsh on yourself.

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.“ – Unknown

Many of us are our own hardest critics, constantly diminishing every success. Accept that you will never be ideal – and see this as okay. In the process of self-development, embracing your own vulnerabilities has been scientifically proven to be a key component of happiness.

6. Never lose a sense of purpose in what you are doing.

“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” – Unknown

Your time and life power are limited, so spend them wisely and target your energy towards something meaningful. Finding a purpose helps you live a bigger life.

7. Never treat your body badly.

“Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” – Buddha

A truly happy soul can only live in a healthy body. Your body will “send you a bill” for the trash you’ve eaten, the sports classes you’ve skipped, your long nights of partying, and your long hours of stressful work. Treat your body as your biggest investment; it will have to serve you your entire life.

8. Never value material things more than experiences.

“Your actions are your only true belongings.” – Allan Lokos

Experiences bring people more happiness than possessions, which never keep you satisfied. Experiences will last in your head forever, nourish your mind, and become a memory which will light up your face with a smile on a bad day.

9. Never compare yourself to other people.

“True happiness is when you are living your life without waiting for anyone’s approval.”- Unknown

Everyone lives life at a different pace, which makes us each special and beautiful. The sooner you embrace your uniqueness and the differences between you and other people, the happier you will be. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you really are without trying to change you or reframe you.

10. Never let your bad thoughts grow.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts” – Marcus Aurelius

Being judgmental, jealous, or angry will at some point turn against you. A bad thought can trigger bad speech, just as bad words provoke bad actions. Don’t let your mind initiate anything you’d be ashamed of later.

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11. Never fear to embrace change.

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”- Unknown

As you accept the laws which change our life, our bodies, and the way we evolve, you will see the unique beauty of every moment in life with all its natural flow. Be open to new opportunities and humbly accept changes you can’t influence.

12. Never blame others for your own failures.

“Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone.” – Unknown

Be responsible for your actions and their outcomes. Taking responsibility gives you a sense of power over your life; blaming your life on circumstances can make you feel powerless.

13. Never tame your curiosity.

“If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens.” – Fay Weldom

Be curious and ask a lot of questions. Travel, observe, read, watch, and talk with smart people to open your mind and explore the world. Inquisitive thinking and a passion for exploring will nourish your mind.

14. Never stop being mindful.

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect” – Unknown

Learn to mindfully observe, smell, hear, and fully appreciate every minute of your life. Those who can’t conscientiously notice and appreciate the present moment aren’t able to be fully happy.

15. Never forget about your loved ones.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Care about those who are happy to see you succeed in life and support you in difficult times. Avoid harsh critiques and make sure these people know how glad you are that they’re a part of your life.

16. Never worry about the things you cannot influence.

“Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All is does it steal your joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.”- Unknown

How many times has a situation you’ve worried about not come true? Worrying about things you can’t influence is a waste of time and makes you feel unnecessarily miserable.

17. Never attach happiness to something in the future.

“Think of all the beauty that is still left in and around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

Many people live like they’re waiting for something – to find a perfect love partner, to get promoted, or to retire with a good pension. Don’t postpone your happiness to a moment in the future; life is all about enjoying the journey.

18. Never stop meeting new people.

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” – Joseph F Newton

Surrounding yourself with happy people makes you happier. Meeting new people nowadays is easy, due to open lifestyles, new technologies, internet forums, popular mobile apps. It would be a waste to not make the most of this opportunity. Even people who enter your life for a short time can teach you important lessons and make your life more colorful.

19. Never let your ego win.

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.”- Pema Chodron

Acting with anger and following your insecurities can only complicate your life situation. Instead, act with compassion and humility towards others. Showing maturity will make your relations with others more joyful and fulfilling.

20. Never voluntary harm.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain

Every choice you make, every word you say, and every purchase you make impacts someone’s life. Choose to be a good person.

21. Never stop living life to the fullest.

“Hug harder. Laugh louder. Smile bigger. Love longer.” – Unknown

Live intensely. Do what you want and enjoy it with all your senses. Start working on fulfilling your dreams as soon as possible. “Hug harder. Laugh louder. Smile bigger. Love longer.”

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22. Never forget to smile.

“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.” – Unknown

You don’t know what the person in front of you is going through. Be kind to others and share your smiles and positive words. Isn’t it amazing to make someone’s day a little better in such a simple way?

23. Never be afraid to completely change your life.

“If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” – Roman Price

It is never too late to completely change your life and make it more meaningful. Let your mind be free and surprise you from time to time.  Go with the flow and open yourself up to different possibilities.

24. Never be afraid of being alone.

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” – Maxwell Maltz

Don’t be afraid of being alone. Happiness is internal, and you don’t need anyone or anything to be happy. Learn to have fun on your own: walk, travel, eat good food, etc. Being alone doesn’t mean to you have to be lonely. Look at monks for example – being happy in solitude is a virtue.

25. Never stop organizing your own happiness.

“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” – Richard Kline

Happiness appears where dreams meet preparation. Make a conscious everyday effort to shape yourself and your life the way you want.

26. Never stop loving.

“Love as much as you can from wherever you are.” – Thaddeus Golas

True love doesn’t lose value over time; it multiplies and comes back to you the more you give it away. The meaning of our whole existence would be much simpler if love meant only romantic love. Love everyone who you think deserves and needs your love. Love the Earth and the people who have helped you become who you are. Love your own life.

Last but not least, try to appreciate more about small things that happen in your life to become happier!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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