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10 Signs You’re Genuinely Happy (Though You Don’t Realize It)

10 Signs You’re Genuinely Happy (Though You Don’t Realize It)

The world is chasing after lavish parties, dreamy vacations, expensive weddings, weekend getaways and high-tech gadget acquisition. In wanting to be a part of the in-crowd, it’s easy to spend a lot on luxury items and the hullabaloo around them. However, in spite of the extravaganza and buzz, there may still be a part of you that doesn’t feel genuinely happy. Is this the way things are, or do you just overthink it at times?

No, don’t sulk over the lines above, they are not there to tell you what you should or should not be doing. Instead they are intended to help us understand why we think that we are not genuinely happy. Maybe your life is becoming more complicated, but there are signs that you can still be genuinely happy thanks to the simple and free (almost!) things in life.

And if you need a reminder, here is my list of the happiness-inducing simple things in life for the keeps, for the weeks and for the eternal times to be.

1. You learn something new every day.

    You may not realize this, but with everything that you learn, good or bad, you imbibe something new. Even though you might feel it’s just a part of your routine or something you had to do, learning new things can make you happy and strong. It might be something that you had been stockpiling away for a long time but never had the time to actually do. It could be something you have yearned for, not yet heard of, or something unique. It could be simple things like swimming, driving, or learning a form of dance, or something major and unfortunate like a heartbreak or passing away of a loved one.

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    2. You take a vacation all by yourself.

      Remember the time your dad taught you how to ride a bike? Well, you actually learned the skill when you figured it out all by yourself, when your dad let go his hands on your back or the handles. Similarly, you learn and experience things best when you are all by yourself. Once you take a vacation alone, you tend to find all the routes and figure out the maps by yourself. You decide on whether to laze by the beach or to take the train or the taxi. This definitely makes you genuinely happy from within. Most importantly, you learn to be fiercely independent, mindful, and enjoy your own company.

      3. You spend time with nature.

        You would never realize how much sheer happiness this one can bring you. Whether it’s the rainy season and the leaves are all drippy droopy, or the early morning when the dew drops glisten in the rays of sunlight; the sunset that gives you the endearing hope of rising again or the twilight that gives way to darkness. Nature is symbolic of life and takes away all the worries and tensions that we have in this world for a while.

        4. You love your body.

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          Remember the time you were excited to wear your favorite black dress for a date and couldn’t fit into it? Or the time you were trying to fit into your old jeans and got stuck? While you don’t want to be as skinny as a supermodel, start working on those love handles now. If you don’t get much time to exercise, you need to make the time to walk, jog, do yoga or swim in the mornings, evenings or weekends. Try to feast more on fruits, veggies and salads, but do allow yourself little treats at times. You will slowly start feeling more fresh, active and beautiful. You’ll feel happy to love and take care of your body.

          5. You start cooking.

            Studies have proven that food cooked by you own hands is more healthy, tasty and beneficial to your body than that from a restaurant or takeout. Now you may not like the taste of it initially, or find the time for it, but start slow, maybe on weekends. It’s also amazing how much you learn about different cultures just by tasting (or cooking) their cuisine. In fact you can experiment a lot when you cook by yourself and can win over your friends, your partner or your boss. Definitely an underrated pleasure and a sign of genuine happiness.

            6. You do something that scares you.

              Well, it doesn’t sound like a pleasure, at least not in the beginning, but then once you overcome your fears, you may well start slowly enjoying  something that scares you, even if you don’t realize it’s happening. I find it hard too, but past experiences have made me realize the reasons why was I was scared in the first place. It could be anything ranging from watching a horror movie, moving out of home, or traveling on a flight for the first time, to bungee jumping, scuba diving or a wild life safari. Studies have shown that the kind of hormones that get released when you have an adrenaline rush give you pleasure and are responsible for your happiness.

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              7.  You learn a language.

                Odd though it may seem, this is something simple that can make you very happy, and it rates very high on my personal list. Not only do you learn how to twist your tongue and develop a new accent, it is actually very useful and can take you places. Studies have proven that your brain starts functioning faster, you start feeling accomplished, and you inwardly get very happy once you start learning a new language. You could land a new job, make some friends, or maybe even make a new life altogether. And the amount of pleasure? Infinite.

                8. You shop till you drop.

                  Now this doesn’t necessarily mean clothes, shoes, accessories or expensive gadgets. It has been tested and proven that shopping is the best mood lifter when people are down. Shop for some cheap junk jewelry at flea markets, the groceries, art, or maybe just some books or music. It’s not just the amount of money spent on the shopping that matters, it’s the sheer pleasure, the achievement of finding a bargain, or the memories you recall when you use those things that matter and actually make you glad.

                  9. You listen to, enjoy and dance to music.

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                    OK, maybe you had a break up or a fight with your partner or just a terrible day at work. How can listening to some dumb songs or tunes make you feel better, you say? Well, it can for sure. Just turn on the radio or load you favorite playlist and hum along. Of course it isn’t going to solve any of your problems, but it can lighten your spirits and make you forget things for a while. In fact starting your day with some music is definitely going to give you the right attitude to face your problems. A spring in your step for the day and you are ready! You never realized the power of music before and how much it could make you happy, did you?

                    10. You laugh out loud a lot!

                      Remember the time when you laughed till your stomach hurt? That is a sign of a simple thing making you happy, a big one indeed. This is the oldest trick in the book and you already know about it, so what’s the big deal? But how many of us laugh about things whole-heartedly every day with all the stress and tension going on? Barely a few. The easiest thing is call up an old friend and you are guaranteed to laugh remembering the old times. Also, most importantly, don’t just laugh, laugh it off. Those funny times, those awkward times, those not so pleasant times, and the perceived problems that you are facing right now. Whenever you do so it not only increases your blood circulation and immune system, you feel better and happy.

                      Happiness is a state of mind, as a wise person once said. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the list above proves the statement to be true. Life is filled with simple pleasures, the little satisfying effects you never really anticipate, but always take great pleasure in. With very few exceptions, I believe these simple pleasures hold universal appeal. They are the gifts of life that we each subconsciously celebrate in our own unique way, though it’s easy to forget what we have.

                      Featured photo credit: Genuine Happiness in Nature via wallpapersus.com

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                      Last Updated on June 13, 2019

                      How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

                      How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

                      Think you have a boring life?

                      The definition of boring is dull or not interesting. Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list of 20 things can definitely make any day more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

                      Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaning) one!

                      1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

                      What would he or she want to do right now? Color? Paint? Run around outside? Play dress up? Eat with your hands? Play that instrument hiding in the back of your closet that you haven’t touched in years?

                      Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play.

                      2. Go Play with Kids

                      Speaking of little kids, if you have your own or access to any (in a non-creepy way, like they’re your niece or your best friend’s kid, you get the idea) go play with them!

                      They didn’t create an entire show called Kids Say The Darndest Things because kids aren’t hilarious. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

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                      3. Order a Hot Dog

                      While you’re eating it, Google: “What’s in a hot dog?” You decide whether or not you want to finish it.

                      4. For the Ladies: Wear Your Sexiest Lingerie Under Your Work Clothes

                      Your “little secret” will leave you feeling anything but boring all day!

                      5. Play Cell Phone Roulette

                      You’ll need at least one buddy for this. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one and call the person.

                      You could spark an incredible catch up session or be incredibly awkward. Neither are boring.

                      6. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

                      Give them to random people who probably don’t get thanked too often for doing what they do ever day.

                      Ideas: police officers, librarians, servers, baristas, cab drivers, sanitation workers, teachers, people behind any check out counter, receptionists, your friends, the guy at the falafel stand, etc.

                      7. Sign up for a Class in Something You’ve “Always Wanted to Do”, or Something That Makes You Really Uncomfortable

                      Ideas: pole dancing, salsa lessons, improv, pottery, cooking, knitting (yup, there are classes for this, too!), karate, boxing, something techy like the workshops they run in Apple stores, get Rosetta Stone and learn that language you’ve always wanted to speak, etc.

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                      What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people!

                      8. Interview Your Grandparents About Their Lives

                      You can bet they’ve had some crazy experiences you probably never knew about.

                      9. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

                      Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage and just talk funny. And if you’re not, memorize a few of your favorite jokes and tell those!

                      10. Do Something for Someone Else That You Wish Someone Would Do for You

                      We all have a few ideas on this list. I promise you will feel amazing after and anything but bored.

                      11. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

                      It doesn’t have to be super complicated. If you need ideas, there’re plenty on Pinterest. Or you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

                      12. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

                      This will give you something to look forward to.

                      Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is same fun and relaxing!

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                      13. People Watch

                      Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops and train stations are great for this!) and just observe.

                      People are infinitely interesting.

                      14. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

                      Bonus points if it’s a random fruit or veggie.

                      15. Dance

                      You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

                      If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public and get other people involved.

                      16. Go to YOUTUBE and Search “Funny Pets” or “Funny Babies”

                      This is also a great quickie ab workout as you will be laughing hysterically.

                      17. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

                      Check out the NY Times Best Sellers lists and grab a new book you can get lost in.

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                      18. Step Away from the Computer and Go Get Some Time with People You Care About in Real Life

                      Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. You can even share this post with your friends and vote on which one you’d like to do together!

                      19. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to Before

                      OK, depending on your interests, this one might actually be boring. If you love learning, art or different cultures though, this one is for you!

                      20. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

                      This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

                      Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then start taking your first step to make what you want happen.

                      Now go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

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                      Featured photo credit: Kev Costello via unsplash.com

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