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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

14 Things That Make You Happy and Enjoy Life More

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14 Things That Make You Happy and Enjoy Life More

Do you ever come across people who are always upbeat and no matter what life throws at them? While people can be genetically disposed toward happiness, it’s more likely that these people have simply discovered more of the things that make you happy in life and utilize them to their advantage.

The good news is that you can increase your own happiness quotient by doing these 14 things that make people happy.

1. Start With a Good Dose of Gratitude

Being consciously aware of what you’re thankful for can actually change your level of happiness.

When you wake up each morning, spend time recalling all the things for which you feel grateful. Before you go to bed, you can keep a gratitude journal. Write down 3 to 5 things that you felt grateful for that day and why. Use all five senses to imagine these things vividly in order to help you brain latch on to all that goodness.

Gratitude leads to more things that make you happy

    One study found that, among mindfulness, belief in personal control, and gratitude, “happiness among students was primarily predicted by gratitude”[1].

    You can learn how to start a gratitude journal here.

    2. Make Sure You’re Giving Back

    Do you give 10% of your income to your favorite charity or organization? Instead of spending money on yourself, you’ll feel happier giving to others.

    There’s something about giving that allows you to receive more in return besides just the act of giving to help others. When you give, you’re sending a message to the Universe that you know everything’s going to be alright.

    According to a study published in 2010, “people experienced happier moods when they gave more money away—but only if they had a choice about how much to give”[2]

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    By giving, you’ll be taken care of, too. You see it from those with very little to those who have millions: you have to give to get, and by doing that, your happiness increases. You’ll feel better as well when you accomplish your goals.

    3. Laugh Every Day (It’s Better than Money)

    Do you spend time each day laughing? Do you purposefully find happy things to laugh about?

    When you laugh, you release happy hormones called oxytocin and endorphins. These are hormones that uplifts us as we share experiences with others. Even just making yourself smile will put you in a better place.

    It is thought that the fact that laughter releases these hormones in order to promote social bonding, so try getting together with friends for a good dose of laughter, as well as increased social connection[3]. These are things that make you happy.

    4. Foster Good Relationships With Family and Friends

    Happy people don’t spend large amounts of time alone. By spending time with people you like and love, you forge supportive relationships that help people feel better during times of stress.

    You also bond with others through common experiences, such as life’s ups and downs. They become your support network and help bring more of the things that make people happy.

    People who don’t spend as much time with family or friends are more prone to loneliness and depression. Here’s How to Tell If You Are Fostering Positive Relationships in Life.

    5. Take Some Alone Time

    In contrast to spending time with family and friends, it’s important to step back and take some time for yourself in order to cultivate self-care.

    You can recharge your spirit and find a little peace. Taking some time away and being alone can do wonders for your mood and outlook, as well as help you find the meaning of true happiness.

    Use this time to do more of the things that make you happy, such as a favorite hobby, exercise, or simple relaxation. Even just sitting in the sun or listening to your favorite song can improve your life satisfaction in the short term.

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    6. Do What You Love

    Have you ever heard the phrase, “Do what you love, and the money will follow?” Doing things that you love to do–and even better, getting paid for it–are good ways to boost your levels of happiness.

    When work feels like play, you’re more likely to enjoy other aspects of your life more, too.

    7. Volunteer Your Time

    When you give your time or talent, your focus shifts from your life to that of others.

    This can help you realize that your own problems may not be that bad. You invariably forge new relationships and experience an uplift in your spirit.

    Furthermore, volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and keep you active during downtime in your life. It will also increase self-confidence as you begin to feel better about yourself and your place in the world[4].

    8. Get Enough Exercise

    Among the things that make you happy, few are as well researched as exercise. When you take time out for exercise, you’re doing your body good in more ways than one.

    First, you’re doing what it was designed to do: physical exertion. Humans were made to move around, and the body works best when it does what it was meant to do.

    Furthermore, as you exercise, you release a ton of feel-good hormones. These hormones can help increase happiness levels, as well as lower stress.

    One study found that “Exercisers were more satisfied with their life and happier than non-exercisers at all ages”[5]. And the good news is that it takes as little as 30 minutes to gain the amazing benefits of exercise.

    Try these 10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day

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    9. Avoid Regrets

    We all make mistakes in life–that’s part of the human condition. However, with a little forethought, you can try to avoid making big mistakes and focus more on the happy things in life.

    Even then, they still happen. That’s when it’s best to learn to forgive–yourself and others–because everyone else just trying to get through life the best they can, too. They’ll make mistakes, but the trick is moving on from them.

    10. Take Time to Meditate

    Sitting down, lighting a candle and doing some deep breathing for 10 minutes is all it takes to relax your mind and body.

    In doing so, you get in touch with your inner-self, and invariably, you’ll get to know your values and priorities a little better. That’s definitely a booster on the happiness scale and will lead you toward more of the things that make you happy.

    11. Deal With Clutter

    Are you overrun with books and papers piled everywhere? Too much mail sitting on the table? Why not tackle a small task each day for a month in an effort to de-clutter your life?

    When you’re not running around looking for items you can’t find, and when everything has its place, you’ll automatically be less stressed and in a better mental state.

    That’s a great place to be on Monday morning when you’re trying to get out the door and you already know where the lunchboxes are, and the bills you have to mail.

    Here’s a guide to help you declutter: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

    12. Get Enough Rest

    Among the things that make people happy, sleep is one of the easiest and most natural. Ever notice how cranky you are in the afternoon when you’ve only had 5 or 6 hours of sleep? Many of us are suffering from sleep deprivation, which can lead to higher levels of stress and edginess.

    Research has shown that simply getting enough sleep “improves memory, increases people’s ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system and decreases people’s risk of being killed in accidents”[6].

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    After a good night of sleep, you can tackle your daily tasks in a more calm, alert way. It’s so much better than experiencing that awful sluggish feeling in that oh-so-important meeting with your boss. Your body will thank you, too.

    13. Eat Healthier Foods

    You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” Healthy, nutritious foods not only make your body feel good, but they can improve your mental health as well.

    If you spend your time eating package after package of boxed noodles, canned dinners, or fast food, your body is going to let you know by gaining weight, feeling sluggish, and quite possibly having a host of health problems. How can you look and feel your best if the foods you eat are not good for you?

    By eating better, you’re not only taking care of yourself, but you’ll also feel more vibrant and energetic. You’ll literally be healthier from the inside out.

    Try the tips in this article: How to Start Eating Healthy No Matter How Old You Are

    14. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

    This is definitely easier said than done, but if you can condition your mind to focus on the good that you are doing and the good things in your life, you’re not going to be tempted to focus on how others are doing.

    Research on the effects of social media use has found that upward comparisons on social media are associated with lower self-esteem[7].

    Here are some tips to help you stop comparing yourself to others.

    Final Thoughts

    Happiness comes from all the small things and habits you do every day. If you want to start living a happy life, practice these 14 happy things and fit them into your daily routine!

    More on Things That Make You Happy

    Featured photo credit: Matheus Ferrero via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Cyndi Calhoun

    Cyndi is a passionate writer who writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on January 24, 2022

    21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

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    21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

    Having texting and video conferencing at our fingertips, it appears that maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever. Long-distance calls are no longer a luxury; the days when they needed to be rationed are long gone.

    Long-distance couples do not have to depend on 3 p.m. postal delivery, waiting for news that is at best four days old.

    Now we’re no longer even in the days of waiting for our loved ones to check their e-mail when they get home from work. Instant messaging keeps us hooked to each other even when we are out shopping, working, playing, watching a movie and doing much more.

    Technology, however, cannot compensate for everything in a long-distance relationship, as anyone with a long-distance relationship will tell you.

    Many long-distance relationships still seem emotionally difficult despite the lack of regular physical proximity.

    People often think long-distance relationships will never work. It may be discouraged by your family, and some of your best friends may tell you not to take it too seriously in case you end up heartbroken.

    Many things are not possible due to the extra distance – no one can promise it will be easy. Things could get complicated, and you might feel lonely and sad at times.

    Still, many of us try them.

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    However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest. Being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.

    Long-distance relationships may be tough, but they have their own surprises too.

    Here’re 21 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work:

    1. Avoid excessive communication.

    It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Soon you would get tired of “loving.”

    Remember: Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

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    2. See it as an opportunity.

    “If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.” – Anonymous

    View it as a learning journey for both of you. This is an opportunity for you to prove your love for one another. According to a Chinese proverb, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” Instead of thinking that this long-distance relationship is pulling you two apart, you should believe that through this experience, the both of you will be bound together even stronger.

    As Emma says it to Will in season four of Glee,

    “I would rather be here, far from you, but feeling really close, rather than close to you but feeling really far away.” – Emma, Glee Season 4

    3. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations.

    Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.

    For instance, are you two exclusive? Is it all right for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

    4. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively.

    Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must. On top of that, try to update your partner on your life and its happenings, however mundane some of the things may seem.

    To up the game, send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.

    5. Talk dirty with each other.

    Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. In a way, sexual desire is like the glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Sexual need is not only biological but also emotional.

    Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.

    6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

    If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand to reassure them.

    You should not let this sort of thing slip by because it will only make your partner extra worried or suspicious – and of course, very upset because they will feel powerless or lack control over the situation.

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    You can fall victim to your traps by going out with eye candy from work after work or dating someone from your past who has been flirting with you without realizing it. Before entering a dangerous situation, you need to recognize the dangers.

    Listen to your heart, but don’t just rely on it. Make sure you also listen to your mind.

    7. Do things together.

    Play a game online together. Watch a documentary at the same time on YouTube or Vimeo. Share a song on Skype while another plays the guitar. Video-call each other and go for a walk together. Together, go online shopping – and buy each other gifts (see #13).

    You really have to be creative and spontaneous about it.

    8. Do similar things.

    Recommend books, TV shows, movies, music, news and etc., to each other. When you read, watch and listen to the same things, you get to have more topics in common to talk about.

    Even if you live apart, it’s nice to have some shared experiences.

    9. Make visits to each other.

    Every long-distance relationship is enriched by visits.

    After all the waiting and yearning and abstinence, you finally get to meet each other to fulfil all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc. These are typical for couples in long-distance relationships but more special and intimate for long-distance couples.

    The atmosphere will be filled with fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows, and butterflies.

    10. Have a goal in mind.

    Are we going to be apart for a long time?” “what about the future?” These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

    In fact, a couple cannot stay in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, we all need to settle down.

    So make a plan with each other. Set up a timeline, mark down the estimated times apart and times together, and draw an end goal.

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    It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are not living in the same space and the same timezone, both of you are still motivated to work together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.

    That’s right, you need some motivation to make a relationship last too. Find out more about what motivates you here.

    11. Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.

    You are alone, but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends, and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Go to the gym more often. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that don’t involve your partner.

    12. Stay honest with each other.

    Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from the inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.

    13. Know each other’s schedules.

    It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and free. So that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Make sure you are aware of everyone’s small and big events in their lives, i.e., college midterms and exams, important business trips and meetings, job interviews, etc. Particularly if you live in different time zones, this becomes more important.

    14. Keep track of each other’s social media activities.

    Facebook and Instagram photos of each other. Send each other tweets. Tag each other on Facebook. Post stuff on each other’s wall. Let them know you care. Be cool with stalking each other.

    15. Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to.

    Memories have power. No matter what it is–a pendant, a ring, a keychain, a collection of songs and videos, or a perfume bottle. Everyday items and things have meanings to us, whether we realize it or not. We all try to store memories in material things so that when our minds fail, we will still be able to look at or hold onto something that will help us recall our memories. This is why something so simple can mean so much to a person when others may see little or no value in it.

    16. Get a good messaging app.

    This is extremely important because texting is the most frequent and common way of communication the two of you have. You need a good messaging app on your phones that allows interactions beyond words and emoticons.

    Personally, I use this messaging app called LINE. I find it highly effective because it has a huge reserve of playful and very funny “stickers” that are free for its users to use. You can also go to the app’s “Sticker Shop” to download (or gift!) extra stickers of different themes (e.g., Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Snoopy, MARVEL, etc.) at a low price. Occasionally, the app will give out free sticker sets for promotions. This messaging app is cute and easy to learn to use.

    17. Snail-mail your gift.

    Mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Flower deliveries on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Shop online and surprise each other with cool T-shirts, sexy underwear, and such.

    18. Stay positive.

    You need to constantly inject positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.

    One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love — someone who also loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the hand-made letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.

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    19. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

    This will help you two to know each other’s culture and values. Knowing small habits of each other helps in developing an understanding and building mutual trust.

    Talking about family and friends gives you more matters to talk about. The best thing to talk about is gossip and scandals.

    20. Video-call whenever possible.

    Because sometimes looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s voices can make everything feel alright again.

    A video call is though nothing like being together, but it’s the best thing and the most to do for coziness in a long-distance relationship.

    21. Give each other pet names.

    Because it’s cute. It keeps the lovey-dovey going. Having special names for each other reserved only for one another are heart-warming. Hearing that one word with love lifts our spirits up, and we feel assured all over again.

    Chaos seems to fade away just by hearing that special word from someone special.

    With the best wishes…

    Love (or like) is a force that is beyond your control. Love just happens. The same goes for turning off those feelings, even when you get the perfect job halfway across the country.

    Neither one of us expects to be long-distance in a relationship. But if you’re in a relationship like this, you’ll just have to make the most out of a difficult situation. These advice for long distance relationships will hopefully help you stay strong and cheerful when living apart from one another.

    More Recommended Relationships Experts on Lifehack
    • Carol Morgan —  A communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach
    • Dr. Magdalena Battles — A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault
    • Randy Skilton —  An educator in the areas of relationships and self-help

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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