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14 Things Proven To Make You Happy

14 Things Proven To Make You Happy

Do you ever come across those people who are always upbeat and no matter what life throws at them, they just seem to roll with the punches? It’s quite possible they’re following a formula for happiness–right now. You can increase your own happiness quotient by doing these 14 things proven to make you happy.

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 time recalling all the things for which you feel grateful. Start with simple things: Do you have a roof over your head? Enough to eat? It might be helpful to start a gratitude journal.

Make Sure You’re Giving Back

Do you give 10% of your income to your favorite charity or church? There’s something about giving that allows you to receive more in return besides just the awesome 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 all right. 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.

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Laugh Every Day (It’s Better than Money)

Do you spend time each day laughing? Do you purposefully find something to laugh about? When you laugh, you release a happy hormone called oxytocin. It’s a hormone that uplifts us as we share experiences with others. Even just making yourself smile will put you in a better place.

Foster Good Relationships with Family and Friends

Happy people don’t spend large amounts of time alone. By spending time with people you like, you forge supportive relationships that help you in times of stress. You also bond with others through common experiences, such as life’s ups and downs. They become your support network. People who don’t spend as much time with family or friends are more prone to loneliness and depression.

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, by yourself. You can recharge your spirit and find a little peace in a little bit of silence. Taking some time away and being alone can do wonders for your mood and outlook.

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Do What You Love

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Do what you love, because 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 better, too.

Volunteer Your Time

When you give of yourself, either by time or talent, your focus shifts from your life to that of others, helping you realize that, just maybe, your own problems aren’t that bad. You invariably forge new relationships and experience an uplift in your spirit.

Get Enough 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. Second, as you exercise, you release those same feel-good hormones as mentioned above. Third, when you take some time to exert yourself, you reduce your stress levels. All around, you need exercise to function optimally.

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Avoid Regrets

We all make mistakes in life–that’s part of the human condition. But with a little forethought, you can try to avoid making big mistakes. 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.

Take Time to Meditate

Sitting down, lighting a candle and doing some deep breathing for ten minutes are 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 yourself a little better. That’s definitely a booster on the happiness scale.

Deal With Clutter

Are you overrun with books and papers piled everywhere? Too much mail sitting on the hall 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, 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.

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Get Enough Rest

Ever notice how cranky you are the afternoon when you’ve only had five or six hours of sleep? Many of us are suffering from sleep deprivation which can lead to higher levels of stress and edginess. 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.

Eat Healthier Foods

You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” It’s true. 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.

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.

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Last Updated on December 16, 2018

12 Simple Ways You Can Build A Positive Attitude

12 Simple Ways You Can Build A Positive Attitude

We all look for a better and happier life, but somehow we realize it’s our attitude that makes it hard to lead the life we want. How can we build a positive attitude? Grant Mathews has listed out the things (from the easiest to the hardest) we can do to cultivate this attitude on Quora:

1. Listen to good music.

Music definitely improves your mood, and it’s a really simple thing to do.

2. Don’t watch television passively.

Studies have shown that people who watch TV less are happier, which leads me to my next point…

3. Don’t do anything passively.

Whenever I do something, I like to ask myself if, at the end of the day, I would be content saying that I had spent time doing it. (This is why I block sites I find myself wasting too much time on. I enjoy them, but they’re just not worth it when I could be learning something new, or working on projects I care about.)

Time is incredibly valuable.

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4. Be aware of negativity

A community that considers itself intelligent tends to be negativity because criticizing is seen as a signaling mechanism to indicate that you’re more intelligent than the person you corrected. This was irrationally frustrating for me – it’s one of those things you’ll stay up all night to think about.

5. Make time to be alone.

I initially said “take time just to be alone.” I changed it because if you don’t ensure you can take a break, you’ll surely be interrupted.

Being with other people is something you can do to make you happy, but I don’t include it in this list because nearly everyone finds time to talk with friends. On the other hand, spending time just with yourself is almost considered a taboo.

Take some time to figure out who you are.

6. Exercise.

This is the best way to improve your immediate happiness.

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Exercise probably makes you happy. Try and go on a run. You’ll hate yourself while doing it, but the gratification that you get towards the end vastly outweighs the frustration of the first few attempts. I can’t say enough good things about exercise.

Exercising is also fantastic because it gives you time alone.

7. Have projects.

Having a goal, and moving towards it, is a key to happiness.

You have to realize though that achieving the goal is not necessarily what makes you happy – it’s the process. When I write music, I write it because writing is inherently enjoyable, not because I want to get popular (as if!).

8. Take time to do the things you enjoy.

That’s very general, so let me give you a good example.

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One of the things that has really changed my life was finding small communities centered around activities I enjoy. For instance, I like writing music, so I’m part of a community that meets up to write a song for an hour every week. I love the community. I’ve also written a song every week, 37 weeks in a row, which has gradually moved me towards larger goals and makes me feel very satisfied.

9. Change your definition of happiness.

Another reason I think I’m more happy than other people is because my definition of happiness is a lot more relaxed than most people’s. I don’t seek for some sort of constant euphoria; I don’t think it’s possible to live like that. My happiness is closer to stability.

10. Ignore things that don’t make you happy.

I get varying reactions to this one.

The argument goes “if something is making you unhappy, then you should find out why and improve it, not ignore it.” If you can do that, great. But on the other hand, there’s no reason to mope about a bad score on a test.

There’s another counterargument: perhaps you’re moping because your brain is trying to work out how to improve. In fact, this is the key purpose of depression: Depression’s Upside – NYTimes.com

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I can think of examples that go both ways. I remember, for instance, when I was debating a year or two ago and my partner and I would lose a round, I would mull over what we had done wrong for a long time. In that way, I got immensely better at debate (and public speaking in general – did you know debate has amazing effects on your public speaking ability? But now I really digress).

On the other hand, there’s no way that mulling over how dumb you were for missing that +x term on the left hand side will make you better at math. So stop worrying about it, and go practice math instead.

11. Find a way to measure your progress, and then measure it.

Video games are addictive for a reason: filling up an experience bar and making it to the next level is immensely satisfying. I think that it would be really cool if we could apply this concept to the real world.

I put this near the bottom of the list because, unfortunately, this hasn’t been done too often in the real world – startup idea, anyone? So you would have to do it yourself, which is difficult when you don’t even know how much you’ve progressed.

For a while, I kept a log of the runs I had taken, and my average speed. It was really cool to see my improvement over the weeks. (Also, I was exercising. Combining the two was fantastic for boosting happiness.)

12. Realize that happiness is an evolutionary reward, not an objective truth.

It’s easy to see that this is correct, but this is at the bottom of the list for a reason.

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