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Last Updated on February 11, 2020

14 Things That Make You Happy And Enjoy Life More

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, they just seem to roll with the punches?

It’s quite possible they’re following a formula for happiness.

The good news? You can increase your own happiness quotient too by doing these 14 things that make you 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 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.

2. 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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3. 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.

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, 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. 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, 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.

6. 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.

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7. Volunteer Your Time

When you give off yourself, either by 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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10. Take Time to Meditate

Sitting down, lighting a candle and doing some deep breathing for 10 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.

11. 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.

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

12. Get Enough Rest

Ever notice how cranky you are 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.

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.” It’s true.

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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.

Here’re some tips to help you stop comparing yourself to others: The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves

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 things and fit them into your daily routine!

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Featured photo credit: Matheus Ferrero via unsplash.com

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 March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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