Happiness is a term that has forever been a vague concept to grasp with countless studies and experiments done in order to decipher what it actually is and how it can be achieved.
In my person experience, happiness simply can’t be defined by using stats or figures and is first and foremost a feeling, which can only be manifested and acquired by you.
It’s an internal feeling that comes from a decision to be happy as well as a series of actions in order to help provoke it from within you.
Here are 20 ways that, when applied, have personally lead to increases in my happiness every time. Perhaps there are a few you can relate to.
1) Stop comparing yourself to others and false ideals.
When you look at the things around you, there are advertisements everywhere telling you what you need in your life in order to be happy. They encourage you to aspire to ideals that don’t actually exist and make you feel insecure about yourself.
The truth is, the things you see in advertisements and movies aren’t real. Most of it is manipulated and edited so that it looks perfect. We’re far from perfect, but we are unique and worthy enough to be special in the world. The truth is, you don’t need anything or to be anything in order to be valued on this planet.
2) Do what you love.
The best way to find out what it is you truly love in this world is to look deep inside yourself and to scope out whether what it is you want is due to what society tells you to like, or because of what you feel you want deep inside yourself.
If you felt ashamed of pursuing the things you truly enjoy due to social and societal pressure, then chances are, you’re being influenced, which is directly affecting your happiness. Pursue things you love without shame and don’t be afraid of standing out.
3) Turn off the television.
Simply put. Television is a distraction to the realities of the life around you and can easily influence you to believe in things that simply aren’t true. The best way to see the world in its entirety and completely uncensored is to turn off your television and to leave your house.
What do your very eyes see of the world when you aren’t being fed with third party information?
There is no better experience in this world than to see it with your own eyes.
4) Don’t take yourself too seriously.
While life can be complicated at times and give you a hard time, there really is no denying the fact that all of us will depart the world in due course. This reminder should always be present when living out your daily life. It can help you realize that there really is no sense in taking life too seriously.
Learn to take in the world in its entirety and to enjoy it for what it is‒good and bad.
5) Be selfless and avoid being selfish.
Whatever it is you choose to do in this world, always try do it for reasons other than your own personal gain. The art of giving is perhaps one of the key things that has been proven to enrich your satisfaction and happiness, but is rarely ever practiced in society with regularity.
6) Be grateful for what you have.
In reference to #1, if you judge the quality of your life based on the things you own and how you look, you will never be happy, since you’ll always be looking for external references to prove to you that you are.
Whatever it is you may be unsatisfied with, somewhere in the world is a person who dreams of having the things you currently have. Always be grateful because it’s the precursor to moving forward with your personal and spiritual growth.
7) Share your values and kindness with others.
Similar to #6, there is nothing more satisfying than to spread your qualities with those around you and to influence people in a positive way.
Maybe it’s a blog you currently run, which you’re using to share your wisdom with others. Or perhaps it’s a skill you have that you’re happy to give and share in abundance.
Find out what your strengths and qualities are and don’t shy away from exposing it to the world.
8) Learn to be patient‒things will happen at the right time.
The things we want and hope to achieve in this world are hardly ever acquired at the times we want them to. As hard as you work, it’s simply a law of average that the things you’re looking to achieve will simply happen in due course, but with no date as to when it will happen.
As long as you continue to push forward and keep taking the right steps that get you one step further towards your goals, it is then simply a matter of time and patience; it will happen for you eventually.
9) Become accepting of others as we’re all the same, yet unique.
Everyone may be the same as far as human nature is concerned, but we are all, in fact, different from each other, with unique nuances and characteristics. Learn to appreciate it and to see as a way of learning more about their character and personality.
10) Become forgiving of yourself and of other’s imperfections.
Following up from #10, don’t try to attempt to change people into your ideal. Life simply doesn’t work that way. There will be some people who you will naturally get along with, and others you will not. This is completely normal and a basic fact of life.
But above all, always be appreciative of people whether they’re in line with your values or not. This includes your very own characteristics. There’s nothing worse than to pretend to be someone you’re not in order to please others.
11) Keep a personal diary.
Our thoughts and worries can sometimes overwhelm us and in time, build up to a level that can cause us to feel depressed and frustrated. The best way to overcome this is to write down your thoughts on a notepad or a diary in order to help you unload whatever’s on your mind.
It’s never a good idea to keep things stuck in your mind, as it usually becomes a lot worse than it actually is, in reality.
12) Stop being a consumer.
We are often taught by the media that buying the next ‘shiny object’ would lead us to feeling better about ourselves in some way. Biologically speaking, this is somewhat true, as our body releases a short term chemical called ‘Dopamine’ that makes us feel a surge of satisfaction and excitement. But the sad truth is, it’s short lived, and is often confused for happiness.
Become conscious of the things you buy and start to question whether what you’re buying is something you actually need or whether it’s to fill a void in your life that you feel you currently have.
If it’s the latter, then start to question why that is and begin to look for healthier solutions.
13) Become fascinated with the world you live in.
The world we live in is a very vast and abundant planet with a lot of things to do and experience It is simply impossible to see all of it in a single lifetime.
If there’s nothing more to get you excited, always remember that there is always something you have yet to experience, which could potentially lead you on a path you never thought possible.
14) Travel the world.
Its not until you leave your home country that you really begin to see just how different and varied our planet is. There are so many people to see, foods to taste and places to visit. It has literally changed my worldview and has helped me develop into a more open-minded and well-rounded person.
15) Learn about and make friends with people from other cultures and backgrounds.
Similarly, you will never quite develop a better understanding and deeper appreciation for people than if you consciously go out of your way and befriend people from other cultures and backgrounds.
You begin to see that while we may have different lifestyles and ways of doing things, in the end, we are all the same living under the same roof, which is the ever-expanding universe.
It will help you come to terms with the fact that, yes, there are people who are different from you and that like you, they too have worries, hopes and dreams.
16) Do your research when given information from other sources.
While wisdom, information and facts are important, you should always keep an open mind and seek to inquire with your own personal experiences.
Is the information you’ve been given really true based on your own personal experiences? Or is it simply a belief based on another person’s interpretation?
An inquiring mind is an open mind that isn’t easily manipulated.
17) Smile more often.
It’s been proven by science that smiling more often and smiling just for the sake of smiling helps you be happy as well as help others feel better around you. Your physiology can in fact be changed simply by your psychology and vice-versa.
If you’re honestly feeling down or depressed. Consciously smile, stand tall and walk with your chest out. Then watch how you feel about yourself change with your very eyes.
18) Eat healthy foods and sleep well.
Our body is like a car engine and constantly needs refreshing and looking after. If it isn’t well-fed or maintained, it can lead to illnesses and a poor immune system, which over time will cause other problems as we age.
If you’re young, develop the habit of taking care of what you eat and drink and rest regularly. You may have all the energy in the world in your youth, but it will not be as abundant at a later stage in life.
But the enjoyment of your health can be maintained for years to come and will be solely dependent on how you treat your body in the present.
With so many things to do and experience, there will be times where you need to switch off from the world and reach a place of relaxation. Spend at least 5-10 minutes in complete solitude, thinking of nothing but your very own breathing and making it a daily habit.
You will find that over time, your mind will be a lot more stable and will begin to feel at peace with yourself as well as not be easily affected by the things around you.