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Last Updated on October 25, 2021

How to Live a Happy Life: 10 Keys to Happiness

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How to Live a Happy Life: 10 Keys to Happiness

The truth is we have all had our share of bad days. Some days, we just want to curl up in a ball and try to hide from the world. At other times, it feels like this sadness is taking over your entire being, and you go through each day struggling from one moment to the next. But that doesn’t have to be you anymore. You can learn how to live a happy life.

When you’re happy, it feels like there’s nothing you can’t accomplish, not to mention how relaxed you would feel without the constant thoughts of pain plaguing your mind. Before you’re done reading this, you will have discovered the ultimate tips on how to live a happy life. I am not expecting you to get it right immediately. It’s always best to trust the process and see this as a marathon, not a sprint.

Enjoy the journey to live a happy life as much as you can. Here are ten keys to happiness and fulfillment in life.

1. Let Go of Grudges

Do you know how much mental and physical energy it takes to hold on to a grudge? To get a little idea of this, try to empty your mind of your anger towards people who have hurt you. Do this for only a few seconds, and you’ll be able to tell that there’s a massive difference in how you feel.

Grudges are heavy and rob you of happiness. Sure, you will always get hurt by some people, with some being so terrible that it’s not so easy to forgive and forget. However, you would have to learn how to let go of this no matter what. That doesn’t mean that you have to be friends with everyone, especially those who are a threat to you. It only means that you shouldn’t hang on to the grudge in your heart so much that it weighs you down. Instead, focus on the possibility of having a much brighter future.

2. Pay Attention to What Goes Into Your Body

Pizza today, take outs tomorrow—rinse and repeat. What goes into your body is a vital aspect of your existence. Your body can only function optimally when you pay more attention to what you consume. You rarely see someone who is terribly sick and truly happy. The weight of sickness makes your body weak and even messes with you mentally.

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You can avoid this as much as possible by eating right. Don’t become addicted to fast food, even if you’re always on the go. Instead, work out a schedule that helps you incorporate mealtimes into your day. Start each day with a glass of water. This age-old practice has been proven to help the body get rid of toxins with many other benefits.[1]

To make sure that you’re actually committed to eating healthy, create a realistic meal plan, buy the necessary groceries, and make sure you keep to it as much as possible. You’ll definitely feel better mentally and physically. At least, you’ll be going through life with a balanced diet instead of being malnourished.

3. Work Out More

Apart from paying more attention to what goes into your mouth and nourishes your body, exercise does wonders for the body and, of course, helps in keeping you happy. Every time you work out, the body releases endorphins that make you feel good.[2] Of course, it doesn’t hurt to stay fit, especially in today’s fast-paced world.

Think about the last time you worked out and how it made you feel. There’s the fatigue that is inevitable after hours of strenuous activities. But there was also something else there—a weird feeling of satisfaction like you just did something amazing with yourself. That’s the endorphin at work.

Exercising at the gym is also a great way to socialize and meet new people. You don’t even have to sweat it because it’s only a matter of time before everyone gets a little bit more familiar with each other. You can live a happy life by helping your body stay satisfied. If you’re not a fan of gyms, then check out a few sports that are fun, even if it’s shooting hoops or kicking a ball around. Just get into physical activity.

4. Do More of What You Love

What are those activities that make you absolutely content and peaceful? There will always be something that lights you up from the inside out and encourages you to look forward to another day. Find it and hang onto it as much as possible. Whether it’s going for a swim, writing, or reading a book, be more engaged in those things you love.

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Feeling happy while doing what you love is as natural as breathing. It’s something that genuinely fills you with joy and is much better than forcing yourself to do what you don’t like. You can even explore outside those activities that you already know you love. You’ll be surprised at the gems you’ll uncover on your way to living a happier life.

5. Practice Gratitude

While we may find ourselves paying more attention to our bad situations, it’s always much better to remember to acknowledge the good times as well. It doesn’t have to be something complicated, but you can look around to see the pleasure in the simple things. We all have our troubles, and some are so heavy that it makes it seem like our world is literally over.

It may seem like there’s no solution in sight. One of the major keys to happiness is paying more attention to those things we have that we take for granted. Think about those simple things that you should be thankful for. Is it the fact that you can afford your rent and meals or even nature? Show more appreciation for what you have, and you’ll start to feel much happier.

6. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Many people waltz through life like they are competing with others, which stops them from feeling truly fulfilled. You start to think that you can never be enough, and this dissatisfaction is definitely not bringing a smile to your face. The only person you should compare yourself to is your previous version. That will actually let you know if you’re doing much better or have been on the same spot for a while.

Need to live a much happier life? You’ll have to stop comparing your life to others. You can’t achieve true satisfaction when you’re always trying to mirror others. See someone who loves to travel around the world? Suddenly, you’re interested in doing that as well, even though you’re terrified of flying and constantly uncomfortable when you leave your comfort zone. That’s just you trying to achieve someone else’s goals and dreams, not yours. Live at your own pace, knowing exactly what you want.

7. Don’t Be a Loner

Of course, it’s okay to enjoy your company every once in a while. Some alone time is necessary to meditate and actually listen to yourself. However, this is much different from being a loner. Even if you don’t enjoy being surrounded by many people, you can make the best of this by finding an excellent spot that doesn’t choke you up so much. It could be a quiet space at the park where you get to engage in a little people watching.

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An even better idea is to hang out more with the people that matter to you. Bonding with your loved ones helps you realize that there are still people out there who genuinely care about you. Whether it’s planning an adventurous day out with your friends or just simply talking with them, it’s much better than spending every single day cooped up indoors all by yourself. Laugh freely.

8. Don’t Live Based on the Expectations of Others

What do you want to make out of your life? Your expectations should matter, and you shouldn’t base this on the standards of others. I am simply saying that you should live your life based on your standards. Are you eagerly chasing a Master’s degree because it brings you fulfillment, or it’s just something others expect you to have at that stage of your life? Did you buy a car because you actually need it or because everyone thinks you should have one?

The answers to these questions will help you find out if you’re living for yourself or others. You can’t be truly happy if you’re not engaged in those things that you want because you’re letting others dictate what you want. People will always have opinions, so it’s pointless to always try to satisfy them. Your expectations matter, so focus on yourself more. Don’t go through life trying to meet up to the standards of others, and you’ll be happier for it.

9. Spend Less Time on Social Media

Social media is a bubble. You only get to see carefully filtered pictures of happy moments and little to nothing about the bad stuff. Does that mean that everyone is living a perfect life? Absolutely not. But nobody wants to show the world that behind the beautiful vacation picture with their friends all smiling are hours of constant arguments.

If you spend a lot of time on social media and start to let it pressure you into thinking you’re not living a good life, that’s a ticket to the land of sadness and frustration. Limit your time on social media, so you don’t get pressured to live up to everyone else in the world. The more time you spend on the internet, the higher the chances of being unsatisfied with your life. Stay connected with your loved ones and have the occasional fun with your online strangers, but don’t let this keep you from the real world.

10. Get Rid of Negative Emotions With Affirmations and Music

What do you do when negative thoughts come creeping into your mind? It’s inevitable that this will happen once in a while, but your response to these thoughts will determine if you get to live a happy life.

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An excellent way to respond to negative thoughts is through words of affirmations. When you practice positive self-affirmation, it helps in increasing your feelings of self-worth. You can start each day with words of affirmation. Stand in front of your mirror and repeat sentences like, “I am living my best life” or “I will have an amazing day.”

If you’re finding it challenging to come up with words of affirmations on the spot, then write them out the night before. Write at least five positive affirmations that resonate a lot with you and repeat them first thing in the morning. Make it even better by repeating them just before you sleep at night. With this, you’re programming your subconscious to welcome positive thoughts more, boosting your self-esteem.

Apart from positive affirmations, keep negative thoughts in check with music. Experts suggest that music is excellent for increasing positive emotions, alleviating anxiety, and reducing pain.[3] Of course, we’re not talking about just any music. Think about your favorite kind of music, and you can even create different playlists. Since music is heavily linked to our emotions, you can put them to good use, especially in getting anxiety to leave your body.

Get out your headphones, pick your favorite songs, and sing as loud as you can to let off some steam. It’s not a bad idea to have fun while at it. You’ll be surprised about how happy this makes you feel.

Final Thoughts

Are you still thinking that you don’t have what it takes to live a happy life? It’s time to change your mind. These are the ultimate keys to happiness. Living a happy life is not out of reach. You have to believe that for these tips to work. If you go in doubting that any of this will work, then you’re working against yourself already. So, take a deep breath and get started on these tips that will help you live a happy life.

More Tips on How to Live a Happy Life

Featured photo credit: Antevasin Nguyen via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

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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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