Perhaps there’s no such person in the world who wouldn’t like to be happy. We all aim for it, but not everyone succeeds. Is it genuinely possible to learn how to be happy in life? Of course!
It’s not about avoiding sadness; it’s actually about embracing the negativity in life while enjoying every moment you’ve got. It’s important to remember that true happiness is not a destination. Happiness often comes from cultivating goodness and positive feelings in life. It’s a side effect of doing good things for yourself.
However, happy moments can be brought into each and every day in order to take steps toward learning how to have a happy life overall.
Here is a list of 25 simple things you can do to make your life happier.
1. Get a Massage
Who wouldn’t mind receiving a pleasant massage? No matter whether it’s performed by a professional or by your spouse, gentle touches make everyone feel happy and good.
One article pointed out that “the physiological effects that most commonly occur during a massage to help reduce stress include increased endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, decreased cortisol and increased tissue”.
All of these effects are great for increasing levels of happiness.
2. Talk With Friends
When you talk to somebody who understands you very well and who can support you and help you whenever you need, it can lead you to feel lighter and happier. Humans are social animals, so these social connections will help your life satisfaction overall.
3. Go for a Walk
You need to spend time outdoors at least an hour a day. Walking outdoors can greatly improve your mood and will help you stay fit and healthy, thus making you a little bit happier.
4. Listen to Music
Listening to music can be a great thing to do when you want to learn how to be happy in life. But be careful…the music you choose is important. Research shows that “Happiness ratings were elevated for fast-tempo and major-key stimuli, [and] sadness ratings were elevated for slow-tempo and minor-key stimuli”.
Basically, this means that upbeat, fast-paced music boosts happiness, but the study also made the important observation that it greatly depends on which music you think sounds happy.
5. Avoid Negative Thoughts
Stop thinking only of bad things, get rid of your fears, and try to be an optimist. Avoid negative topics for discussing. Don’t watch bad news on TV every evening. All this can make you depressed and make it difficult to learn how to have a happy life.
6. Find Your Meaning
Be sure of your uniqueness, and to do that, look internally and find your true calling. Only then will you find your place in this world.
If you’re not sure how to find meaning, check out this article to get you started.
7. Take a Relaxing Bath
Prepare a relaxing bath. You can even put in a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or lemon. A bath will relax you, as well as help you feel cleansed, which will make you feel much happier.
8. Practice Meditation
Meditation, as with other relaxation practices, raises the level of your energy and improves your mental health. Try to meditate at least once a day. It’s also very useful to meditate when out in nature.
Many studies have suggested that mindfulness and self-compassion, in particular, are indicators of increased happiness, so try to aim to participate in mindfulness meditation or a loving-kindness meditation.
9. Buy Something for Yourself
Take yourself out and buy yourself something nice. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or a birthday. When you want to cultivate happiness, show yourself some kindness by offering yourself a gift for just being you!
Any kind of dancing is a great thing to raise your mood, shake off negative emotions, express your personality, and live a happier life.
11. Do Yoga
A yoga practice can soothe your mind and give you more energy. Doing it regularly can be a great step when you want to learn how to be happy in life.
One study found that “Yoga practitioners were more likely than college students to report having strong morals and healthy values as well as the ability to express their feelings and consider the feelings of others”.
Of course, expressing feelings is key to cultivating positive emotions and happiness.
12. Help Someone
Helping others is a great way to become happier. When doing this you feel positivity inside you. You know that you’re doing something good.
13. Read a Good Book
Whether you like the classics, mysteries, or fantasy stores, pick up a book that interests you and let yourself get lost in it for an hour or two. You’ll be surprised how great it makes you feel.
14. Cook a Healthy Meal
Cooking is something you can do alone or with someone you love. It’s even better if you prepare something healthy and delicious to offer your body a nutrition boost to support your brain and body.
15. Do Something for Your Home
Your home is where you spend most of your time, where you relax, raise your family, and maybe even work. So do something for your home. Make it as comfortable and nice as you can.
16. Make a Plan
Making plans for your future is a powerful thing. There are no guarantees that all of them will be fulfilled, but the more you plan, the bigger the chances are that you’ll succeed in your life.
If you’re not sure what to plan, try to plan a big vacation. An article in The Atlantic points out that, even if you never go, you’re still getting the benefits of pre-vacation anticipation, as well as gaining a sense of control over a future that may seem hard to imagine.
17. Go on a Picnic
Go on a picnic with your friends and family. Spend some time outdoors, enjoying nature, breathing fresh air, and having fun.
18. Go Swimming
Swimming or floating in pools, lakes, or seas is a great way to relax, feel good, and enjoy your life.
19. Get Some Exercise
Physical activity will not only help you to keep fit and remain healthy, but it will also improve your mood and help you to get rid of stress.
Studies show that “as little as 10-min physical activity per week or 1 day of doing exercise per week might result in increased levels of happiness”. It doesn’t take much, so get up and get some exercise!
20. Cultivate a Healthy Lifestyle
Bad habits negatively influence your life. And it’s not only smoking or drinking. It may be laziness, spending too much time on social media, spending money on unimportant things, etc. Being unhealthy can push you further away from learning how to live a happy life in the long term.
21. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal will help you to analyze yourself, understand your emotions, and improve your relationships, work, etc. It’s a great way to connect with yourself in a new way.
Check out this article to learn about the many benefits of journaling.
22. Make a Photo Album
Having a photo album is a great way to recollect on life and think of the happiest moments. Bringing to mind positive memories can help you experience more happiness now.
23. Give and Receive Love
Loving someone and receiving love can be a great way to cultivate happiness. This also applies to loving yourself! Show yourself some love every day by doing something good for yourself. Treat yourself as you would want to be treated by a loving partner.
24. Spend Time Alone
Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. When you spend time by yourself, you can learn more about what you like and don’t like. It’s a good chance to think over your problems, to analyze your work, and make plans for the future.
25. Spend Time With Your Kids
What can be better than watching your kids grow, playing with them, and making them smile and laugh? This can bring great moments of happiness when you want to learn how to be happy in life.
Remember, happiness isn’t a myth. It’s just all up to you. You build your own fate and create your own happiness.
In the end, you can’t chase happiness because it’s not something outside of you. You have everything you need to produce your own happiness in this very moment, no matter your circumstances.
Stop trying to find happiness and start enjoying the little things in life to feel happy.
More on How to Be Happy in Life
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Now
- 14 Things That Make You Happy And Enjoy Life More
- Why Am I so Unhappy? 50 Little Things That Secretly Make You Unhappy
Featured photo credit: Courtney Cook via unsplash.com
|||^||Physio.co.uk: Reduced Stress|
|||^||Scientific American: Why We Are Wired to Connect|
|||^||Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts: Feelings and perceptions of happiness and sadness induced by music: Similarities, differences, and mixed emotions|
|||^||Personality and Individual Differences: Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditation–happiness relationship|
|||^||International Journal of Yoga: Does yoga shape body, mind and spiritual health and happiness: Differences between yoga practitioners and college students|
|||^||The Atlantic: The Strange Pleasure of Planning a Post-Pandemic Vacation|
|||^||MyFitnessPal Blog: How to Have Your Happiest Workout Ever|
|||^||Journal of Happiness Studies: A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Happiness|