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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Be Happy in Life? 25 Ways to Make Your Life Happier

How to Be Happy in Life? 25 Ways to Make Your Life Happier
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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”[1].

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[2], 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.

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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”[3].

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[4].

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!

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10. Dance

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”[5].

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.

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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[6].

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[7].

Learn how to have a happy life by exercising more!

    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”[8]. 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.

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    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.

    Final Thoughts

    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

    Featured photo credit: Courtney Cook via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Roman Soluk

    Roman writes about positive thinking and happiness at Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

    Warming up

    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

    Stay hydrated

    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

    Meditate

    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

    2. Focus on your goal

    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

    3. Convert negativity to positivity

    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

    4. Understand your content

    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

    5. Practice makes perfect

    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

    6. Be authentic

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

    7. Post speech evaluation

    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

    Improve your next speech

    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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    • How did I do?
    • Are there any areas for improvement?
    • Did I sound or look stressed?
    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
    • Was I saying “um” too often?
    • How was the flow of the speech?

    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

    Reference

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