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Last Updated on September 18, 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

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.

    How to Be Happy in Life? 25 Ways to Make Your Life Happier 10 Worries That May Influence Your Positive Thinking

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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