People face tremendous pressure to be happy. A lot of us feel guilty if we’re not! And that’s just wrong.
If problems, such as health issues, or a constant struggle to get bare necessities trouble you, or someone close to your heart died, you can’t expect to be jolly, positive and relaxed all the time.
And that’s OK.
But if none of that is bothering you and you are still discontent, this is what you can do to boost your happiness.
Identify the hindrance
First thing’s first. Take a long, deep look into yourself and discover what is the main reason keeping you from being content. Ask yourself questions like:
- Do I like my looks?
- If not, what can I do to change that?
- Am I happy at my job?
- If not, what can I do to change that?
- Am I happy with my closest relationship/s?
- If not, what can I do to improve them?
- Am I stuck in a rut, bored or my life isn't exciting enough?
- If I am, what can I do to change that?
- Do I have enough friends?
- If not, what can I do to find more?
- Am I confident enough?
- If not, what can I do to boost my self-confidence?
You get the picture. Even if there are more reasons than one, don't despair. Make a plan and work to better the circumstances. That alone will help. Not to mention how fantastic it'll be when you reach your goals.
Physical activity makes your brain release chemicals that make you happy. Exercises energize you, reduce overall stress levels, make you healthier and stronger. So shrug off excuses not to work out and 3, 2, 1... go!
I’m so grateful that…
Sometimes we are negative, sad or blue for no good reason. We dwell on our problems. Or the things we can’t fix this instant. And forget about those we can be grateful about. And there are so many!
A gratitude journal is a fantastic antidote for that. Scribble a few different things you are grateful for each day. The way this simple exercise shifts your mood will amaze you.
Stop negative and dysfunctional thoughts
Sometimes people are unhappy simply because they’re in the habit. "Switching off" negative thoughts and emotions, even when they serve no purpose and engaging with something positive is hard. But it can be done. And it’s well worth it to learn how.
Make new friends
No, I don’t mean FB friends. New friendships are exciting. And new friends can bring a lot of happiness into our lives.
Where to find them? Join an organization or a club. Take up a sport, pursue a hobby or volunteer. Chances are you’ll meet someone you’ll want to hang out with.
Nurture “old” friendships
Make a list of your friends you share interests with. Make yourself accountable for organizing get-togethers.
And please, don’t bitch to your friends about your problems. Party together and enjoy yourselves instead!
Fake a smile
Urgh! Don’t you just hate it when someone tells you to fake a smile when you’re depressed? Yet, a scientific research shows that this practice can elevate your mood.
So why not try it? Even if you don’t like it.
Cry, baby, cry
When negative emotions and sadness accumulate inside you (for any reason), nudging them a little to let them out is not the worst idea. Play a sad movie, a nostalgic song or allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself. And when you shed your tears and cry your heart out, you’ll feel as if the dark clouds have lifted.
Put your life into perspective
We take life on Earth for granted and often forget how big of a gift every single day is. A video like this will inspire you enough to burst with joy. Only because you are alive and YOU get to experience so much during your lifetime.
Happiness is in the little things
Little rituals can go a long way. Like, pampering yourself. Relaxing music in the background and a glass of wine in your hand should do the trick. Also, as much as this is a cliche (too), taking the time to “smell the roses” enriches our lives, despite the circumstances.
So, breath in a lovely day, listen to the birds’ song, smile to a passerby, enjoy an inspiring movie, read a good book, treat yourself with a trinket.
Find your own piece of simple joy and be happy!