To be happy in life is a fairly universal goal. But is it really possible? How can you truly be happier in life? In this post, you will find ways to create more moments of joy and feel better as you tackle all the ups and downs of life.
Here is how to be happier in life:
The most important way to be happier in life is to love yourself. If you love yourself, then you will look after yourself. If you love yourself, you will put the important things in life first. You will speak to yourself better. You won’t tolerate bad people or bad situations. You will eat the right things, work out, consume knowledge, and not waste your own time.
When you love yourself, you take care of yourself: it’s that simple. So, if you are able to practice self-love more and more, you will find that you will have a better relationship with yourself, your life, and your choices – thus leading to overall happiness.
But how do you practice self-love? Here's a few ideas you can apply every day:
- Self-care: good hygiene, pampering, exercise, healthy eating, good entertainment, feed the mind with good things, learn, etc.
- Set boundaries: don’t let people walk all over you; respect yourself and be assertive
- Choose the healthy option
- Less social media
- Less judgement and gossiping about others: it is a waste of your energy and will only make you bitter and not aware of what’s going on inside yourself…
- Be aware of yourself
- Do calm, healing, soul-searching activities: yoga, meditation, Pilates, swimming, walking, running, etc.
Prioritise the self and the rest will follow. Any form of success or happiness starts from within and that needs to always be met with self-love.
As briefly mentioned above, you need to be self-aware in order to be happy. Why? Because you may be doing things regularly that are actually causing your own unhappiness. For example: not exercising, being too sensitive, working a job you hate, eating junk food, drinking excessively or smoking or doing drugs, spending long amounts of time on social media and comparing yourself to other people, and so on (the list is very long).
By practicing self-awareness you won’t fall into these bad habits. You’ll catch yourself in the act and choose (with self-love) to do something that it better for you, your life, and your pursuit of happiness. Pay attention to what you do, think, and feel – it may give you evidence as to why you’re not happy.
Do what brings you joy
Prioritise what brings you joy in life. If you are actively doing things that make you angry, sad, tired, or stressed, then you only have yourself to blame for your unhappiness. It’s an endless, self-inflicted, toxic cycle.
Instead, follow one simple rule: do what brings you joy first and foremost. Get a job that you’re actually passionate about. It’s not easy, of course, but it is possible. Explore new things; try your hand at new skills and ventures. That is the only way to find what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about. And then once you’ve found that, go at it full-steam ahead! Seek joy, rather than perfection, money or acceptance from others.
Accept that happiness can’t last forever. In life, we will experience a mixture of emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, jealousy, disgust, love, hate, and so on. These are all a part of life and only in accepting that, can you ever hope to be truly happy.
Accept your past. Accept your mistakes. Accept the hardships of chasing a dream. Accept that people aren’t perfect (and neither are you). When you can truly accept all of that, you’ll have a superpower that brings you a state of Zen-like happiness!
Remove the clutter and toxicity
The minimalist lifestyle is on the rise, and with good reason. Less is more. Materialism – seeking more and more things in life – will never lead to happiness. Why? Because you’ll never be satisfied. There will always be another pair of shoes, a better armchair, new video games, or a trendy new kitchen appliance. The list is endless, and so you will never be happy with what you have.
The minimalists are on to something. No, you shouldn’t give rid of all your stuff and never buy anything new ever again. Instead, you should get rid of the things that you don’t use, that don’t bring you joy, and that serve no real purpose in your life. Then, every time you do wish to get something new, ask yourself three questions: Is this something that I need? Will it bring me happiness in my life? Do I already have something that I love at home that serves the same purpose? Then, go from there.
And this doesn’t just apply to things; it also applies to people, work, and actions. You should declutter not only your space, but the people in your life who are toxic, negative, bad influences, or just purposeless. If they bring you no joy, why keep them around? By doing so, you are allowing sadness and anger to take the place of happiness – which is what we should get from the people around us each day.
Friends, family, partners, colleagues, bosses, pets and so on: be mindful of the relationships that you have in your life. They are crucial. Remember, we are the product of the 5 people we spend the most time with!
Stop blaming external factors
Everyone is guilty of blaming the world for all their problems. But the truth is, you are responsible for your own happiness, not anyone else. Don’t blame your partner for treating you badly, the test you failed, the money you don’t have, or your upbringing for your unhappiness. Blaming external things will never make you happy and never fix the problem.
When you can accept these things for what they are and then take responsibility for fixing it yourself, you will be much happier. In the end, the only way to be happier in life is to take responsibility for your own happiness.
Work smart, not hard
Catchphrases such as “hustle” and “grind” have become a common part of the work culture lingo in recent times. This unhealthy mindset causes many people to prioritise work over relationships, passion and fulfilment. It is much healthier, and will make you much happier, if you work well and be productive – not work too hard and be too busy.
This is called “working smart”, a term most likely coined by author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss. His book, The 4-Hour Work Week, advocates for working smart, not being busy. Using your work time wisely, instead of working all day every day. A workaholic will inevitable crash and burn; a breakdown is no fun and it can be avoided by using your work time productively and intelligently.
Many people are unhappy because they work too much, or they work a job that they hate. For some reason, many just accept this as a part of life and never fix it. But it is fixable, and only you can fix it. Use your work time wisely, and then when you are away from work, be really and truly away from work. Set boundaries with yourself or your boss, saying you won’t do any extra work outside of your set work hours. And if you don't like your job, take the neccessary steps to change that where you're able to implement some healthier work habits.
Again, a big reason why people are unhappy is because they aren’t moving as much as they should. Many of us have office jobs or work sat at a computer all day. This means that we aren’t moving our bodies as much as they need us to, which can lead to tiredness, fatigue, aches and pains, stress, and irritability.
Instead, if you make a conscious effort to move more, your body will feel more energised and healthy, thus giving you a better sense of wellbeing and happiness. A healthy person is a happier person, so make this a priority.
Take breaks from your computer by standing and having a little walk or stretch in the office (or wherever you are). Get outdoors more often on breaks and after work. Being out among nature is important for health and happiness. Even a short walk along a path lined with trees or near water can give you a dose of happiness. Making this a regular thing will mean you feel happier more often.
Regular exercise is imperative, not only for your mental and physical health, but also for happiness. Ever heard of the “runner’s high” that people talk about? Well, it’s a real thing! You will get a surge of endorphins when you work out, which is a happy, elated feeling in the body. Not only that, but you get a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and wellbeing – all important for overall happiness.
Plus, if you get regular exercise, then your body will feel fitter and stronger. You will feel less sluggish, tired, and weak. You will also look and feel good, which is, of course, a sense of happiness.
As human beings, it’s easy to fall into a rut and become bored with life. Dull routines, unfulfillment, tiredness, lack of challenges, and lack of meaning in our lives will lead to unhappiness. Instead, if you make a point of challenging yourself regularly, you will avoid these things.
And by challenges, this could be anything: learning a new skill, finding a different job, picking up a language, switching up your exercise regime, expanding your social group or even a trip abroad. Testing the boundaries, expanding your comfort zone, and accomplishing new things will lead to happiness in your life on a regular basis.
Set goals and then smash them! This builds confidence and boosts self-esteem which is important for overall happiness.
Not everyone thinks of themselves as creative. Not everyone is naturally creative, but everyone can be creative – in one way or another. Creativity isn’t just art; it’s new ways of thinking. It’s inspiration; it’s making something new or putting a twist on something that already exists.
Ways to be creative:
- Write (anything: poetry, novels, short stories, blog posts, journal, memoir, social media posts, scripts, plays, songs, letters, or whatever else)
- Make new recipes
- Decorate your home
- Or get creative with new ways to be creative!
Don’t write yourself off as someone who can’t be creative. There is something out there for everyone and creativity is linked to happiness because it keeps you engaged in something. It provides you with a challenge or project that takes your focus and then gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end. Creativity uses both sides of your brain, lights it up, and allows you to explore the realms of the unknown. Which is, of course, very exciting. And exciting things make us happy.
The last thing that will definitely contribute to how to be happier in life is your habits. If you have habits that bring you joy, then you will be happier in life. On the other hand, if you have bad habits that don’t bring you joy, then you won’t be happy in life – it’s that simple.
Good habits for happiness include:
- Regular, routine exercise
- Healthy eating
- Mental health and wellness practices like: yoga, meditation, journaling, walks, etc.
- Waking early and sleeping on time
- Spending time with good people
- Making time for your needs and passions
- Less time on your phone or other devices, more time with books, people, and activities
It is our habits that dictate who we are and how we feel, remember that. If you can build good, healthy habits, you will be happier in life overall. It’ll take time, but the result is worth the effort.
- Complain less, be grateful more
- Put things into perspective
- Watch less televisionPrioritise health
- Seek advice from trusted people or a healthcare professional if your happiness is severely impaired
How to be happier in life? Look after yourself consciously and with love – everything else will naturally fall into place. Good luck!