A few years back, I thought I was happy. To any outsider looking in, I had almost everything a woman could possibly want and need in order to be happy.
Yet despite all this, I had a moment one foggy morning when I wiped the condensation from the bus window, peered out and asked myself why I didn’t feel happy.
“What do I want from life?” I had to ask myself. What did I want? What was I missing? What was stopping me from feeling happy?
For the next few days, I made it my goal to dissect happiness, and how we can have more of it. I discovered one thing especially: To be happier, you have to live a simpler life. Here are a few more tips on how to make life happier…
Let The Sun Go Down On Anger
People tell us that anger is an energy, and that it’s cathartic. They tell us that it’s a good idea to vent whenever we feel angry, and that we shouldn’t let things bottle up inside of us.
But does this make us happy? Definitely not!
I’ve found that it’s better to let certain things go, especially minor things. If we seethed and raged at every single irritation, we would remain desperately bitter and unhappy. Instead, learn to forgive and forget as quickly as possible.
Fake It Until You Can Feel It
This is another amazing secret on how to make life happier. When I was on a personal quest to be happier, I consulted a friend of mine who always seemed to be smiling. “What’s your secret?” I asked.
She told me that half of the time she fakes it. Eventually, she feels it.
I was surprised. Was it really possible to artificially make ourselves feel happier until we genuinely feel happier? You bet!
I tried it – and it worked. Now, when I feel low, I deliberately act happy. It isn’t long until I actually start to feel a lot happier.
Fix Your Diet
If your diet is rich in junk food an sugary treats, it could be the number one reason you’re feeling down and out right now. Adding more micronutrients from fruit and veg will have a cleansing effect on both your mind and your body.
Avoiding Treating The Blues With A Gift
A piece of bad advice I got when I was trying to work out how to make life happier was when a well-meaning friend told me to always treat myself when I’m having a bad time of it.
“I always go shopping, or I go on a night out,” she told me. “Sometimes, I just stuff my face with chocolate.”
I took this advice on board and tried it. As someone who rarely treated themselves, I was sure it would work.
It didn’t. I quickly learned that these treats were just temporary solutions, and that I felt even worse once I was done with them!
If you’re feeling blue, avoid treating yourself with temporary quick fixes. They may just make you feel guilty afterwards.
Studies have already shown us that when we sleep, our bodies repair themselves and recover from ailments, wounds, bruises and so on. But it also turns out that sleep helps us to be happier.
According to Nutureshock:
Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.
In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”
Stop Waiting For The Best
Are you the kind of person who says “I never settle for second best”? If so, you might want to rethink that mantra.
During my quest to find happiness, I found that I was a perfectionist who wouldn’t settle for anything but the best. As it turned out, this was making my unhappy.
I’ve since met people who are the same. I have a friend who wouldn’t date any man who didn’t meet certain huge standards. As such, she was miserably single for a long long time.
If you’re the kind of person who won’t take action until all your criteria is met, you might find that you never take action. And this could be making you unhappy. Instead, it’s a good idea to become a maximiser, which is a person who makes the best possible decision at the time.
Move Closer To Work
I work from home, so this little tip was one I didn’t use myself. But it’s a fantastic way of simplifying your life and boosting your happiness.
Essentially, long commutes to and back from work can really drain us, and they can affect us hugely. For this reason, why not make your life a little bit easier by moving closer to work? If possible, of course!
Another good tip on how to make life happier is to stop nagging. Women are portrayed as perennial naggers in television sitcoms and movies. But is the stereotype true? Mostly, it is!
I was a nagger. I used to follow my husband around the house, telling him to do this and that. It wore me out, and yes, it was making me unhappy.
I’d always assumed that if I quit nagging, he wouldn’t do anything at all. As it turned out, the opposite was true. Free from me demanding that he do this and that, he actually got to work!
I was also happier because I was no longer nagging. It was a win-win situation.
Be Kind To People
“Practice kindness every day and you’ll realise that you’re already in heaven.”
– Jack Kerouac
You might think it sounds counterproductive to help someone else out in order to help yourself out – but it really works.
Doing things for others boosts your own mental wellbeing. Helping people is not hard to do, and there are many things you can do for people.
Be Grateful For What You Already Have
Many of us spend so much time wishing we had the things others have. But it’s now time to start being grateful for the things you already have, such as your health, family and blue sky under your head.