“To be happy” is an answer many of us give when we’re asked what we want most out of life. But happiness often seems like something which is unattainable most of the time.
A few years ago, I had a mini-crisis of my own. I was on the bus to work as usual, and the gentle pitter patter of the rain was making me feel sad and reflective for some unknown reason. All of a sudden a thought occurred to me: My life was wasting away.
There and then, on the bus to work, I asked myself what do I want from life? I thought I was happy. After all, I had a husband, two young boys, and I had a job and a home. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t as happy as I could be. I wasn’t maintaining my happiness.
I’d wager that it’s like this for a lot of people. We’ll have spells of happiness that are interspersed with spells of bleakness. So how do we iron out the black spots and stay happy?
I carried out extensive research into happiness and how to maintain it. And I found that there are 10 ways to be happy at all times. Let’s take a look!
Don’t Be Angry
People say that anger is an energy and that you should let it all out whenever you feel angry with someone. They say that doing so is cathartic and you’ll feel so much better.
Better than letting things build up, right?
Okay, so it’s okay to be angry with someone who does a very bad thing to you, but venting your frustration at every single little thing is not cool. If minor annoyances set you off, you’re going to find that you’re more angry than you are happy. Take things with a pinch of salt, and remember that these small experiences do not define you.
Start The Day Properly
Stumbling out of bed late, bleary-eyed is not a good idea. You’re already behind schedule. So much so that you skip breakfast and burn your tongue on your coffee. You’re annoyed – and this frustration is going to stay with you all day long.
If you start the day well, the rest of your day will be beautiful. Wake up early, stay ahead of schedule, eat a hearty, nutritional breakfast and listen to your favourite music.
You might be sceptical about this one.
“Can you really fake being happy?”
Well, yes. You can actually!
Feelings always follow actions. If you walk around with slumped shoulders and a frown on your face, you will soon start to feel depressed.
If, however, you stand tall and smiley, you will start to feel instantly happier!
This is such a simple but effective trick that works every time. And the best thing is that your happiness transfers itself to those around you.
Be More Mindful
Do you have a wandering mind? I did. When I was at work, my mind would often start wandering in the afternoon. I started to worry about this and that. I worried about whether my husband still loved me, and what my future was going to be like. My wandering mind made me gloomy and unproductive.
Mindfulness is the art of focusing on the present moment. It’s the art of forgetting the past and future, and concentrating on the task at hand. And it’s great for happiness.
Don’t Aim For Short-Term Treats
Whenever something made me feel blue, I always resorted to treating myself with something short term. For example, I’d go out and buy a new pair of shoes, or I’d gorge on ice cream, or I’d buy a bottle of wine.
But while these treats make you feel better in the short-term, they just make you feel a whole lot worse in the long term. Once these disposable treats are finished with, you’re left feeling guilty, bitter and even more blue.
Avoid short-term treats.
Science backs this one up. The more you sleep, the more productive, energised and stress-free you’ll be.
Ergo, the happier you’ll be.
Too many of us go to bed far too late. For a happier, more vibrant version of yourself, hit the sack earlier.
Don’t Be A Perfectionist
I was hugely guilty of this one. I was a massive perfectionist who would not settle for second best. Little did I realise that it was actually making me unhappy!
If you always wait until the absolute best, you’re going to be waiting around for a heck of a long time. Worse still, you’re probably won’t even be happy once you do find the best!
I know from experience that people who are prepared to settle on something even if it isn’t the best are happier than those of us who can’t make a decision until everything is absolutely right.
Stop bing so hard on yourself and take a chance on something you otherwise wouldn’t.
Be Kind To Others
Is being kind to others really going to help you be more happy? Sure it is! When you help others, you instantly make them happier. And their happiness transfers itself straight to you.
Ladies, are you guilty of nagging your husband? Come on, answer honestly!
Most women will not admit that they nag their spouse. I never used to admit it. But the truth is that I did used to nag my man. Why? Because I figure it was the best way to get him to do something.
As it turned out, it wasn’t the best way to get him to do something at all. The more I nagged, the more he refused. This made us both unhappy. So, I stopped. I stopped insisting that everything be done on my terms. And you know what? He actually started doing things!
Hang Out With Happy People
Birds of a feather flock together. If you’re unhappy, there is a good chance that the people you hang out with are negatively impacting you.
Free yourself from pessimists and hang out with joyous, positive people.