How to Be Happy Now

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Happiness – The Be All End All

If you really think about it, being happy is the ultimate goal, the reason we might strive to do almost anything. Everyone wants to be happy.

  • Why would I want to take care of health?  So I can be well enough in old age to enjoy my retirement and travel.  Why?  Because that would make me happy.
  • Why would I want to do well in school or at work?  So I can get a good job and make money to buy things I like or need.  Why?  Because I think that would make me happy.
  • Why do I want to lose weight?  Because I think it will open up a host of possibilities to me that felt previously unavailable and that will make me happy.
  • Why do I donate money to animal rescues?  Because I love animals and want to help end their suffering.  It makes me happy.
  • Why would I clean my house on the weekend?  Because a clean house gives me a sense of accomplishment and it’s much more pleasant to be in and that makes me happy.

Don’t Delay Happiness

Look closely at the things you are doing in the pursuit of happiness.  Some may not result in you being happier.  For example, making lots of money, having the fancy car or huge house, or working your way up the ranks at work….these things often don’t contribute to happiness as much as one might think.  Also, you may ask yourself if happiness is only a possibility once you reach your goal.  It’s not uncommon for women to delay doing things that would make us happy, until we’ve lost weight.   There are lots of things you can do to make yourself happier now, without having reached goals that you think will make you happy.

What Does it Take To Be Happy?

Depending on where you look, you can find tons of lists/tips for being happy, documentaries on how to be happy, TED talks on the subject, and plenty of info on positive psychology. Googling around, here is a list of things that keep making the cut for creating happiness:

  • First and Foremost Take Care of Basic Needs: eat enough, sleep enough, move your body.
  • Connect with Others: spend more time with your family, friends, God, or get involved in groups in your community, especially if this time spent involves helping others.
  • Get Outside!  Sunshine, fresh air, natural surroundings, and apparently even the right temperature, 57 degrees F, are said to boost your mood
  • Find Your Talent: Seek out things you are good at and allow time in your routine to zone out in those activities.  Finding the things that are fun enough to make time fly by encourages feeling happier.
  • Practice Gratitude: Focus on the good things each day, whether it’s jotting down a list of 3 things you are grateful for each night, or journaling on one positive thing that happened that day.
  • Stay in the Present: mind wandering usually brings people back to negative thoughts.  Even focusing on something neutral or positive doesn’t seem to create the same sense of happiness and just focusing on the moment you are in.
  • Forgive
  • Meditate
  • Smile
  • Surround Yourself with Puppies – this is just my personal suggestion

 What would you add to this list? What are simple things you do to increase your level of happiness?

4 Responses (Add Yours)

  • BMB says:

    I would add spending a lot of time at the first kitty café that is about to open in my area. Weeee! Kitty therapy, a nice cup of tea or coffee, meet new people while getting pet therapy. Could there be anything better? :-)

  • These are all great ways to make your life happier

  • What do you mean plan a trip but don’t take it?

    • shirimacri says:

      We use this graphic because it really speaks to some of the scientifically proven ways to increase joy and happiness. In the suggestion to plan a trip but not take it, a study published in 2010 in the Journal of Applied Research on the Quality of Life found that much of the joy around vacations came during the planning. So the idea is that even if you can’t actually go, plan one and happiness will improve. And if you can actually go…bonus!

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