Appreciation is the first step. Appreciation of everything.
Stop giving a shit about what people think. And stop living to impress (I’m still working on that one).
3. It’s true
I heard that physical exercise can really make you feel happier :)
When I’m sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead.
Dr. Lyubomirsky wrote an excellent book called “The Myths of Happiness”, in which she discusses how our typical methods for attaining happiness is heavily flawed. You should definitely check it out!
In terms of my own tips and tricks, I find that these help improve your well-being and happiness:
1. Being self-compassionate. This isn’t just “loving yourself”, but also accepting your flaws without judgment. It’s stopping yourself from being self-critical and focusing your energy on self-acceptance and self-kindness instead.
2. Appreciate the positive experiences in life. Directing your focus on the positives rather than the negatives can help make you feel better about yourself.
3. Focus on the process, not the end result. Humans are vulnerable to what’s called the “hedonic treadmill”, in which the deliberate pursuit of happiness tends to makes us less happy than if we don’t seek it out. We also have the tendency to “habituate” to positive events, in that we get so used to what makes us happy that it no longer brings pleasure. This is why materialism is so often heavily discouraged (in Buddhism for example); you get used to the things you buy, causing you to have to go out and buy new things and repeat the cycle. Rather than obsess about buying “things”, you should instead focus on the “experiences”, feelings that are less tangible but longer-lasting.
4. Variety is the spice of life. “Eternal happiness” pretty much doesn’t exist in real life; whenever we experience a positive change in our lives (e.g. getting married, getting a raise), we quickly become so used to the changes that we no longer derive pleasure from it. One way to circumvent this limitation is to seek out new positive experiences, whether it’s learning a new skill or joining a new club. Dr. Lyubomirsky recommends doing one new experience a month, to keep your overall levels of happiness high.
Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Put on your happy face, and keep trucking along.
I smile at almost everyone. A lot of people forget how a simple gesture can mean a lot to someone, and can help turn their day around. It makes some people really happy (no offense but especially older people, I’ve actually had my cheeks pinched). I think people might see it as weird sometimes, but it really makes me happy to make other people smile.
I think a lot of people are missing the boat here. Appreciating things and being positive are tremendously important, but the quickest and surest way to happiness is to stop focusing on yourself and do something positive and helpful for another person, and then do that again and again. Even if you never get thanked or appreciated, the gift of happiness is still yours.
I explain to myself whatever it is I’m doing at the moment, but in the most literal terms.
If I’m having a cup of tea, I am marveled that hot water and dried plant leaves can produce such a delicious beverage. The leaves came from a farm that deliberately turns dirt and sunlight into the tea plant, so that humans can enjoy it. It’s like I’m literally tasting the energy of the sun in my cup.
Or if I’m sitting on the beach, watching the waves, I am amazed that the energy that produced the waves built up over thousands of miles from a constant wind that is the result of moving air masses on the other side of the planet. In a way, I’m seeing the fingerprint of a particular swell that happened near Japan months ago, and I’m just now fascinated by it.
This is all assuming that you do not have chronic depression. If you do, start with counseling/medication! With that in mind, these are the things that keep me (mostly!) content with the life I’ve been given.
Remembering that my own happiness is not the end goal of my life. It’s counter-intuitive, but caring for the well-being of the people in my life gives me more joy than searching for my own.
1. Learn contentment. Train yourself to notice each little thing that you have, rather than all the things you want.
2. I remind myself that just because a situation feels bad to me doesn’t mean it’s bad for me. Some of my biggest blessings/times of personal growth have been a result of difficulty.
If we hang out with happy people, we can become happier as well.
Know yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself.
Don’t think about yourself too much.
Forgive others. Forgive yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Don’t live by others’ expectations.
Don’t measure success by the standards of others. Create your own definition of success.
Don’t pursue happiness. It’s not something you look for. It’s something you create in yourself.
So start by making yourself a better person.
Build relationships, it’s a good technique for making yourself a better person.
Open your heart and mind. Share your thoughts, time, talents, and possessions. Smile. Spread love and happiness.
Do what you can to make the world a better place.