What Is The Best Ways To Be More Happy
Do You Want to Live a Happier Life –
Is Happiness a Truth or a Myth?
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama
Happiness is a somewhat subjective emotional state. When people say they are ‘happy’ they can often mean different things. Do you have any ideas on what is the best ways to be more happy?
Do you really know what ‘real’ happiness is?
This may seem like an odd question to ask, but defining happiness is not easy. When I started out looking for a definition of happiness, I came up with so many options but really didn’t find the answer I was looking for.
Let me explain…
With each search I kept wondering does being happy make a difference in your life? What is the best ways to be more happy?
Have you ever stopped to consider exactly what happiness means? What, exactly, is this happiness you strive for?
Happiness is something everyone seems to desire and wish for. You may have a successful job and have lots of money, but without happiness it will be meaningless.
I’ve decided to make a leap here and say ‘happiness is pretty important in your life’ –
Now let’s take a look at what is the best ways to be more happy.
I believe that happiness plays a huge part in how we live our lives.
It seems that researchers do not all agree upon what happiness is. There is lots of interesting information regarding happiness and your health and well-being.
DEFINITIONS OF HAPPINESS
According to Wikipedia, “happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being.”
The Oxford dictionary defines happiness as “The state of being happy.”
In the Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, the definition of happiness is noted as being
- “a state of well-being and contentment
- a pleasurable or satisfying experience”
The dictionary definitions are a good starting point but let’s look deeper. Here are what some of the greatest minds in history have to say about happiness.
Mahatma Gandhi is quotes as saying: “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”.
Aristotle talks about happiness as “the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
According to Wayne Dyer “happiness is something that you are and it comes from the way you think”.
Lastly Robert Ingersol states “happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence”.
It’s a good thing that most of us do not need a ‘definition of happiness’ in order to be happy!
If you were asked to define happiness you might say something like –
‘You know happiness when you feel it, or you might describe it with words like joy, pride, contentment, or gratitude.
HOW DO I DEFINE HAPPINESS?
I think ‘Happiness’ is when your life fulfills your needs.
Happiness is that content feeling you get when you are satisfied and fulfilled. It is when you know life is just as it should be.
However, happiness is not black or white. There are various degrees of happiness between complete contentment on one end and that of despair on the other end.
Most of us fall somewhere in the middle!
Let’s look at some habits of happiness that are worth cultivating. These are not in any particular order.
- Build Relationships: something that kept coming up over and over in the literature was the need for social connections.
- It is important that you find time to be with those closest around you – whether it’s a partner or a friend.
- Being able to share and confide in those closest to you whether you’re feeling down or happy can bring you closer to that level of happiness you are trying to achieve.
- Pursue Happiness (indirectly): Fill your day around activities that you enjoy. Get completely lost in something you love.
- It might be cooking, gardening, writing, painting, jogging, running, swimming, etc.
- By losing yourself in something you love, you create the perfect space to find yourself – and contentment!
- Practice Savoring Happiness (directly). Make an effort to become more aware of your positive feelings.
- Research suggests that our ability to savor our feelings can impact how much of a mood boost we get from the happy events we experience.
- Practice Self-love. The relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important ones you will ever have.
- Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. We are often our own worst critics.
- The Buddha wrote, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire Universe, deserve your love and affection.”
- This key here is to treat yourself like you would treat a best friend or loved one — with love, compassion and acceptance.
- Practice Kindness: More and more research is being done in the area of Neuroscience.
- A recent study shows that when we do nice things for others, your brains light up in areas associated with pleasure and reward.
- Research by Elizabeth Dunn found that people reported greater happiness when they spend money on others than when they spend money on themselves.
- Practice Forgiveness: Tara Brach, suggests that when we forgive those people that have hurt us in some way, we feel better about ourselves and experience more of those positive emotions we are searching for.
- Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Poor sleep has been suggested to be associated with lower levels of happiness.
- A study of about 900 women, (Daniel Kahneman), found that getting just one more hour of sleep each night might lead to a higher level of happiness than a $60,000 raise.
- (LOL – I’d like to given the opportunity to try this one out)
- Find Your Purpose. Each one of us has a unique purpose in life. Your path and purpose will be different than anyone else’s.
- So don’t feel you have to conform to social norms.
- Follow your heart and your inner guide when it comes to making decisions about your life and happiness will follow.
- Optimism. There is a saying which goes something like this, “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.”
- Most of the time when you worry whether it’s a small issue or a large issue, nothing positive ever comes out of it.
- Usually, what whatever you were worried about turns out okay in the end.
- So save yourself from the emotional angst of worrying, and cultivate a mindset which is based on optimism, positive expectations and trust that the universe will have your back.
- Move Your Body: You don’t have to run a marathon or go to the gym.
- Simply walking 20 minutes a day can make a difference in your mood and how you feel.
- You’ve probably heard this before but exercise isn’t just good for our bodies, it’s good for your mind too!.
- Studies have shown that regular physical activity increases happiness and self-esteem, reduces anxiety and stress, and can even lift symptoms of depression.
- “Exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities,” writes Lyubomirsky in The How of Happiness.
- Spending Time in Nature: People who spend time outdoors appear to be more connected to nature.
- This study suggests those people who spend time in nature show a connection between nature and happiness.
- They tend to report having more positive emotions, and often feel happy.
- Taking Time Out to Play. Have you lost touch with that playful, youthful self. The one you had when you were a kid?
- Make time to do something for the sake of simply enjoying it.
- Find a way to build opportunities for fun and play into your daily life and experiences.
- It could be as simple as playing board games with friends or family on the weekend or a walk around the block with a colleague at lunch.
- Find Balance Daily. Have you heard of Tao Te Ching?
- Tao is an ancient practice that dates back over 5,000 years. It brings attention to how the universe and nature functions in our lives.
“As in the nature of things,
there is a time for being ahead
and a time for being behind;
a time for ease,
and a time for strain;
a time to be hard,
and a time to be soft;
a time to grow in strength
and a time to decay.
The Sage therefore
avoid excess, extravagance and extremes.
– Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching 29
In this ancient text from the Tao Te Ching, it is saying that you are taught there is a time for everything: a time for taking action; a time for resting; a time for certainty, and a time for uncertainty.
It suggests you should try to include balance into your life by alternating periods of action with periods of rest. Doing this can lead to increased happiness.
14. Practice Compassion. According to Buddha teachings at some level, we are all the same and we are all equal.
You always have the option to choose your thoughts. You can choose to focus on the differences between yourself and other people, or you can choose to see the common things you share with those around you.
Extending compassion towards others and accepting them just as they are, actually allows you to experience a sense of happiness.
15. Celebrate Miracles. According to A Course In Miracles, a “miracle” is a shift in our perspective about a person or situation
You can shift from feeling hurt and fearful to feeling loved and secure in your relationship
You can shift from getting upset by something small to remembering the bigger picture of life and letting it go
The Course in Miracles teaches that the more you practice these shifts in perspective, the more you will be able to experience happiness and inner peace.
16. Practice Mindfulness: Studies show that people who practice mindfulness – staying in the present moment and taking each moment as it comes while being aware of their thoughts, feelings, and external circumstances not are more likely to be happy and enjoy greater life satisfaction.
They also tend to be less anxious and angry. A basic eight-week mindfulness training course based on the practice of Jon Kabat-Zinn (that you can take online here) can significantly improve not only your physical but also your psychological well-being.
Through this course you can learn about:
- Being Present. Do you often find yourself spending a lot of your day lost in thought, reflecting on the past or thinking about the future.
- When we do this we are not connecting with the present – paying attention to our loved one, the conversation with your boss, the feeling of the warm sun on your face or the wind in your hair or the taste of your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- By trying to be mindful, take time to pause or be still and connect with these present moments throughout your day, you will gain a sense of feeling more fulfilled and happier.
- Your inner spirit needs this time to rest, replenish and renew. So along with taking time to be present you can also add a few minutes of meditating (as little as ten minutes each morning) can have a positive effect on your happiness and your sense of well-being.
- Practice Gratitude – Giving thanks: I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Count your blessings”.
- McCullough, Emmons, Lyubomirsky, and others have talked about the power of simply counting your blessings on a daily basis.
- When you give from a place of love without expecting anything in return, you receive as much of the benefits as the receiver of your gift.
- Giving doesn’t have to be something big – by give a smile, a kind word of support, or a helping hand can make a difference not only in your happiness but in that of others.
- Gratitude is often thought of as a sweet shortcut to happiness.
It can turn what you have into enough;
It can train your mind to focus on the beauty, joy and good surrounding you;
It can fill you up with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction;
It can make you a magnet for more good things and that happiness you are looking for
One thing I came across that didn’t surprise me but thought I should mention to you. Some people reported that they thought that the more money you have the happier you will be.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Does Wealth = Happiness?
It seems that once your basic needs are met research does not support that more money brings you more happiness.
A study by Kahneman found that Americans’ happiness rose when their income increased until they made about $75,000; after that, their happiness leveled off.
This might explain why some people who choose material things over other values often compare themselves with people who have more, often report on surveys that they are never satisfied or happy with what they have and are always looking for more.
These are My 5 Habits of Happiness That I Try To Practice Daily:
Be in the moment.
Be active / exercise daily.
Be a spectator to your own thoughts.
Be helpful to others.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS…
If you want to be happier try including any of these 17 things into your daily activities. Doing these things daily can form habits that will serve you well in your health and wellness journey.
I don’t know about you but I think we are often quick to say happiness is the most important thing… but then we schedule everything but the things that make us happy into our day… Hmm does this sound like you?
So what’s going to make you happy today? Have you thought about it?
What are 5 of the best ways to be more happy that you could add to your calendar today?
Now schedule those 5 things into your calendar before you get distracted and forget about it…
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you…
If you found my article helpful, I would be honored if you shared it with your friends, family or on social media.
If you are interested in exploring this topic, check out the following books…
The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Until next time,
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa
P.S. Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you purchase using these links. There is no added cost to you and I appreciate you taking the time to purchase from me as it helps support my website and allows me to continue sharing my helpful tips with you.