When it comes down to it, we all want the same thing: happiness. But how can you get it? Why don’t you have it already? What is holding you back? I’m going to get you started on the path to finding those answers with these 5 tips for a happier life.
5 TIPS FOR A HAPPIER LIFE
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Update: I originally wrote this post a year ago. I was looking back on it today and thinking about how far I’ve come in that time and how my life has changed. I’m truly in a better place.
Last year, I had a 4 month old. I was surviving on hardly any sleep, totally neglecting self-care, and I felt like I was crumbling.
Now, my son is 16 months. Our days are full of joy and I am so happy with the life we lead. And he sleeps through the night, which has done wonders for my mental state. I’m taking care of myself.
And I’ve really been trying to do the things on this list.
It honestly makes a difference. I encourage you to try it for yourself.
And take care of yourselves, friends.
Here is the original post:
A happy life something that you have to make for yourself.
All that stuff won’t ever bring your happiness.
And you can’t let your happiness depend on anyone else.
You control it – so take control of it. Be intentional about it.
Well, this is a great place to start.
Here are 5 tips for a happier life.
You can implement them one at a time or jump in all at once.
1. QUIT COMPLAINING
It’s hard to be happy when you are only focused on all the crummy stuff.
Are your conversations always centered around complaints? If they are, how could you ever expect to feel good?
Complaining is a contagious happiness sucker.
One person starts doing it, then another, then another.
After awhile, you find yourself sitting there thinking of things you want to complain to someone about.
You need to break this cycle.
Instead of talking about all the things are wrong, try telling people about something good.
You could tell a funny story, share something you’re looking forward to, or even flat-out tell them that you are trying to complain less.
For some people, this shift in the conversation will be enough for them to stop complaining and talk about something positive.
Other people may see this as an opportunity to complain more themselves.
Use the next tip to decide which of those people you want to spend your time talking to.
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HAPPY PEOPLE
This is key. If you spend your days with grumpy folks, the grumpiness becomes contagious.
Likewise, if you spend your time with the cup-half-full types, that will rub off on you.
Seek out friends that make you feel good about yourself — the people you’ll feel happy just being around.
You probably have some people like this in your life already. Aim to spend more of your time with them.
Science has proven that spending time with loved ones improves your physical and mental health.
It also decreases your chance of developing dementia and increases your likelihood of living a long life.
When you talk and laugh with people you care about your brain actually releases oxytocin, which is the love hormone.
This reduces stress and anxiety while increasing calm, lighthearted feelings.
Aim to spend time with family and friends that have this effect on you on a regular basis.
Reduce the time you spend with people who don’t make you feel good inside.
It can have a huge impact on your happiness and your health.
3. BE GRATEFUL
Good things happen to us each day, and most of the time they go unnoticed.
Start paying attention to the good stuff!
One effective way to do this is to start a gratitude journal.
Set aside 5 minutes a day to reflect on the good things that happened to you that day and write down what you are grateful for.
I keep mine in a note on my phone.
Before I fall asleep most nights, I just spend a few minutes in bed writing down the good things that happened that day.
This practice will train your brain to focus on the good parts of your day.
Your gratitude journal will also provide you with a record of when all the good things in your life happened.
Then, when you are feeling down, you can look back at it and you will likely find something in there that cheers you up.
Arianna Huffington does a great job of explaining the benefits of gratitude in her book Thrive. You can check it out here.
Keeping a gratitude journal will reduce your stress levels, cause you to feel calm and content, and open your eyes to how many good things you have in your life to appreciate.
4. LAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is working against your happiness.
We spend so much of our time on Facebook and Instagram. And for some of us, Twitter and Snapchat too. Is it doing us any good?
To some small extent, Facebook and Instagram are nice because you can connect with family and friends that are far away. And look at pictures of cute babies.
But besides that, what are we getting out of it?
Our “friends” are either bragging about how great their life is or complaining about everything under the sun. Either way, it’s frankly not worth listening to.
The complainers on social media are just like complainers in real life. They bring you down.
Social media is just the vehicle for their negativity.
The braggers use social media to present themselves as having an amazing life with everything all together.
These people are generally overcompensating for something and they’re rarely as happy as they present themselves to be.
Even though we know the braggers aren’t what they seem, by watching what they’re putting up we start to feel bad about our own lives.
We’re not doing all those things, buying all those things, going to all those places. We must be missing out right?
And you are missing out.
Every minute that you spend scrolling through the snippets of other people’s lives is a minute of your own life that you’ve missed out on living.
Just remember that you never know what is going on behind the camera.
5. LOOK FORWARD
Of course, real happiness comes in finding the joyful moments in your day-to-day life.
But sometimes, that’s hard to do.
Sometimes you are washing your baby’s poop off of your hands thinking about all the other things you need to be cleaning, and fixing, and taking care of.
And in these moments it’s really helpful to have something to look forward to.
It can be a big thing, like that vacation you’ve been planning forever.
But it doesn’t have to be big. Sometimes, looking forward to the small things can have an even bigger impact.
For me, everyday I look forward to my husband coming home from work and my son and I being able to spend time together with him.
Every week, I look forward to Saturday when my husband likes to wake up early with our 4 month old and I get the chance to sleep in a little bit.
When said 4 month old and I were spending our days inside during the cold winter months, I looked forward to taking him for walks around our neighborhood.
None of these things are all that momentous in the grand scheme of things but looking forward to them has such an impact on my everyday life.
Spend some time intentionally contemplating what you could look forward to during those everyday moments that might have you feeling a little bit down.
Make sure you include some small things along with any big happenings that you may look forward to.
Then when you find yourself frustrated in an everyday moment, remind yourself to think about the good things you are looking forward to.
You’ll be amazed at the way this easily brightens your mood.
Get started with these 5 tips for a happier life today! You can slowly implement them one at a time, or jump into them all at once. Quit complaining, surround yourself with happy people, be grateful, spend less time on social media, and find some things to look forward to. You’ll be amazed at the impact these things have on your happiness.
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