How to Be Happy
You CAN take actions that help bring more joy into your life. Who doesn't want more happiness?
True joy comes when you inspire, encourage, and guide someone else on a path that benefits him or her. – Zig Ziglar
8. Avoid Negative People
Your friends, family, coworkers, and others who you see everyday can have a profound influence on your own mood. Happiness may be contagious, but so is negativity. As you work to build your own inner core of joy, you might cultivate friendships with positive thinkers and drop or minimize contact with negative people.
7. Spend Time Outside
People report feeling happier outdoors, and more so in natural environments than in urban streets. If you are a city-dweller, a park with trees may be the best spot, but just 20 minutes outside, every day, boosts a positive mood, clears thinking, and can make your work go more productively.
6. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is proven to have a powerful effect on our happiness and well-being. In fact it is now accepted to be an effective strategy for overcoming feelings of depression. As you start exercising, your body is in a moment of stress, with increased heart rate and muscle activity. Your brain then releases chemicals, such as endorphins, that help you feel at ease, think more clearly, and feel happier.
Find it difficult to make yourself exercise? Help yourself to succeed by starting small, just 5 minutes at a time, 3 times a week. Does that seems easy, not overwhelming? If you can force yourself to do that regularly, in three weeks you will have the exercise habit. After that it will be easy to increase the amount of time to twenty minutes or more a day.
5. Increase the Amount of Sleep
Sleep lets your body recover and helps you to be more focused and productive. It also turns out to be essential for feelings of happiness. Sleep-deprived people have difficulty recalling pleasant memories, yet tend to remember gloomy memories just fine. Adequate rest and even a nap in the afternoon help people to have more positive associations.
4. Practice Meditation
Meditation is like an exercise—a tool you can use to actually alter your brain structure and raise a joyful mood. Meditation is useful to:
3. Live Close to Your Work
Commuting to work is a task you may do twice a day, five days a week. It’s no surprise that the time spent on your commute can have a big effect on your mood. It’s astonishing just how drastically it can affect us. While we may get used to some unpleasant things that we must do, it seems that driving in traffic is so unpredictable that people experience it as a different kind of misery each trip. A shorter commute time may be more valuable to happiness levels than a big house or even a better job.
2. Cultivate Positive Thoughts
It sounds like a simple strategy, and there is certainly no lack of positive quotes on posters or quips on calendars to keep you inspired. But slipping into negative reactions is often a habit that needs to be broken. Consciously installing positive thoughts can make a huge difference to your happiness factor. Here are two mind exercises that can bring you back to joy:
Smiling makes you feel good. Ideally you can catch someone’s eye and smile together. But smiling on your own may work just as well. The best part is that it is easy to do—any time, any place. However, false smiles forced on others may backfire and actually make you feel worse. The trick is to link a positive thought or feeling to each act of smiling. Say something to yourself like, “Life is good.” Remember, it takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile.
Are successful people happy? Not necessarily. It seems that happiness doesn’t flow from success, happiness actually causes success. Cultivating happiness may cause people to have more satisfying and successful relationships, find more interesting fulfilling careers, and live longer, healthier lives. Think of happiness as a foundation on which you can build inner peace and a balanced state of well-being. That's called success in my book!
Read more about the benefits of meditation at 10 Benefits of Walking Meditation.
If you enjoyed this SimpleTens List, find more articles about the mind and spirit in LifeStyle.