This is a guset post by Arina Nikitina. Arina is a blogger who shares practical goal setting, motivation, and productivity tips at www.arinanikitina.com
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.—
Groucho Marx isn’t really my favorite person in history. But whenever I am in a foul mood, his wisdom about happiness would revamp me to a brighter place. That’s pretty much why I have designed my own 15 ways to be happier in life.
How true that we’re never in control of what goes around us. Yet many people seem to cling to events, other people, societal codes and shallow, fleeting trends. It makes them happy, so they say. But soon enough, they find themselves in depression, stress and misery because of the changes happening around them.
But let’s not talk about others, shall we? Let’s get on to my ideas to be happier with this simple life. It could be yours, too, if you want.
15 Ways To Be Happier
1 Express love and gratitude often. What you say could intensify what you feel. So when you say “I love you” often, it becomes a reaffirmation as much as it is just words. The same with saying “thank you” makes you happy. Speaking the words open that door of realization why you’re grateful, and then increase your appreciation for the kind or generous act toward you. At the same time, saying “thank you” or “I love you” paves way for better communication. That would make you happy.
2 Step up from the problems with solutions. Got a problem at work? A frustration over planning your wedding? These situations and a hundred more other problems could come at any time. But you can lift yourself up and not allow them to cause you unhappiness. Instead of endlessly question why it happened, step up and spend time looking for solutions. You don’t just get the problems solved, you become happier with finding challenges, new things to do and seeing hope at the end of the process.
3 Always have a “me” moment every day. Happy people are those who love themselves. Happier ones know how to get a daily treat, mostly a few minutes of doing things they love most. Like a hobby, watching a show or listening to their favorite music. While yoga and walking are my daily treats, I always feel pampered when I could have my late night tea, watch the stars or just sit outside doing nothing. The routine is both a relaxing treat and a room for creative thinking or humming to myself. Most of the time though, it’s just enjoying the tea. Yet, it makes me happy.
4 Be around happy people. – This would be my favorite because it involves the people dear to me. I have a circle of friends whose outlook in life strongly resembles mine. Besides, their humor and aspirations are infectious. Thus, there’s no need to carry the weight of sad, problematic and distressed people.
5 Make your career be a source of joy. By this, it means making your work meaningful, fun and always interesting. Routines often lead to de-motivation and dissatisfaction. When this happens, you become grumpy and unhappy. But if you could create new methods to do things every now and then, work becomes interesting. Try to re-write boring correspondences, rearrange your work area and put positive pictures and objects around you. I personally don’t just get in touch with existing contacts, whether virtually or for real; instead, my work becomes more meaningful because I reach out to more people within and outside of my niche. This way, I get satisfaction, new things to pursue and increased interest in my rather usual routines.
6 Be realistic with goals. Often, it’s unrealistic aspirations that dampen our spirits. We tend to aim too high and realize our goals are beyond our reach. For others, it’s setting goals not really among their code desires. Some would even have a hundred of things to do at the thought it would all help them achieve their goals. But if it’s realistic, it’s easier to achieve. So make sure the goals are well-defined and well-designed. The road towards it will see you in a happier pursuit.
7 Find fun in everything that usually isn’t. So many times we come across really annoying circumstances, like being stuck in traffic for too long, irate clients and friends or a hairstyle that causes too much trouble. These situations would likely test your bearing. But don’t let it. There’s always something laughable in any testy circumstance. Look for it instead of dwelling on the annoyance.
8 Stand up for your beliefs. I’ve been taunted a few times about being Vegan, doing yoga instead of the gym and being patient with people. Nothing got me to give up or hide what I believe in. Standing by my way of life doesn’t make me less happy. But I know I’d be miserable if I let go of my reasons for these pursuits; more miserable if I let other peoples’ beliefs and choices replaced my thinking for theirs. Stand up for what you truly believe in to be happier about yourself, to be happier with your life.
9 Smile to people. Then start a conversation with them, if they are into it. You’d be surprised how happier you will become when you put on a happy face. Not all people would take your smile positively, but there are plenty who would. Smiles are the only infection humanity is safe to contract. Smiling to people is like lighting up a room. Don’t care for too much about those who’d rather be in the dark. Think of how well you feel about putting on a happy face and sharing that light with others. This always works, even if your mood isn’t that bright.
10 Have a purpose and know it, too. A man without direction wouldn’t know what makes him happy. So it’s understandable that a life without purpose is a sad one. Once you have understood the meaning of your existence, you become happier in the pursuits you take. Knowing your reasons for being in the world sure makes you love being alive – and be happy about it.
11 Laugh. Just laugh. It’s the best medicine, it chases blues away, it strengthens bonds between people who share the laughter. You could find situations to laugh about, even if it’s usually irritating. You could even laugh at yourself for the mistakes you’ve made learning how to edit pictures online. There’s really a lot to laugh about as there are some more that could annoy you. It’s a matter of perspective. If you didn’t know this before, laugh out loud for the discovery!
12Put a positive premise to every act. Our every action must be done because it’s good and because it is hoped to give good results. Never do something just to disprove others or because you’re angry, envious or want to beat others on a race. When you have a positive thought that’s translated to a positive action, you are never in fear of what it will get back to you. But if it’s the other way around, you’re sadly always watching your back.
13 Be yourself and live in all honesty. There’s no price to living a life of integrity. It means you need not remember lies you told or fear for that instance that a dishonest act will be revealed. Being so, you’re carefree and happy. It’s important for every person not just to be honest at all times, but to live according to how they want themselves to be.
14 Live the moment, not the later. Savor what’s going on around you right now, instead of looking a few hours or days ahead. You miss a lot today with always watching out for tomorrow. Just enjoy your cup of coffee or the afternoon chat with your mom; don’t wonder if you’d be up all night when the caffeine kicks or if the drive back home from your mom’s house. If you enjoy what you’re doing, just enjoy it fully while you can. Let later take what’s in it.
15 Meditate. Or pray. Meditation has so many benefits, and it’s not only attainment of physical calm. Like praying, meditation allows you to look deeper into your soul and your life. That means finding many good things about yourself, and be happier about who you are. It’s a way also erase all ill-thoughts. The same with prayers, you could express gratitude and discover as well what areas in your life you need to become better.
Now let’s say Groucho Marx isn’t perfectly wise at being happy. But still, I happen to find his wisdom on the issue perfect for elaboration. How I got this completed based on Marx’ perspective made me happy. That’s basically why I am.