What is the number one thing that people want out of life? That’s right, you guessed it, it's Happiness.
It doesn’t matter what your background is, what status you have in life, or what career you’re in. Everyone and I mean everyone, wants to live a happy life.
But is everyone happy? How many people do you know that you would consider happy? What about those who are not happy? What do they have common? What makes them different? What even is happiness?
Here’s the thing about happiness. There’s no set definition. If you ask anyone what the top three things they want out life is, 99% of them will mention happiness. When you ask them what being happy means, that’s when things get interesting. Everyone has their own unique answer, which makes sense, because everyone isn’t the same, and what makes one person happy doesn’t always mean it will give another person that same level of enjoyment. Regardless there are certain things that anyone can do to become a happier person.
Here’s my definition of happiness.
"Being happy means being satisfied with your life on a consistent day to day basis. That you feel good, not all of the time, but most of the time." - Coach K
Now let’s dive into the 5 ways that you can start becoming happier now!
During physical exercise, we are subjecting ourselves to low levels of stress. Our body combats this stress by releasing endorphins, dopamine, and norepinephrine which help boost our mood, de-stress, and can instantly help relieve feelings of depression or anxiety. Exercise can also contribute to regulate our sleep cycle and detox our immune system. When you feel healthier, you’re generally in a better mood!
Oddly enough, exercise can also help boost energy levels. At first, it might seem like it’s doing the opposite, but give it a little bit of time, and you will quickly notice the difference. The more energy you have, the more you can get done, and the less tired you'll be when it comes to important things like spending time with your family or working on your personal affairs after work.
Exercise improves mental toughness and can increase confidence. When you reach the one-mile mark on a run or finish squatting those ten reps at the gym, you feel accomplished. This sense of accomplishment makes you feel more powerful and capable of doing more. Also, you’ll look better! That saying, the better you look, the better you feel, well it’s true, but it also works in reverse. The better you feel, the better you look and luckily exercise helps with both.
Lastly it creates discipline and focus. Exercising is a commitment which requires dedication and sacrifice, this alone can pay dividends and can transfer to all facets of your life. The power of discipline is something that is required in any field to be great.
By committing yourself to exercise at least 2 to 3 times a week, you’ll become a much happier person.
Reading… really? I’m guessing that’s going to be a majority of people's reactions, but reading can make you a much happier person!
Reading can help you escape for a while and let you experience places and things that you might never get to see. You can become a magical wizard, a hero, or be whisked away to a far off land and swept off your feet by a beautiful stranger. For some people escaping for a little while is all they need to create a feeling of happiness.
It relaxes your mind and helps alleviate depression, and all it takes 6 minutes according to current research. Imagine what a whole book could do for your mental health!
Reading makes you smarter. The more you read, the more you’re exposed to, and the more you know, the more capable and confident you will feel in yourself and your abilities. It also can help make you more open-minded and empathetic, which can help you relate to more people and feel a deeper sense of connection with other human beings.
Reading books can inspire and motivate you, and spark your creativity. It can help you self-improve in any aspect of your life. There are books out on any subject you can think of, so if you’re stuck in a particular part of your life and feeling like it’s holding you back, pick up a book and empower yourself!
What? Meditation? Isn’t that just for hippies or people who do yoga? NOPE!
Meditation is an excellent way to help you become a happier person. We constantly are being bombarded by new information day in and day out. Our brains are thinking over 35 to 50 thoughts per minute. That comes out to over 50,000 thoughts per day! You think that all of these thoughts are productive? Probably not.
I like to say that our thoughts are like emails and that meditation is the delete button. If you’ve never meditated before you probably have millions of unread emails (thoughts) that you’ve never gotten around to removing. Just imagine seeing this in your inbox. No wonder people are so stressed out. Meditation helps you remove the junk. Of course, it won’t happen overnight, but over time you’ll eventually delete all the spam. If you’ve ever had to clean out your email inbox before, you know how great it feels when it is finally cleared out.
Meditation helps us become happier by releasing endorphins and dopamine, which lower stress levels and alleviate anxiety and depression. You don’t even have to break a sweat! And just like exercise and reading, meditation can help regulate and improve our quality of sleep.
It improves your memory, boosts your creativity, and will help give you a better sense of mental clarity. These are all beautiful things that when put to use will make you a much happier person!
Don’t feel like you can do it? Here’s something that might change your mind. 5 minutes. Yup, only 5 minutes a day, done every day, can lead to long-lasting results. Of course, if you can extend it to 15 to 20 minutes you’ll get much more benefits, but starting off doing only 5 minutes a day is much better than doing none at all.
We can only experience one emotion in any given moment, so why not choose an emotion that can make you more successful, loved, and happy? When it comes to emotions, gratefulness is one of the strongest we could ever feel. It’s right up there with love and pure joy. Being grateful can bring many wonderful things into your life, and it’s easy to do because there is so much to be grateful for! Every day your alive, you can give thanks for seeing another day. You can be grateful for simple things like your ability to see, hear, read, walk, think or you can be grateful for things like your job, your family, your health, or wealth.
Being grateful will put you in a better mood because you’re focused on the good things in your life, which in turn will make you more optimistic. And guess what? People who are more grateful are more fun to be around. Being grateful gives you the positive, optimistic mindset that will naturally draw people into your life. Would you rather be around someone who complains all the time or someone who regularly gives thanks for the many blessings they receive? Yes, that’s right, being grateful can make you more popular!
Gratitude also helps you develop a deeper sense of appreciation for life. Things that usually would bother you all of sudden aren’t such a threat anymore. When you learn to be grateful, you’re developing the ability to see the good in every situation. Did your car get a flat tire? No problem! Be thankful that you have a car. What about when you have to shell out the cash to replace the tires? Be grateful that you have the money to replace them! Some people can't afford it and would go into debt if they had too.
There’s always something to be grateful for; sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find it.
A big portion of the population tends to look for love outside of themselves. They’re looking for the perfect partner or friend to complete them, to make them whole, but you’re already whole! You were made from love and put on this earth to spread that love. It’s important to share your love with others, but it’s equally if not more important to share that love with yourself first.
When you unconditionally love yourself, your self-esteem rises, you learn to accept who you are, your confidence boosts, and all of these qualities will make you look good! People who love themselves glow, their smile shines, their skin radiates beauty, and their expressions are lively and charismatic.
Learn to love yourself, and you won’t feel like you need the approval of others. All you were seeking was validation that you are lovable, and you most certainly are!
Self-Love isn’t hard. It’s spending that alone time with yourself meditating; it’s going out for a walk outside, enjoying the sunshine and fresh breeze. Self-love is being grateful for who you are, and guess what? There’s no one else out there whose more unique, than you!
Learn to love yourself and happiness is guaranteed to be a by-product.
So now what?
Start to implement these 5 habits into your daily life and watch how much happier you become.
Start exercising 2 to 3 times a week, meditate at least 5 minutes daily, read 10 pages a day, create a gratitude journal, and start loving yourself now.
I guarantee if you start to do these 5 things, you will become a much happier person.
I’d love to hear about what makes you happy. Comment below and let me know.
Why wait? Be Happy now!