It seems like the whole world has learned to put on a happy face on for the perfect Instagram photo, but how many actually are happy?
Happiness can sometimes seem hard to achieve but once you find what is making you unhappy you can act to change it.
What’s Holding You Back
When you’re constantly worrying about something that has happened or has yet to happen, your mind is not in the current moment. Instead, your mind has drifted off in the sea of worry and it can’t swim back.
You wait for the weekend only to lazily sit around worrying about the week ahead. What problems am I going to have to deal with? Is Linda going to be a bitch again? I’m so tired out from the last week, do I have to do it again? I hope my mom’s not going to call. I have to take my car in and I forgot, I also have to get groceries too. And pay rent. And go to the bank. And so on.
Or maybe you’re a dreamer, I’ll be happy when…
I’ll be happy when I get a better job. I’ll be happy when I make more money. I’ll be happy when it is no longer winter. I’ll be happy when…
Did I lose you yet? I bet you spend a lot of time in your head. It’s really easy to get caught up in thinking and thinking too much. When you live too much in your head, it is really hard to come back and enjoy the present moment. So how are you supposed to be happy?
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Tips for a Happy Life
1. Start a Grounding Practice
Grounding practices help to bring you back to the present moment and connect with the world in a meaningful way. Practices you could try might include meditation, 5-4-3-2-1 technique, or other mindfulness activities. Grounding can help to make you feel centered and reduce your stress.
2. Define your Values
Decide what you believe makes a good person. Focus on traits that are something you can adopt and commit to. Think in terms of kindness, compassion, confidence, etc.
Who do you want to be? Or who do you want to be remembered as? What traits does someone need to have to be who you want to be? Do you want to be smart? Do you want to be a risk taker? Do you want to give back?
3. Move your Body
When you get your heart rate up, endorphins are released in your brain. These endorphins help to combat stress and make you feel happier. Not only is exercise good for your body but your mind as well. Taking even 10 minutes to go for a walk or stretch your body can be hugely impactful to your mood.
Sleep is a major part in being a functioning human being and when you don't get enough you are almost inviting stress and discomfort. When you get a good night’s rest you wake up feeling refreshed and a lot more ready to tackle challenges.
5. Get Outside
Fresh air can do wonders for your mood. Along with reducing cortisol, spending a short amount of your day outside can also help to improve anxiety and depression. Even taking a walk through your city’s park can help to improve creativity and lower blood pressure.
6. Make Strong Connections
Having a support system or people who will lift you up, can help to reduce stress and give you better coping skills. Having friends and family that you can turn to when the going gets tough or when you just need a healthy distraction is hugely beneficial to your happiness and success.
7. Go after your Goals
When you are actively working towards a goal or outcome you can feel great satisfaction for accomplishments. When you are working towards a goal, it is important not to get too caught up in the big picture but instead enjoy the small victories.
8. Have New Experiences
Trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone, not only inspires growth but can also give you a break from your daily routine. Even though trying new things can be intimidating they can also be rewarding. You can meet new people, find new talents, and grow your happiness. Being stagnant doesn’t promote feeling good so challenge yourself and expand your comfort zone.
9. Practice Self Care
Life’s hard when you aren’t taking care of yourself. You might be surprised how much better you feel after taking some time to take care of you. Sit down with a book, maybe even a hot drink, and start filling your cup because you need it!
10. Learn Gratitude
The single easiest thing to help make you happy is gratitude. When you express gratitude for things in your life, you start to shift and look for more things to be happy about. Getting grateful, whether by yourself in your head, in a journal, or to the people around you, will create positive change to your mindset and help you refocus on the things that are important to you.
Practicing gratitude, even for the smallest of things, can recenter your life and drive you to find the positive in every situation.
Getting happy is not a 10 step process and there are no guidelines that will work for everyone but these tips can act as an inspiration to get out there and start trying things to find what works for you. All of these tips can help to get you out of your negative thought patterns and back into the present moment. Finding happiness is a journey and I hope to provide you with the tools you need to get there!
What makes you happy? Have you tried any of these tips before?