Everyone wants to achieve happiness in his or her life. Happiness can be elusive, especially when we rely on external forces to make us happy. Everyone has difficult circumstances in their lives, but these happiness tips can help us create a spirit of joy in our own lives.
Scientists and researchers have compiled these 10 happiness tips to help you make the best of your own life, no matter your circumstances. Keep them in mind as you react to life’s stresses and joys.
10 Keys to Achieving Happiness, According to Science
1. Stop Pressuring Yourself to Achieve Money or Fame
Money may make life easier, but it won’t make you happy on its own. Neither will status or fame. Linda Esposito, LCSW, says “The concept of “everyone” does not exist when it comes to experiencing joy.” Everyone needs to find their own measures that will make them happy, and no one can tell you what your life “should” be before you can be satisfied with your life.
2. What You Want Versus What You Have
People who are more satisfied with what they have are happier overall. A University of Northern British Columbia study in the 1980s found that people who aspired to have more money, friends, career success, and health than others were less happy. Being content with what they had was linked to a higher level of satisfaction.
3. It Can Be Genetically Determined
Psychologist David Lykken says that our “set point” of how happy we are is determined by genes, but whether we can overcome this depends on training and experience. Even with a low “set point,” a person can encourage themselves to be happy with the power of positive thinking.
4. Reach Out to Others
Contributing positively to another person’s life can make us happy. When we give time and money to a cause, we are bolstering our own chances at a happy life. Feeling useful is a great way to be happy.
The number of personal connections we have is also associated with happiness. Christine Carter from the University of California at Berkeley says that both the quantity and quality of someone’s social connections positively affects their well-being.
5. Give Yourself Challenges
People who stimulate their minds regularly are happier. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states that performing creative or artistic activities, as well as learning new skills, is related to a better outlook on life.
6. Be Thankful
Practice an “attitude of gratitude” to make yourself happy. When we think about the things we already have in life and count our blessings, we can boost our mood naturally. Think about your family, your children, your job, and the good experiences you have had in life.
7. Avoid Unhelpful People
As much as possible, try to avoid engaging with narcissistic or toxic people. If you do have to deal with them, try to separate yourself from their manipulation as much as you can. Don’t let yourself be dragged into their drama. Letting go of unhelpful relationships can greatly improve your life.
8. Be Truthful
Robert Feldman, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, wrote The Liar in Your Life. He states that 60 percent of people can’t get through a 10-minute conversation without lying. When you are truthful, your conscience is clear and you don’t have to deal with the consequences of stretching the truth.
A Harvard study states that people with higher well-being are more likely to be physically active. People who are happier exercise more, which in turn boosts their mood. Getting into the trap of believing that exercise is too difficult means that people are less likely to exercise. Exercise can only have positive impacts on the mind.
10. Try to Smile
Sometimes putting on a happy face really is the best way to cheer yourself up. Studies show that smiling on its own decreases anxiety, even in stressful situations. Unhappy people may feel like being told to smile when they are upset is counterproductive, but it really can help.
When we look within for happiness, we are much more likely to achieve it. Only you yourself can choose to be happy. Stop relying on other people to make you happy, and instead cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in yourself.
Being thankful for life’s blessings will bring you joy. These happiness tips will lead you toward a more peaceful and fulfilled existence.