Being happy is arguably the most important aspect of living. Happiness means satisfaction in what you are doing and where you are in life. It means that most of your day is accompanied by happy feelings. It means that you aren’t bombarded with negative emotions on a regular basis. With that being said, are you actually happy?
TIME magazine has some insight to offer, explaining that “… only 33% of Americans surveyed said they were happy” (2017 Harris Poll Survey of American Happiness.) If being happy was a test in school, we would be earning a big whopping “F.”
As human beings, we are driven to succeed in everything we do. That to say, we do a poor job of succeeding in our own internal happiness – something that is right in our face every single moment that we live. Maybe it isn’t so much that we are failures or that we can’t do it, but rather that we don’t put in the effort to learn and achieve happiness.
Pointing out the utter lack of happiness across society is not very helpful; it is quite possibly even counterproductive. That to say, there is advice to offer. If you want to really learn what it takes to be happy, you should stick along for the ride.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the specifics of finding long term internal happiness. Because some of these suggestions may resonate with you more than others, focus on the ones that you think can make the most difference in your life.
Here are 12 ways to be happier
1. Develop Emotional Intelligence and Understanding
One of the most effective ways to be happier in life is to develop a deep understanding of emotional quotient (EQ). The EQ scale works similarly to the IQ (intelligence quotient) scale, although it focuses on your understanding of emotion, rather than academic-based intelligence. An in-depth comparison between IQ and EQ can be found at differ.com. A high EQ is helpful because it allows you to understand why you feel the way that you do.
When you know exactly why you feel sad or why you feel happy, you are in a better position to eliminate the bad and increase the good by taking the steps to do so (which will be apparent if you know what causes those feelings). Every emotion that you have is rooted back to something else; it just takes some thinking to figure out what that root is. When it comes to improving your EQ, you can achieve this efficiently through means such as analyzing your daily emotions, learning mindfulness through meditation, or even developing empathy through reading novels.
2. Learn To Prioritize
Learning to prioritize in life is another effective way to be happier. Life is about priority in every aspect, yet most of us fall short of prioritizing in a productive way. Priority is the idea of deciding what things are the most important to you and acting on them. For example, someone on a diet would say that their number one priority is to lose weight through eating healthy. Lack of priority arises when they choose a delicious meal that tastes good over a healthy meal that follows their diet. Prioritizing is one of the essential ways to be happier, but it also takes a lot of discipline, which brings us to our next point.
3. Stay Disciplined
If you want to be happier in life, you need to put a lot of effort into staying disciplined. While it may be true that some people don’t know where to start as far as improving their lives, most of us have an idea of how we can accomplish this. You might want to wake up early tomorrow, eat a healthy breakfast, get physical activity, have a productive day, spend time with family and friends, and get 8 hours of sleep at night. This sounds like a good day, but it also sounds like a lot of effort.
Wouldn’t it be easier to sleep in, worry about the gym the next day, and merely survive the day at work? It would certainly be easier, but you can probably see which option is disciplined and likely to promote a positive day.
4. Force Yourself to Focus on the Good
Focusing is a huge part of life, happiness included. Learning that you are in control of your focus is a useful tip that can help you be happier. Unless you are someone suffering from ADD or ADHD, which often results in an uncontrolled lack of focus, then you are technically in control of your focus at all times. That said, you are also in control of focusing on the good rather than the bad. It may take some effort but if you really want to help yourself be happier, the effort is well worth it. Remember, the glass is always half full, because why not? It really only hurts you to be negative.
5. Detach from What is Causing Unhappiness
Another one of the best ways to be happier is to detach from the stimuli in your life causing you unhappiness. Some triggers of your unhappiness may be out of your control, but most of them are not. This may be a bad habit which you partake in, a negative outlook on life, or even specific people causing you constant distress. If you want to be happier, run away from these people, habits, or ideas. When it comes to people, it can be difficult to cut them out of your life, but PowerofPositivity.com has a great article to help you out if need be.
6. Manage Money
According to The American Institute of Stress, money is one of the major causes of distress in life. Considering that you need it for everything from water to a home, this is quite understandable. Now don’t take this the wrong way, this doesn’t imply that money will make you happy – because it certainly will not. However, dealing with the money you have in a healthier way can help you to be happier. It will eliminate the distress that results from poor money management. Check out these 3 behaviors on PowerofPositivity.com that are considered to be bad money management skills.
7. Learn to Delay Rewards
This plays heavily into having discipline. As such, it is another one of the best ways to be happier in no time. Delayed gratification essentially refers to delaying a smaller, short-term reward now for a bigger reward later. Bringing the diet example into play again, one should delay the reward of yummy food for the later reward of lost weight.
8. Catch Yourself Before it is Too Late
Whether this is your stress level or your outlook on life, try to catch yourself before it is too late. Stress and negativity build up in your system. The higher the levels get, the harder they are to bring down. Catch yourself as quickly as you notice yourself heading in the wrong direction; it will then be much easier to take control.
9. Socialize and Maintain Relationships
Relationships with other human beings are a necessary part of being happy. Most of us have experienced the feeling of loneliness or social exclusion, and this is certainly not an enjoyable emotion. Develop meaningful relationships that are more than just small talk at lunch once a week. This will take effort on both your part and theirs, but if you show that you are willing to do so then they should follow suit. Check out these 35 amazing ways that you can improve your relationships, and give them a (serious) try.
10. Take Care of Your Temple
Taking care of your body absolutely essential if you want to be happy. This is pretty obvious, but the fact that “More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight” in 2013-2014 doesn’t suggest that we are very good at doing so. Exercise and develop a maintained diet. Make sure to take care of your mental health too, as you are learning about in this article.
11. Decide on Your Core Values
It is your job to decide what has meaning to you and what does not. This isn’t a grey topic so to speak, but rather black and white with a fine line separating the things you value from those that you do not. When you find value in what you are doing, you will live a purpose-driven life, which you can learn more about at PowerofPositivity.com.
12. Understand Your True Self
Understanding your true self is another one of the easiest ways to be happier quickly. To put a long story short, the real you is you without any distress in your life. Any time you are stressed out or anxious or upset, you are experiencing emotions that are a direct result of negative external stimuli. Take a second to analyze your characteristics when you are totally relaxed with nothing bothering you and nothing impeding your thoughts. This is the genuine you; remember this and look back to this version of yourself next time you feel distress.
Before you leave and start living your happy life, let’s make a few things clear. Everyone finds happiness in a different way. If anything from this piece speaks to you, make sure this idea is one that has fully resonated through your mind. There isn’t one single principle of living that promotes happiness. If you want to know how many different variations there really are, click here to check the current world population.
What does this mean? It means that finding happiness is 100% personalized to you and you only. If you found the happiest person in the world and followed them every single day, replicating their every move, you would not even be close to finding happiness. While minor similarities may arise, everyone’s version of happiness is totally different from your own. This article was intended to help you find what works for you, so that you can integrate a set of principles into your life that will ultimately promote your happiness. Hopefully, you can wake up every morning and be happier than you were the day before and keep this trend going for the rest of your life.