Everyone deserves to be happy. No matter what you’ve done or what your life was like before this very moment, you deserve happiness. The good news is that it’s not hard to make yourself happy if you’re willing to make positive changes.

First, make sure you know what happiness is. Happiness has a general definition – an emotional state of being characterized by joy, enlightenment, a sense of wellbeing, and a sense of accomplishment. However, happiness is also relative. It can be different from person to person.

Once you’ve brainstormed what makes you happy, you can get started on actually making yourself comfortable. If you don’t know where to start, it’s a good thing you’re reading this. This article has excellent advice on what you can do to make yourself happier. Below are ten small behavioral and mindset changes you can make to become happier.

10 Positive Changes to Make You Happier

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1. Think positive.

It’s tough to be happy when you’re thinking negative thoughts all the time. Thinking negatively can become a habit, and every negative thought is essentially feeding depression.

Thinking negative thoughts all the time can take a toll on your physical health. Your mind and body have a connection. If your mind is negative, your health may become worse. Bad health can also keep you from being happy.

Overthinking goes along with this. When you overthink things, it can be easy to turn those thoughts into negative thoughts. Stop overthinking everything and stick with the positive side of things.

Many people have a habit of seeing the negative side first. It may take some practice to learn to think positively, but it’s not impossible to make the change. Even just a few positive thoughts are enough to get you going in the right direction.

In short, practice positive thinking to be happy and healthy.

2. Cut out the doomscrolling.

Bad news and false information reign the internet. While you realize that not all of it is accurate, you cannot seem to tear yourself away. It’s addicting! That’s where doomscrolling comes in – consuming a large amount of negative information online in a short period.

There is scientific evidence that scrolling through a ton of negative headlines makes people sad and angry. According to psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD, it is a way to reinforce negative thoughts. She says that unhappy people are often looking for validation for being sad. In fact, doomscrolling can become a mindless addiction and can even indicate obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Most people who doomscroll don’t have OCD, so it’s much easier to break the habit. You can do this by taking a break from social media for a while–a positive change, indeed!.

3. Eat healthier foods.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” This couldn’t be truer, and if you eat foods associated with poor mental health, you can expect to be sad and miserable.

You wouldn’t believe how much food can affect your happiness. Research shows that eating fruit and vegetables can make people just as happy as eating sweets. However, in the long run, eating a diet high in sweets can lead to reduced health, and reduced health negatively affects your happiness.

No one is saying that you need to cut out burgers, pizza, and sugar thoroughly. However, it would help if you focused on eating a more balanced diet and increasing the number of healthy foods you eat. This can lead to you being happier in the long run.

4. Exercise more.

There is a science behind exercising and improving your mood. Exercise makes you happy on a chemical level. It reduces stress hormones like cortisol and increases happy hormones like endorphins.

These chemical changes can lead to increased self-esteem, better focus and concentration, and an overall well-being feeling. Best of all, these happy feelings occur shortly after exercising and can occur with as little as one exercise session.

Research has shown that aerobic exercise has the highest effect on mood. Participating in a dance fitness class or yoga is a great idea. Yoga even has meditation built-in, so it’s the right choice. Plus, it works on improving your aura and psyche as well.

5. Hang around happy people.

Happiness is as contagious as a virus. If your circle of friends is composed of happy people, you can be sure that it will catch up to you. Being around happy people makes it almost impossible to stay sad.

Conversely, if your circle of friends includes many sad, negative people, their emotions will rub off on you also. If this is the case, it’s time to make some new friends. If you don’t, you may find yourself bogged down with all of their negativity. Even healthy people may be affected if they stay around negative people all the time.

Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with being the person to help someone else be happy. You could be someone else’s muse, which will increase your self-worth and, ultimately, your happiness. Just make sure they aren’t bringing down your joy in the process.

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6. Learn to let things go.

If you want to be happier, learn to let go of grudges. Life is too short to spend that much energy on disliking someone or something that they did. The chances are that they’ve moved on, so you should also.

Holding grudges can negatively affect your psyche. You can’t control others or what they do, so accept whatever happened and let it go. You’ll feel so much better like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

When you’re feeling light and free, it’s a lot easier to let happiness into your life.

7. Have fun as you make these positive changes.

Having fun always makes people happy. Even if you’re feeling sad at the moment, doing something fun can turn your frown into a smile. It’s almost like faking it till you make it.

A lot of people go through life never having fun – all work and no play. Living like this can be stressful and tiresome. Having fun is essentially giving your mind and body a break from stress.

Being always stressed, bored, and overworked is dangerous for your health. Not only will having fun make you happy, but it will keep you healthy. Look at it as a natural way to stay focused on tasks by giving you a break you need to recuperate.

8. Achieve your goals.

Everyone feels great when they achieve goals. It doesn’t matter if it’s small goals or big ones. They can have the same effect. If you continuously achieve goals, you’ll make yourself happier and happier.

It’s essential to make sure you set attainable goals. Setting goals out of the realm of your possibility will have the opposite effect. The best way to do this is to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). If you do this, you’ll find that you get as much happiness from working to achieve the goal as you do from attaining the goal.

9. Be nice to other people.

While studies have shown that being nice to people only gives you a moderate boost in happiness, it’s still better than no boost at all. Plus, when you pair being friendly with some of the other advice in this article, that gives you a significant increase.

You could look at it in a different light. Being mean to people makes you sad and makes you think negatively. As stated before, negative thinking makes you unhappy. Therefore, being nice to people will help with positive thinking.

Either way you look at it, being nice to people is a great way to bring yourself some happiness.

10. Volunteer.

There are many needy people in the world, and doing something for others is a great way to make yourself happy. It could be from seeing others’ mood boost from being helped or feeling useful when volunteering. Plus, you’re making other people happy in the process. Making this positive change creates a win-win situation.

In fact, like exercise, doing for others can induce chemical changes in your brain. You will feel less stressed and more energized. Your brain may release endorphins which can aid in giving you an elevated mood. Plus, you can boost your self-confidence, give yourself a purpose, and even increase your physical health.

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Final Thoughts on Positive Changes to Make You Happier in Life

As you can see from the ten changes above, it’s not hard to make yourself happy. All the changes listed are easy to incorporate into your life. Plus, most of them don’t cost any money, so that anyone can do them.

It merely takes the willingness to be proactive and the belief that you can make yourself happier. You must also realize that you are worth it, and you deserve to be satisfied. Stop overthinking things and go for it.

Doing all the changes at once could be overwhelming, so start with one or two and add others as you go along. Before you know it, you’ll be walking on sunshine.