Everyone has different dreams, but positive psychologists have determined that the underlying goal is to be happy. Being happy might involve various things for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be hard.
Everyone might give different answers if you ask people what they want in life. They might say they want a better job, a bigger house, or closer relationships with loved ones. However, while these answers sound different, they all lead to happiness.
Finding happiness usually occurs when you least expect it. The feeling can come and go, but that doesn’t mean you’re unhappy during the off times. Instead, it means you must stick to the habits and routines that lead to things that make you happy.
Some people believe happiness is a mood or emotional state. Others think it is a mindset or overall feeling of contentment and satisfaction. However, it’s best to think of happiness as something you must actively work to create.
How to Be Happier, According to a Positive Psychologist
You can’t expect to feel cheerful and content daily because it’s not always realistic. However, finding positive ways to spend your time and fulfill your purpose can help you experience happiness. It’s all about making changes in your routine and mindset that foster frequent feelings of satisfaction.
Positive Psychologist Sasha Heinz, Ph.D., weighed in on how to be happier in a recent article in Mind, Body, Green. She offers several myths about happiness that you should learn to think about differently. However, based on the myths, these are the three things you can do to be happier:
Plan for What Won’t Work
While it’s essential to believe in yourself and hope for good things, you also must plan for what won’t work. A little pessimism can help you adjust your plan to accommodate reality. Planning for how to overcome potential obstacles improves your chances of accomplishing your goals.
A positive psychologist would say you should still be optimistic and consider the benefits of your journey but keeping obstacles in mind helps. It allows you to experience mindful thinking because things don’t always work out perfectly.
If you plan for obstacles, you won’t be disappointed when they occur. Plus, you’ll feel even more satisfied if the hardship didn’t happen because you expected it would. Either way, planning for what could go wrong will help you on your path to finding happiness.
Considering what will go wrong and planning for the situation helps get you to take action. It can be good for your motivation and helps you accomplish your goal.
How to do This
Focus on Your Creativity
When you think of how you can do things differently, you’ll come up with ways to overcome obstacles. You might avoid some hardship if you do things creatively rather than following the norm.
Find Learning Opportunities in Every Hardship
Happy people aren’t those who experience less hardship. Instead, they are the ones who find the learning opportunity in every situation. They look for lessons or meaning in everything that doesn’t go how they’d hoped it would.
Finding the learning opportunity doesn’t mean you’re always happy about the situation. You might feel angry or heartbroken, but you still think about what you can learn. It gives you hope that you’ll do better next time or that things will be okay.
Find Ways to Grow
According to this positive psychologist, finding ways to grow is one of the ways to find happiness. Some of us believe that personal growth is a personality trait and wish we could do it. However, personal growth is a choice anyone can make if they set their mind to it.
Everyone can experience growth, but they must decide to take the necessary steps. You can use the tools you have to develop your skills and become a better version of yourself.
If you ever feel stuck in life, consider taking steps to develop who you are right now. The potential is there if you’re willing to look within.
How to do This
Walk Away from Your Electronics
Research shows that Americans spend between 12 and 17 hours daily on an electronic device. It can increase the risk of physical and mental health issues, diminishing self-esteem and increasing your risk of anxiety and depression.
When you turn off the electronics, it can help you focus on the present. You can engage in hobbies, social activities, and other activities that bring joy.
If you can’t disconnect from your devices for an extended time, you can set specific times during the day. It gives you a break from electronics while encouraging you to think about what makes you happy.
Look for Meaning
Looking for meaning gives you a sense of purpose in your life. It helps you find comfort and hope, allowing you to believe in the universe. A positive psychologist would encourage this type of mindful thinking to help you find positivity in the little things.
Looking for meaning encourages you to focus on what matters most, inspiring happiness and purpose. It also allows you to understand obstacles and hardships. You’ll have a better idea of where to head next when you know the meaning of your situation.
Accept New Experiences
A positive psychologist would explain how new experiences can release dopamine, a feel-good chemical that triggers happiness. You can achieve these feelings by bringing adventure into your life through travel, exploring hobbies, or trying something new. It helps you feel good about who you are, making you happier and more confident.
Goals help you envision positive versions of who you are. You can think of the best version of your future, helping you stay motivated to achieve it. It gives you a sense of meaning and direction toward where you’re heading next.
When you have goals, it allows for greater life satisfaction. Set goals that promote long-term happiness and quality of life. These things should improve your overall well-being and help you remember your purpose.
Change Your Habits
Your habits often determine your happiness levels. A positive psychologist would advise that looking for simple happiness routes won’t always help because it involves changing your habits. It takes effort and isn’t a simple hack that can change your life.
If you want to experience happiness, you must continually work for it. It requires identifying the areas of your life that could use some work. Then, you can shift your habits to make the necessary changes.
How to do This
Prioritize Your Health by Developing Healthy Eating and Sleeping Habits
You’re more likely to have positive mental health if you have good physical health. Focus on getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and staying active. Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to experience the good aspects of life and look for positivity in all situations.
Without enough sleep, you might experience depression and poor sleep. Consider aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel positivity throughout the day. If your body feels good, you’re more likely to experience happiness.
Appreciating what you have can help you find happiness in life. When you express gratitude for what you have, you’ll recognize that there is more to life than your issues. Consider starting a gratitude journal to write the things you’re thankful for.
Think About What Matters Most and Make Time for It
Take the time to consider what matters most to you in life. When you focus on these things and make time for them, you’ll experience more happiness. It’s easy to take these things for granted, but shifting your habits and prioritizing them can make a difference.
Think about the job you have and the one you desire. You can also consider how happy you are in your marriage or if you’re parenting in a way that makes you feel good. Focusing on the things that bring happiness can help you be happier in life.
You can start by listing what means the most to you. Think about things that make you happy, people you love, and finding meaningful activities you enjoy. When you focus on what you love, it helps you find happiness in each day.
What Is a Positive Psychologist?
Positive psychologists define the practice as one that helps people thrive. It allows people to build on their strengths and improve their positive experiences. Focusing on positive psychology makes you more likely to experience happiness and life satisfaction.
Positive psychologists also focus on the following:
- life satisfaction
This practice focuses on how you feel right now and how you view your overall life. It also affects how you view work, relationships, finances, and health.
Positive Psychologists Explain Why Finding Happiness is Essential
Finding happiness requires looking within and taking action to achieve the life you want. It isn’t about having everything in life because you must continually act on it. Working toward happiness is essential because it can:
- improve your physical health
- promote immune function
- help you lead a longer life
- encourage creativity
- improve success at work
- influence better decision-making
- lead to higher quality relationships with friends and your partner
- help you feel connected to the community
- influence healthy coping
Final Thoughts on a Positive Psychologist Explaining Three Ways to Be Happier
As the positive psychologist explains, there are things you can do to be happier. Happiness can improve all areas of your life and help you look for the good when hardship arises. Life isn’t always easy, but you can experience life satisfaction.
Taking action to find happiness might make you uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. When you choose to work actively for joy, you can begin to see all the good around you.