Happiness has been defined as a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. The ultimate purpose of life is to be happy, to find fulfillment and contentment. Unfortunately, not so many people achieve this purpose or know how to be happy. Happiness is a choice. There are people who choose to be happy and there are people who choose to be unhappy.
Happiness does not come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. You alone have the ability to make yourself happy. We have seen many rich and famous people being miserable, some committing suicide, while a person living in the slums of a third world country could be happy and content. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.
How do happy people keep themselves happy? Here are 20 ways:
1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings overshadow their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.
2. Be kind to everyone; Perform a selfless service.
It has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier. Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Develope the habit of giving freely as an act of kindness. Moreover, treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.
3. See problems as challenges.
Happy people view a problem as a challenge. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable negative situation, while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge that could have positive outcomes. Most times, they do.
4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
You may be familiar with this saying: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have. Avoid murmuring and complaining.
5. Don’t dwell on the petty stuff
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting go of little irritations will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.
6. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.
7. Never make excuses.
Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.
8. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They enjoy the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.
9. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.
10. Choose friends wisely.
It is important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.
11. Have personal Control and Never seek approval from others.
Happy people are not bothered by what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting others discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but follow your heart. Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.
12. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel. A good listener also attracts friends and heightens relationships.
13. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, or friends.
Happy people take time to be on your own in solitude, preferably in nature. Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.
15. Eat healthy.
Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment. Take time to be in nature – watch the sunset, smell the rose ..
17. Avoid Clutter and hoading.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Give away what you do not need.
18. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of being obsessed over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better. Leave what you cannot change and accept it.
19. Pray, Join a church or believe in something greater than you – call it God, the Universe, The Source.
Prayer does not always mean kneeling and asking for one thing or the other. It is being thankful to God. Happy people are always thankful and giving praises to God.
Happy people laugh a lot and find humour in just anything. They do not take life too seriously. Laughter is a great form of stress relief. A good laugh can stimulate many organs by enhancing your intake of oxygen-rich air. This stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the release of the ‘happy’ hormones, endorphins. The result is a good, relaxed feeling and improved immune system.