Last Updated on March 31, 2020
What Is Happiness?
Happiness means different things to different people.
To some, happiness is when they acquire their dream home or car. To others, happiness results from the accomplishment of career or relationship goals. There are even those who derive happiness from their glamorous lives on social media.
But just what is happiness?
Simply put, happiness refers to the ability to be content with your lot and to find satisfaction in the way things are at the moment. That definition introduces one fundamental aspect of happiness – its fleetingness.
Happiness hinges on present contentment and doesn’t necessarily rely on what the future hold. Therefore, it’s a feeling that should be savored while it lasts, for it never lasts too long. And that raises another pertinent question – how do you achieve a state of complete happiness?
This post shall explore the 25 different ways to be happy, but first things first.
What Happiness Is Not
Happiness is often confused for other feelings that are closely related to it. Some of these feelings include pleasure and positivity.
It’s undeniably true that pleasure and happiness are intertwined. When you’re happy, you feel an intense rush of pleasure. And when you seek happiness, you simultaneously seek pleasure.
But while pleasure is intertwined with happiness, it doesn’t necessarily cause happiness. Instead, pleasure is almost exclusively hinged on material desires and accomplishments.
People derive pleasure from such things as hanging out with their friends, enjoying their favorite foods, or having a steamy sex, serenading massage, etc. While all these feelings are pleasurable, they may end up making you more sad than happy.
For instance, it’s easy to get pleasure from drinking with your buddies, then you end up unhappy because you’ve no money left to pay your rent. Similarly, you could enjoy having sex with a married partner, only for feelings of guilt to overwhelm you after.
Happiness has also been confused with positivity. However, positivity is more about suppressing negative emotions. Most people express positivity to try and combat anxiety or in their vain attempts to wish away an undesirable but inevitable consequence.
Lastly, happiness isn’t compromise. While seeking happiness, you should never lower your expectations or compromise your ideals. What you get when you sacrifice your values, ideals, or lower your expectations to be happy isn’t true happiness but instant gratification. And like pleasure, it always leaves your ego, morale, and esteem battered than before.
Top 25 Ways to Be Happy
1. Make the Most of Every Opportunity
Time wasted can never be recovered. But I guess you already know that. All of us can look back to the past and grieve over the times we wasted and the opportunities we let slip by. In fact, studies reveal that missed opportunities rank high among the common regrets for people who are on their death beds.
So, never let any opportunity pass you by, especially if it’s a chance to do something that makes you happy.
2. Eat Healthily
Happiness is closely tied to being healthy. And a great part of being healthy is minding what you eat. You want to maintain a lean body while also keeping certain weight-related conditions at bay.
So, mind what you eat. In so far as possible, stay away from junk foods. Instead, do more fruits and veggies. Also, remember to drink plenty of water.
3. Treat Yourself to Your Favorite Foods (Even If It Be Junk Foods)
Having already warned against junk foods, it may come as a contradiction that we’re again advocating for mindless dieting. But let’s face it; once in a while, you’ll develop a strong craving for pizza, chocolate, and some of those foods that experts discourage as unhealthy.
There shouldn’t be a problem snacking on these foods as occasional treats if doing so makes you happy. Just note the key phrase “occasional treat.”
4. Have a Workout Regime
Exercising regularly triggers the secretion and enhances the activity of your body’s feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. In fact, experts believe that a 20-minutes exercise can elevate your mood for up to 12 hours.
Besides, exercising regularly keeps your heart healthy and protects you from cardiovascular conditions, which presently happen to be the leading cause of death among Americans.
5. Take an Active Part in Sports
We are all born athletes, one way or another; only that some of us prefer to die with our talents intact. Why not try soccer today, or basketball. How about baseball or cricket?
Oh, it doesn’t need to be a field sport. You might do just fine playing snooker or chess. Like exercising, playing sports keeps us safe from cardiovascular conditions while boosting our moods.
6. Find a Hobby
One of the best things about hobbies is that they enable us to discover ourselves. Pursuing hobbies also allows us to reconnect with the universe and appreciate its harmony.
So, find a hobby if you don’t already have one. We would advise finding something that invokes a little creativity. And the closer the hobby takes you to Mother Nature, the better.
7. Express Gratitude
The whole idea of happiness is to be contented with your lot. So, express gratitude for having a united family, loving partner, a decent job, and good health.
If you look keenly, you’ll discover that you did nothing to deserve most of the good things that life throws your way. And even when your life appears empty and despondent with nothing to be thankful for, just be grateful for the fact that you’re alive.
These little acts of gratitude go a long way. According to an experiment conducted on the importance of expressing gratitude, participants that noted down the things they were grateful for each day exhibited improved moods than those who didn’t.
8. Pursue a Career Path That You Are Passionate About
Striking a balance between a lucrative career path and an interesting one is never easy. But in the interest of your happiness, take up a career that you’re passionate about.
It’s better to be earning an average salary in a job that gives you a sense of fulfillment than taking home a hefty pay in a job that lacks motivation.
9. Live Closer to Work
A long commute to and from work has an adverse impact on our happiness. If you live far from your workplace, you know the anxieties of driving through heavy traffic, only to arrive at work late and be met by the mean-looking face of your employer.
So, the closer you live to the office, the happier and more productive you’ll become.
10. Switch Jobs If Necessary
A patronizing boss, callous and conniving workmates, degradingly low wages…. These are some of the primary causes of work-related stress and anxiety.
Fortunately, your happiness is more important than staying at a job where everyone else thinks lowly of you.
11. Listen To Music from the Archives
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the chances are that you already love music, whatever genre it is.
Dig into the archives and find a song that you enjoyed from years back. There’s no better way to take a walk down the memory lane and relive those glorious past memories.
12. Watch a Movie About Superheroes
There’s one thing about superhero movies that makes them timeless. These movies portray the world both as it is, and at it ought to be. As the movie unfolds, there will be lots of instances where evil seems to triumph over good, which is so reflective of the world that we live in.
But the climax of the movies depict the world as it ought to be, where good eventually wins. Superhero movies will make you happy by restoring your faith and trust in humanity.
13. Join a Dance Class
It doesn’t matter whether you were born with two left legs, find and join a dance class. And when the time comes to show what you’ve got, take to the floor and bust a move.
Dancing releases endorphins which are associated with happiness. If you don’t know where to begin, you might consider ballet or salsa.
14. Think Of Yourself Less
In your quest for happiness, never be too self-centered. When things don’t go your way, as will often be the case, take it positively. Don’t waste your precious time wallowing in agony for what you cannot help.
Studies conducted on students that tied their happiness to their grades revealed that such students received small boosts in self-esteem when they received acceptance letters. But when they were rejected, the effects on their esteem were colossal.
15. Be a Cheerful Giver
There’s more happiness in giving than receiving. Therefore, 9 out of 10 times, your hands should be stretched out to give than to receive.
And don’t only give because you have more to go around. Instead, give even if doing so leaves your resources depleted.
16. Travel the World
Traveling is one of the most fulfilling human experiences. It’s an excellent way to reconnect with Mother Nature as you escape the hustle and bustle of your ordinary life.
So, maybe this is the time to consider a game drive in Africa or a road trip in New Zealand.
17. Meet New People
Meeting new people may be a bit challenging if you’re an introvert. However, there’s a profound sense of happiness and inspiration that comes from meeting up with people from different cultures and walks of life.
This may require that you attend local events more frequently, which makes it all the more worthwhile. And if the opportunity to make new connections doesn’t permit itself, consider doing so online through your social media platforms.
18. Practice Yoga and Meditation
Yoga serves two fundamental purposes. First, it’s an effortless way to exercise and plays a crucial role in restoring normal blood flow. And combined with meditation, the two present a perfect opportunity to explore and reconnect with yourself.
As you sit in a quiet room alone, with nothing but the beatings of your heart, you’ll be happy and thankful to life for giving you the greatest gift of all – you.
19. Practice Positive Affirmations
Are you depressed that you failed terribly and people ridiculed you? Has the society written you off as a loser and you’re thinking of throwing in the towel?
Why not practice positive affirmations. When everyone else believes nothing good can come out of you, whisper to yourself these powerful words, Yes I can.
Related Article: 100 Positive Affirmations for Success and Happiness
20. Find a Mentor
The society has trained modern generations to look at mentors and role models as competitors. However, mentors are some of the best sources of happiness and inspiration.
A mentor will see the potential in you and exploit it in a manner that helps you pursue your full measure of happiness. And whenever you’re unhappy, your mentor will always be there to bring the lost smiles back to your face.
Related Article: Why Having a Mentor Is a Must for Success (6 Life Changing Benefits)
21. Sleep More
Research suggests that sufficient sleep interacts with the hippocampus, the region of the brain that’s associated with positive memories.
22. Spend More Time with Your Family and Friends
Neglecting family and friends also happens to be one of the top 5 regrets of the dying.
If you don’t keep in touch with your family and friends, know that it will haunt you years from now while lying helpless on your death bed. So, make a resolution today never to miss any family get-together or friend reunion.
23. Spend Your Money Wisely
Many of us are victims of impulse buying, where we find ourselves splurging on items that we don’t need.
Influence from your peers can have you buy an expensive car, just to fit in. And pressure from your partner can force you to buy a luxurious home that you don’t need right now.
Simply put, impulse buying is the surest way to lose money and happiness.
Related Article: Top 40 Simple Ways to Save Money (Cut Back On Your Expenditure)
A cluttered home or office equals a cluttered mind. And with a cluttered mind, it’s difficult to focus on the things that make you happy.
So, look around for items that you no longer use. If anything is worth selling, put it up for sale. Chuck anything else that’s utterly worthless into the trash.
25. Take Time off Social Media
Social media is a great tool for making connections and improving brands. But it also has its drawbacks. Most notably, Facebook is so full of negativity. There are millions of trolls who have made a career out of bringing other people down.
Such people will make a meal out of the tiniest mistakes in your post, be it a small typo or a wrong photo pose. Dwelling so much on these negativities will surely make you sad.
Evidently, being happy doesn’t necessarily entail making drastic changes in your routines. We hope you can implement the tips we’ve highlighted here to pursue your full measure of happiness. Remember, you only live once, so strive to be happy.