Everyone wants to live the life of their dreams and be happy. Unfortunately, you can’t control everything and everyone in your life.
As most people are busy dealing with the big issues, they often forget to enjoy the small things that can make them happy. This path eventually leads to the darkness of depression, anxiety, and sadness.
There is no perfect recipe for happiness.
Secrets to Living a Happy Life
However, there are ways to reduce stress and negativity and lead a joyful life. Read on to learn about ten ways to live a happier life.
1. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Food
A healthy diet is key to a healthy body and mind, which ultimately leads to happiness.
Fast food and processed food such as pizzas, burgers, fries, chips, and donuts may taste good while you eat them, but these types of foods will make you feel bloated (and in some cases guilty) later on. According to a study published in the Scientific American, your mental health may depend on the state of your gut.
Healthy food can lift your mood, making you feel happier than fast food can. Nutrient-rich food has a profound impact on the cognitive system or the brain, which regulates your mood.
So, make sure to include a healthy mix of greens, proteins, and fermented food in your daily diet.
2. Practice Gratitude
The positive feeling of appreciation or gratitude plays a crucial role in helping you lead a joyful life.
Irrespective of how successful you are, there is always something or someone to be grateful for. Most people, however, mistake gratitude for saying “Thank you” when someone offers help or gives a gift. However, gratitude is more of an emotion than just an action.
Practicing gratitude will instantly lift your spirit, bring you closer to your loved ones, and make it easier to cope with challenges in your life.
You can keep a gratitude journal or simply do something for the people in your life to appreciate them. Just bringing a coffee for your colleague in the morning can be a great way to show your gratitude towards your work-friend.
3. Find a Hobby
Let’s face it, not all of us are lucky enough to get the job we love. So, we sometimes have to do the job we get so we can pay the bills, send our kids to school and buy food for survival.
That’s why we need to have a unique hobby that defines who we are and helps us strive through the daily struggles. A hobby provides us with an outlet to channelize our creative energy and provides a psychological cushion that helps us deal with the monotonous daily routine.
Whether it is painting or hiking, find a hobby outside of your job. You may feel like you are too busy to find time for pursuing your hobby, however, there comes a time in everyone’s life when some amount of time can surely be spared for a hobby, for your own self. Who knows, you may be able to take up your hobby as a full-time job or business one day!
4. Be Optimistic
Though it may seem obvious, positive thinking and optimism may just be the keys to happiness. A recent scientific study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has established a link between being an optimist and reduced risk of mortality.
The study reveals that older women with an optimistic and positive attitude were more likely to live a longer life than those who didn’t look at the bright side.
Fortunately, optimism is not a genetic attribute, but a way of thinking that one can learn from real-life experiences.
Optimistic people often react to stressful situations differently. They are less aggressive, which means they can enjoy a relatively calm and happy state of mind even in demanding circumstances.
5. Don’t Try to Be a People Pleaser
Everyone should strive to be a person who cares about the well-being of others. However, this doesn’t mean you should turn into a people pleaser.
Being a people pleaser can take a toll on your mental (and sometimes even physical) health. You often rely on other people’s approval to feel happy and worthy of love. As a result, you feel guilty when you fail to please someone.
In other words, a people pleaser is a person who says “Yes” to everything even when he/she really wants to say “No.” Taking care of others at the expense of your own needs and welfare leads to a life where everyone but you is happy.
So, say “No” when you have to. Remember, putting your priorities before others doesn’t make you a selfish person, but an honest one.
6. Stop Your Mind from Wandering
An empty mind is the devil’s workshop. Your mind keeps jumping from one idea to another when it is idle. Creative thinking is one of the positive aspects of mind wandering.
However, sometimes your mind may keep coming back to a singular thought or memory usually because of negative emotions such as worry, anxiety or grief. These thinking patterns can quickly lead to depression.
So, do something to keep your mind positively engaged, particularly when you have free time.
You can practice yoga or meditation. Try doodling to keep your mind from wandering. Taking short breaks, especially during long and dull tasks can also help. Maybe you can play Candy Crush for a few minutes or do some gardening to keep yourself occupied.
7. Own Your Mistakes
No one is perfect. Sometimes, you are going to make terrible mistakes that may lead to a significant setback. However, getting hung up on your mistakes or living in denial about them will only worsen the quality of your life, sucking all the happiness out of it.
Instead, embrace your mistakes and learn from them. In fact, admitting your mistakes is the first step towards dealing with them.
Admitting your mistake also makes it easier to contain the potential damage it may cause down the road. Your behavior may also inspire your colleagues, friends, and family members, particularly if you are in a leadership position.
Accepting your mistake will help you forgive yourself. Being in denial, on the other hand, will continue to nag your mind for the rest of your life.
8. Unplug Frequently
We live in a technology-obsessed world, where people spend more time in front of the screen than with friends and family.
Adult Americans spend an average four hours watching TV and three hours fifteen minutes on their mobile phones. People are spending less time outdoors in nature, as they are busy spending time online.
Spending too much time on the mobile and the computer also leaves you stressed if you are anxious about getting likes and comments on your social media updates. This seemingly simple behavior can lead to serious mental health issues eventually.
Unplugging, every once in a while, will give you more time to complete the tasks that you have been putting off because you didn’t have time to finish them. Engage yourself in outdoor activities such as running, hiking, biking, and other sports to reduce your tech time.
9. Learn to Forgive
Forgiveness can make way for a joyful and fulfilling life. However, practicing true forgiveness is easier said than done.
People may think of forgiving themselves, but they often hesitate to forgive others. However, the emotional cost of never letting go of grudges and bitterness is much higher.
You also have to carry the burden of negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, depression, and fear of missing out. All these emotions often affect relationships and new experiences, making you miserable.
So, if you want healthier relationships and better mental well-being, learn to forgive others.
10. Keep Smiling
More often than not, stress and anxiety are the roots of unhappiness, but smiling more helps relieve stress and anxiety.
It also makes you more attractive and trustworthy. After all, who doesn’t like to speak with a smiling person? Even babies are born with the gift of smiling.
Smiling can also improve your immune system, foster goodwill in your professional life, and increase your productivity. It is contagious – the more you smile, the quicker it affects everyone in your circle.
However, the biggest advantage of smiling is that it comes free of cost and creates priceless memories. So, make it a practice to wear a smile always.
The stress of meeting deadlines, mounting personal responsibilities, and the overall hectic daily routine often squeezes happiness out of your life. Practicing these ten tips will eventually help you lead a happy life.
However, this is not an exhaustive list of the not-so-unfamiliar secrets to a happier lifestyle. So, do share the tips and tricks.