Throughout the years, behavioral scientists have devoted a lot of time to studying what makes people happy (and what doesn’t).
And because we know that happiness can make us accomplish more (improving personal productivity, being lighthearted, contentment, being sane, etc.), we opt to find ways to become happier.
But as easy as that being said than done, our brains aren’t weirdly wired; happiness is elusive. Instead, our brains have developed to help us live, defend ourselves, and remain secure. Yes, we do experience joy and have times when we are happy and fulfilled. However, a lot of us suffer from ongoing unpleasant feelings and are just feeling depressed.
I mean, we all want to be happy and content.
But we do think that happiness is something that just happens to us, and we have no control over it, and we start saying things like, “If only things were different or happened differently, then I’d most likely be happy,” “If I were born wealthy, I’d be happy,” “If I had a better job,” “If I have more friends,” or “If I am famous.”
I mean, we’re not wrong because we believe that when we’re out of a certain situation, it will make us happy or even happier. BUT we only feel a short feeling of bliss or a feeling good for a moment.
Most studies show that happiness does depend on a person’s situation - at least 10% of it, so where would the 90% of our happiness come from?
Keep reading because here are the top __ secrets you can discover to live a happier life.
#1: BE OPTIMISTIC
Although it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re pessimistic (like me).
BUT to find long-term happiness means that you have to train your brain to find the positive in every situation instead of fixating on the negative.
So take small steps.
Start with looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “I am grateful for everything I have,” and say as much as you want before you start off your day or any tasks.
And whenever you feel stuck in a task or start feeling anxious, you remind yourself that you will pass this.
These personal positive mantras will definitely help you not only look at things in a positive light BUT will help you become lighter and happier.
#2: CELEBRATE LITTLE VICTORIES
When it seems like everything seems to go down, and it gets hard to get out of bed sometimes.
Which is okay.
It’s okay to just get out of bed today, cook breakfast, check your to-do list, or even clean up your bed. You have to celebrate those little victories.
These small victories are enough to keep you going forward.
Much like what you see in movies, there are different kinds of meditations. One where you can use Yoga to rest and relax or mindfulness meditation to stay grounded and be present in the moment.
I used to think I was an amateur at meditation, and even when it should’ve given me relaxation, it just gave me frustration at first.
But, the thing was, I tried guided meditation first, and the first thing to understand is that even when you have destructive thoughts, it’s okay to let them sit in your head for a while, but you have to let them pass. Do not dwell on it, and even when it’s challenging to do, take deep breaths and focus on your breathing.
If you feel bothered by your surroundings, then try to focus on your breathing, the way you inhale and exhale.
But try not to start overthinking, like “how do I breathe again?”
It will take time, but take time today to be present.
#4: YOU DO YOU
The greatest secret you can do to become happy is being you.
Now, what exactly does that mean?
It means to stop being dependent on the approval and comments of other people but to accept yourself for who you are.
Although it is difficult to find yourself or even love yourself, we have to start with ourselves.
But if you find it hard to love yourself, you can read our previous blog post about a beginner's guide to loving yourself.
Never forget to spend time getting to know yourself. The things you love, what defines you, what you believe in, the things you dislike, your dreams. Look for ways to be comfortable in your own skin.
#5: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS YOU CAN GROW WITH
As human beings, we have this need to interact and connect with other people, and we naturally seek our clique.
What kind of people do you want to be with?
The kind who parties? The kind who is there for us when life is making us go through up and downs?
Because these relationships are of great value to who we are and what we become because, without these, we tend to be lonely and isolated. We become happier when we pursue happiness with other people who give us the comfort we need.
#6: BE THANKFUL!
Although when life hits you with so many reasons to not be happy today, the fact that you woke up and are still reading this is one reason to be happy.
You’re here. Alive and well.
And although it’s hard to find the good in everything, try to say everything you’re grateful for. May it be the smell of coffee in the morning, waking up, or even the weather outside.
Because studies have shown that when you spend time every day acknowledging all the good there is, then you’ll see that there is more good than what you think.
#7: LIVE IN THE MOMENT
I know that the future seems unsure and worrying, and that the past is a little hard to get over. But you have to be in the present too.
Much like that cliche quote from kung fu panda, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present.”
When we become too focused on what's ahead or stuck and worried about what’s in the past, we lose track of what we have right now.
Now I’m not saying you should abandon everything now, but you have to make sure that what you’re doing now is also making you happy.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
I know that we hold our own happiness, and it is quite understandable that we often don’t know how to be happy or what to do to be happy BUT the thing with happiness is that it is something we can have.
It is the outcome of the things that you are going through and doing now. Much like when you’re working an 8-5 dream job (kind of me right now with Life Sutra), I am content and happy with my decision. Truly.
To be happy does not mean to have the life that others have, but to be content and love the life that you have.
-Jan of Life Sutra-