We all strive to become happier and we spend our lives trying to achieve this. And why wouldn’t we? Happiness promotes a healthy body, mind and soul.
More so it has been proclaimed that happiness is the meaning of life, and you have to admit that idea, in the whirlwind of life-purpose conspiracies, does seem to stand out as one that makes sense and rings true.
The Dalai Lama has proclaimed that “The meaning of life is to be happy and useful”. Similarly, John Lennon preached happiness with his famous quote:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
However, achieving happiness is easier said than done. Happiness is not something that is quantifiable by any modern means and therefore sociologists and psychologists have long struggled in studies on happiness.
However along with happiness, inner peace is vital and it is from this idea that we have put together the following ten tips:
1. Learn to love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye
During the 1980s, no topic in psychology was more researched than the self. Many reports showed the dividends of high self-esteem—in some University of Michigan studies of well-being in America – that the best predictor of general life satisfaction was not satisfaction with income, family life or friendships but satisfaction with self. Meaning, people who feel good about themselves tend to feel better in general. So respect yourself, dwell on your good points, cut the negative talk and learn to really like yourself – take a page out of Kanye’s book and take pride in your self-love – just don’t go crazy on the Twitter rants.
2. Be optimistic
Those that believe the glass is half full are usually happier. Learn to agree with the statements “I can do anything” and “When I do something new I will succeed”. Say these to yourself over and over. Although you may not always, this can-do and will-do attitude makes you more open to saying “yes” that means you’ll live an “anything is possible” life full of joy and adventures.
3. Be outgoing
In study after study extroverts, that is social and outgoing people, report greater happiness and satisfaction with life. “Extroverts are simply more cheerful and high-spirited,” report National Institute of Aging researchers Paul Costa and Robert McCrae. So be confident, strut in to a room and warmly introduce yourself to people. You will find doing this makes you more accepting of others and yourself too.
4. Take control of your destiny
University of Michigan’s nationwide surveys revealed that the 15 percent of Americans who said they felt in control of their lives and feel satisfied with themselves had “extraordinarily positive feelings of happiness.” By telling yourself over and over “I am in charge of my own destiny” and practising this notion by taking control of your own life you too can feel these positive feelings.
5. Live for and in the moment
Happy people live for now accompanied with positive mindsets.
So don’t focus on tomorrow dreaming too often of an idealised future that hasn’t happen yet. And don’t dwell on yesterday, going over past mistakes you can’t change. Live for today, even better yet, live for the moment.
6. Get busy living your life
Active, busy, social people are the healthiest and happiest, in society. Get involved: make your motto ‘use it or lose it.’ So join a a gym, go for drinks, take a walk in the park, go for a swim – anything just get out of the house and live! Don’t wait for your phone to ring or sit around on Saturday night waiting to be taken out. Take yourself out, even if it’s for pizza and beer, the best relationship you can nurture is the one with yourself.
7. Free yourself of comparisons
Comparing yourself to other people will only bring you down and get you nowhere. Happy people accept themselves and like themselves for who they are, not how they compare to other people. Don’t spoil your ambition by putting it next to other people’s and feeling negative if they’ve progressed further. Don’t take the way people portray themselves on social media too seriously and focus on self-improvement instead.
8. Find ways to de-stress
Stress and and worry are just by-products of being alive. Some of the things we stress about can be silly, whilst others are harder to cope with. If you feel you are often confronted with feelings of worry, depression or anxiety consider seeking help.
A vital step to happiness is health and in this case, mental health is of the utmost importance.
9. Don’t be afraid to open up
Humans are social creatures and we need interaction, strong bonds, friendships and love to be happy. We need people to seek support when it’s needed, as problem shared is a problem halved. Be grateful and value your relationships.
Do not be afraid of getting hurt. Happy people instead of remaining closed they open up and let people. Have confidence in yourself that looking to others for warmth, comfort and support has more potential to make you stronger, not weaker.
10. Be accepting and forgiving
Happy people accept that there are some things out of their control. If you adopt this same accepting attitude when something bad does happen you’ll be more able to let it go and return to happiness promptly. Acceptance also acts as a warm blanket as you know in some cases “whatever will be, will be”. If the bad doing is caused by someone else, be forgiving and not bitter. Bitterness is a negative and will leave you feeling sour, forgiveness is a positive one and will leave you feeling like a better person.
These steps to inner peace will help you be a happier person. Life isn’t always rose-tinted, but the truest and most long-lasting forms of happiness begin from within.