7 Easy Ways to Feel Happier Every Day
By Alaine Gordon
Are you feeling a little bit blue? It happens to the best of us. Life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. And the swerves and turns come as a surprise to most of us. At the same time, it’s not like you have no control. You can take charge of your environment. And even if that doesn’t work, how you see the world and the effect it has on your happiness are still two things that very much happen in your head.
For that reason, you can take steps to make yourself feel happier. Here are some simple and quick ways that will make you feel better.
- Show gratitude
Often what we focus on is what decides how happy we are. So it’s important that we focus on the good and not on the bad. One way to do that is to show gratitude.
It’s quite easy, really. All you do is sit down and think of some ways that you’re happy about aspects of your life. These can be abstract things, like world peace, people, like your grandmother, or objects, like your autographed poster of Mr. Bean.
If you struggle to find anything that you’re grateful for, then try imagining your life without certain things – like your grandmother, peace or that poster. Really get into it and imagine what life would be like. Then when you come out of it, you’ll feel happy that you have it.
It’s surprisingly easy. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and for five minutes try to think of nothing. Then repeat that every day, with the goal of making the sessions and the time you actually manage to not think of anything longer.
It will be difficult at first, but it does get easier. And it will make you happier, more thoughtful, and has dozens of other benefits besides.
Not getting enough sleep makes you moody and unhappy. It also kills brain cells. So don’t do it. Make sure you get enough sleep and make sure you also get your sleep hygiene in order. What’s sleep hygiene? Making sure you actually get a good night’s sleep when you do.
This means not having your smartphone close to your bed where it can wake you, making sure have a healthy sleep rhythm and that your bedroom is the right temperature. These things can make a huge difference.
- Spend time with family and friends
The easiest way to feel happier is to spend time with people that you care for. So make sure you do so! It’s not hard. Invite them to dinner, go have a cup of coffee together or spend some time walking the dog. Just make sure that when you’re together you’re not getting sucked into other things, like your phone or the TV.
Instead, spend quality time together. Focus on each other and the words you’re saying. It’s a great mood booster.
- Help other people
Do you want to feel better about yourself? Then help other people. There is this idea in our society that happiness can only be achieved by focusing on yourself. That’s not actually true. The best way to be happy is to help other people be happy. This can have big benefits for your state of mind.
Why? Because happiness shouldn’t be a goal. Happiness is a process. When you’re doing things that make you (and others) feel good, then you’ll be happy.
- Focus on enough
A lot of people focus on perfection. The thing is, this world isn’t perfect. You will never have everything you want. Instead, focus on being satisfied with what you already have. If you can do that, then it becomes a lot easier to be happier.
Yes, that does sound a lot like the Calvin and Hobbes comic about lowering your expectations to where you’ve already met them. But then, that was a smart kid.
- Stop the negative cycle
Often, when we’re unhappy we take it out on the people we love. We might nag them, or insist things are done by our schedule, or make their lives a living hell in other ways. The thing is, that just pushes people away when you need them most.
And that will just make our mood worse. For that reason, focus on not doing that. Don’t nag. Don’t complain. Don’t demand. Instead, explain calmly or demonstrate through little things that you care. The great thing about this strategy is that it will create reciprocation which will, in turn, make your mood better.
Nobody gets to feel happy all the time. There are a lot of ways that it can go wrong in surprising and unexpected ways. At the same time, we can all feel happy some of the times. Even better, sometimes things go right in surprising and unexpected ways. It’s just a matter of tacking advantage of those moments and enjoying those times for what they are. Then you’ll be happier and life will be better.