Happier lives begin with small steps – like smiling more, showing thanks and playing sports. Studies have demonstrated that much of our happiness comes from actions we can control. By developing good mindset and behavioral management techniques, as well as reinforcing positive thoughts and habits, researchers have discovered a link between happiness and those factors we have control over.
1. Take Care of Yourself
Step one in attaining overall happiness is making a commitment to yourself that it’s something you seek. Once made, developing a happiness mindset becomes much simpler by engaging in activities and behaviors which promote such happiness.
These include eating healthily, repeating positive affirmations and getting enough rest. Another effective way of improving your mood is through service; helping those around you will allow you to temporarily forget your own problems and worries.
Happiness can also be increased through simple experiences, like spending time with loved ones and practicing gratitude. Making a list of three things each day that make us grateful can significantly enhance our wellbeing.
Develop a happier life takes hard work and dedication, but it’s achievable with the right mindset and supportive network. If you need help getting started, speaking to a mental health professional could be helpful in getting things started. Remember that life throws us all curveballs; don’t be hard on yourself if your goals don’t always materialize as planned.
2. Don’t Be Entitled
Many people come into contact with entitled individuals at some point in their lives – perhaps even their friends and family members. Their arrogant behavior is extremely irritating and may jeopardise relationships and finances alike.
These individuals rarely offer thanks, don’t respect others and can often be selfish with regards to money or possessions. Additionally, these types of people tend to sabotage others in order to gain an upper hand themselves.
These actions usually stem from deeper-seated issues; those who have experienced abuse or neglect often show this type of behavior as an attempt to cope with emotional distress that they cannot manage themselves. The entitlement that arises as a result can often become manifest.
At its core, entitlement can be broken down with enough work done with this individual. It is crucial that they learn that their feelings of frustration and disappointment are normal but that it will take their effort alone to alter these behaviors; should this prove unsuccessful then professional help may be required.
3. Have High Standards
Your life and its successes are directly dependent on the standards you set for yourself. It’s essential to set yourself high expectations, refuse to settle for less than you deserve and strive to enjoy every moment of life to its fullest extent.
High standards don’t have to be intimidating or arrogant; rather, they should represent living an amazing life and refusing to settle for what comes naturally. Furthermore, having high standards means being selective about who and what enters your life, ensuring they align with your values.
To live a joyful and satisfying life, setting high standards is essential. Additionally, being aware of how you spend your time and being grateful for what matters is also key. Spending time with loved ones and taking in nature’s wonders will help find your ikigai (life purpose). Long-lived Okinawans in Japan who practice longevity believe finding your ikigai (aka your purpose or reason for living). This could help ensure a happier, healthier existence for yourself.
4. Focus on Relationships
Studies show that those with healthy relationships – including family, friends, and romantic partners – tend to be happier overall. Furthermore, those who find meaning in their relationships tend to live longer due to exercise regularity and having positive attitudes about life.
Researchers Ed Diener and Martin Seligman discovered that when students assessed the quality of their relationships, they were more likely to report higher happiness levels irrespective of age and gender. Furthermore, prosocial traits like kindness, compassion, cooperation and forgiveness increased relationship quality.
Alongside developing meaningful relationships, another way to boost happiness is finding and pursuing your passions. For instance, gardening could become part of your daily routine if it brings joy; or find activities that make you laugh which release endorphins, further increasing happiness levels. Therapy modalities like EMDR and neurofeedback could provide invaluable assistance with difficult relationships.
5. Be Active
Research has consistently demonstrated that active individuals tend to be happier. It’s easy to understand why: physical activity helps boost self-esteem, increase energy levels and support mental wellbeing – while at the same time helping prevent long-term conditions like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
At least 30 minutes of physical activity should be part of every day’s routine – be it walking to work instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of an elevator, joining a team sport, taking exercise classes at your gym regularly or playing outdoors with family. To accomplish this goal, try to integrate physical activity into everyday tasks, such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator and joining regular fitness classes with friends or joining sports leagues and exercise classes.
Strive to include endurance (aerobic), flexibility and strength training exercises into your routine, gradually ramping up intensity as you become more accustomed. Don’t give up if exercising is initially unappealing – keep searching until you discover an activity you enjoy doing, so you are more likely to stick with it and stick with it over time!