10 Easy Ways to Be Happy
When embarking on the journey called life, everyone consciously or unconsciously aspires to be happy. People may already have their idealistic definition and standards of happiness, or others may define happiness as they progress and feel those emotions in the moment.
So, here’s the big question, what is happiness and how do you become happy? Like I said, happiness is a fluid term for everyone, but by definition happiness (noun) is the state of being happy, aka, feeling emotions of excitement or pleasure.
Unfortunately, when we try to plan happiness it can seem harder to attain because we are placing too many pressures and expectations on ourselves. Living life day by day and savoring every moment more times than not leads to unexpected happiness.
Maybe you are here reading this blog because you are already happy but know you are not as happy as you could be. Or maybe you are here because you tried to plan your happiness and you feel defeated. For whatever reason, I am happy you are here because there are so many ways to be happy.
Today we are uncovering 10 easy ways to be happy. You may be thinking wait, don’t these 10 ideas contradict the notion of not planning happiness? And to an extent you are right but there is a long-term difference between planning happiness and implementing some (or all) of these strategies.
In contrast to planning huge goals and expectations of happiness like reaching a certain salary or being in love by a certain time in your life, these strategies will (hopefully) begin to become habits. Of course, they require planning and conscious implementation at first, but over time they slowly become unconscious practices.
I hope that explanation clarifies the difference between planning and implementing these strategies. With that, let’s jump in.
1. Treat Yourself with Kindness
We can be our biggest cheerleaders and our biggest critics. Being happy while constantly criticizing yourself is a hard feat which is why it is so important to treat yourself with kindness. I know it is easier said than done, my inner critic might just be meaner than the devil. However, I’ve learned that I can fight these thoughts every day and remind myself that I am strong, beautiful, unique, and capable of anything I put my mind to.
My favorite habit to combat these thoughts is writing words of affirmation on sticky notes and placing them on my mirror. Seeing the notes every morning while getting ready and every night before bed reminds me of my worth. Another great tool that Poppy Jamie wrote about is “The Work” method by Byron Katie. Essentially, whenever you feel as though you are not enough, ask yourself these four questions. After answering them, you’ll find out your inner critic is most certainly wrong.
- Is this true?
- Can I be 100% sure it’s true?
- How does this thought make me behave, think, or feel?
- Who would I be without this thought?
2. Digital Detox
Let’s admit it, the digital world consumes our lives. From work to school, to social media, to TV and movies, we are linked to a digital device almost 24/7. Of course, scrolling mindlessly through a social media feed is the new norm. Many pros and cons come with the new norm of social media though. Pros including knowledge, connecting with friends and family, and pure entertainment, and cons including an addiction to the platform(s), a decrease in self-confidence, and an increase in anxiety and depression according to a 2017 study.
Of course, not everyone experiences these cons. But, if you find yourself thinking these might apply to you a digital detox might be suitable for you. I am actually participating in one myself right now and deleted Instagram, Twitter and TikTok off my phone for the week. It has been 4 days and my screen time has already gone down 33%!
3. Move your body
Exercise is crucial to the body’s well-being, including our mental health. Studies indicate that participation in exercise releases serotonin in the brain, leading to a boosted mood and overall well-being. This boosted mood and overall well-being positively impacts other crucial components like appetite and sleep patterns which play a huge role in the body’s well-being and our mental health.
4. Skin Care Ritual
By now you should know that we love a good skin ritual here. A study conducted by Kao positively linked skincare rituals to increased moods (and increased skin health). Their study found an increase in blood flow in the prefrontal cortex of study participants while applying facial moisturizer, indicating an increase in positive emotions while performing the task.
The study also found that mood and skin work together when improving after a skincare ritual. In other words, healthy skin boosts our mood and a boosted mood promotes healthy skin. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Catch Zzzz’s
One of the easiest ways to be happy is catching your zzz’s. Like exercise, sleep is crucial to the body’s well-being and our mental health. A poor and inadequate sleep ritual increases our risk for stress, irritability, and can weaken our immune system. On the other hand, a rich sleep ritual boosts our mood, immune system, productivity, and reduces stress. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog, how to sleep better to be the best you for sleep ritual tips and tricks.
6. Fuel your body with nutrition
You might have already guessed it, but in addition to sleep and exercise, nutrition plays a huge role in our happiness. Food fuels our body, controlling our mood, energy levels, and more. Pro tip: if you are feeling down, there is a list of foods that you can add to your diet that boost your serotonin levels.
Here are 8:
- Nuts and seeds
While these foods do not contain serotonin, they contain a natural chemical called tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin in the body, thus increasing serotonin levels after consumption.
7. Gratitude Journal
When we have a bad day or two, it’s easy to dwell on the things that go wrong and overlook all the wonderful things we are blessed with. One of Berkeley’s science based-practices for a meaningful life is keeping a gratitude journal. If you do not think you will remember to journal every day, do not fret! Journaling three-times a week has been found to have a greater impact on happiness than journaling every day!
Keeping a gratitude journal is your own practice but Berkeley recommends a few guidelines to ensure you get the most out of your experience. Some recommendations are:
- Be as specific as possible
- Go into detail about what you are grateful for, not just a word or two
- Get personal
- Being grateful for the same person or thing is great but try to write about a different reason every time you are grateful for them
8. Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones
Recent studies have shown that social media has caused more people to feel isolated. Spending quality time with loved ones, friends and family can help combat an isolated feeling by nurturing our social well-being. Quality time is defined as time spent giving another person(s) your undivided attention in order to strengthen a relationship. Next time you are with friends or family, try putting your phones or other distractions like the TV away and spend quality time with one another. Catch up, get nostalgic, laugh, and make new memories together.
9. Soak up the Sun
Vitamin D contributes to our overall health as individuals. Vitamin D’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective functions contribute to our immune health, cognitive function, bone strength, muscle function, mood, and more.
10. Own a Pet
The American Public Health Association has found that owning a pet can lead to a happier, healthier life. You may be thinking this is only applicable to dog or cat owners, but it extends to all types of pets, even fish! Owning a pet can boost the feel-good chemical oxytocin, making an owner feel more relaxed and at peace. Pets also stir up laughter, which releases endorphins contributing to mood boosts.
Overall, there are an abundance of ways to be happy, this is just a list of ten! We hope this serves as a guide for you to find new habits and daily practices. Did you enjoy this article? Are you embarking on a self-discovery journey? Here’s a list of my favorite books discussing happiness, purpose, discovery, and self-growth. Each author has their own arsenal of tips and tricks of ways to be happy.
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Written by Lauren Conklin
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