Happiness is the one thing that everyone craves for. Everyone wants to live their lives happily. There are no doubts about that. But, in the process of searching for happiness, we have actually lost it. We constantly look for it, but we have unfortunately lost sight of it. We start to question ourselves:
“What can I do to be happy?”
Most people are happy during their childhood (Unless they experienced an unpleasant childhood). As we grow up, we start to perceive happiness as something complicated. Why? Because the harsh realities of life had changed our perception of what happiness really is.
Happiness is a choice. You can choose to either be happy or sad. You are the one who makes this choice. Unfortunately, most of us choose negative feelings over positive ones.
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Happiness is a simple thing. Don’t believe me? Go and ask a kid what happiness means to him or her. It’s something really simple. We just choose to make it complicated. Here I have compiled a list of simple things you can do every day to stay happy:
Our actions affect our emotions. When you smile, you will feel happy. The simple act of smiling actually reduces stress-related hormones. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, fake it. According to Forbes, faking a smile also does the same effect. It improves your mood and reduces stress. Like I said, our actions will affect our emotions and the simple act of smiling makes you happy.
Smiling is a simple thing which you can do anytime at any given place. It’s not hard to integrate smiling into your life. I always remind myself one thing: smile before falling asleep, no matter how bad the day was, it’s going to end soon, so there is no point bringing the negativity into your sweet dreams right?
Smile when you make eye contact with strangers. Smile when you meet your colleagues. Happiness is contagious, so is smiling. When you’re smiling to others, you are spreading happiness, which also makes you feel happy.
Don’t feel like smiling to others? It’s okay to smile, even though you’re alone. Still don’t feel like smiling? Just said ‘E….”
(To know more about the benefits of smiling, watch this TED talk titled “The Hidden Power of Smiling”.)
2. A short workout – 7 minutes is more than enough.
If you were once a sport person, I’m sure you’ll understand what it feels like after a tough workout, be it a football match, a basketball match, or even 30 minutes of jogging. Sweating makes us feel good. It refreshes our minds. We feel at ease and fresh after exercising. During exercising, our brain releases endorphins. This is why exercising makes us feel happy.
I know, most of you are probably very busy people. Working out for an hour everyday seems like a very time-consuming activity and most likely won’t be viable for you. But, now I’m asking for nothing more than a short workout. A short workout is enough. I bet you have a smartphone right? Then download the app “7 Minute Workout” from Apple’s App Store or Google Play (Any 7 minute workout app will do). Complete 7 minutes of workout following the guide in the app every day.
If you still can’t find 7 minutes for a short workout, cut down the time you spend on social media. Scrolling through your Facebook feed, Twitter or Instagram takes more than 7 minutes from your day (Don’t believe me? Next time track the time you spend on social media daily). The time is yours, use it wisely, 7 minutes really isn’t much right?
3. Reading – 6 minutes is all you need.
Not an active person? Don’t feel like making yourself all sweaty? Then, reading is another option that you might consider doing every day to be happy. And, if you’re so busy that 7 minutes of workout is too much for you, you can also try this out. You only need to read for 6 minutes silently to reduce your stress level.
When you’re in a stressful state, you tend to focus on negativity. To be happy, it’s essential to manage your stress level. Reading not only reduces stress, but it also eases muscle tension and alters our state of mind. It’s the ultimate method of relaxation.
If happiness alone can’t convince you to start reading today, or if you don’t know how you can start practicing this habit, you may refer to the article, “Why You Should Read Every Day. (And Here’s How to Start)”.
4. Random act of kindness.
Do you remember the last time you helped someone with a genuine heart? It makes you feel happy right? Even lending a small helping hand to someone in need will make you feel happy. So, why don’t we carry out a random act of kindness every day? You may consider these:
- Compliment your colleagues about her brand new bags.
- Treat a homeless guy on the street to lunch. Maybe it might seem like nothing to you, but it really means a lot to them.
- Write a thank-you note to someone, appreciating their efforts in the past. (If you feel that your handwriting looks bad, just call them and thank them personally through words.)
- Say a simple “Thank you” to the waiter or waitress that serves you in the restaurant.
All of these acts seem small and simple, yet it has a huge impact on the life of others. These acts definitely light up these people moods. All it takes is a simple act to make their day. And like I said, happiness is contagious, you will feel happy when you make someone else happy.
5. Stay positive.
When you are an optimist, you are more likely to be happy. Positive people always focus on positivity. They can see the good in everything. No matter how bad the situation is, they will always find a reason to smile, find something to appreciate. The power of positivity is unstoppable.
Not everyone was born to be an optimist, but we can all develop a positive mindset. You can plant a positive mindset into your subconscious mind. The first step to doing this is self-affirmation. Practice positive self-talk every day, it won’t take much of your time.
Every day, I tell myself something positive when I am bathing. Sounds weird right? You don’t have to say it out loud to yourself (but it probably does work better this way), it can just be a chat with your inner self. You say positive sentences in your mind, to reaffirm yourself, and build up your self-esteem.
Don’t know what to tell yourself? Search for some quotes about happiness or maybe some motivational quotes, memorise them and repeat it to yourself every day. Or, it can be a few simple words like:
“Today is a bad day, but tomorrow will be better.”
“I’m glad I’m still alive today.”
“Sometimes, I just have to believe in myself.”
“I’m good. I’m special. I am who I am.”
6. Stop complaining.
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let me paraphrase the quote above: For every minute you complain about your life, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Stop complaining about how bad your life is, stop complaining about the bad things that has happened around you. Complaining simply doesn’t solve your problems, instead, it amplifies your negative feelings. You become more frustrated in the process of complaining.
People who complain a lot are people who focus on negativity. They only see the “bad” in what happens to them. Instead, we should focus on positivity – the good around us. We should appreciate what we have. Gratitude is the key to happiness.
(You may also check out my previous article “Stop Complaining about Your Life” for more detailed explanation on why we should avoid complaining)
Why don’t you try to stop complaining for 24 hours and see how this small act can change your life?
HAPPINESS LIES IN THE LITTLE THINGS.
These are the 6 things you can do daily to feel happy. If you think none of these suits you (or if you crave for more), you may check out the article “101 Ways to Feel Happy on a Daily Basis” on Lifehack.
Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
Thanks : )