How can I be happier? The million-dollar question we ask ourselves… but most of us are still waiting for an answer. But is there a secret to happiness?
While scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, you’d think people have found the secret to happiness. Everyone is smiling, laughing, having a good time. How could they not be happy?
The pictures give all the signs of a perfect and happy life. But, as we all know, the minute you go further into someone’s life, you realize their social media is just a facade. I think we can all agree, we’re not much different from the people we see on social media.
The simple secret to happiness
Sometimes, it’s hard to think about being truly happy. There’s a lot of terrible and sad things happening in the world, and we see it on a daily basis. How can we be happy when the world is full of suffering?
Not only that, but we’re animals, designed to survive and protect ourselves from danger. Thus, we’re always on alert for something that can potentially harm us. So, where does happiness fit in? Well, shockingly, like almost everything else in life, happiness takes practice. Yes, you read right.
If you want to be happy, practice. But practice what exactly? Well, here are the 14 secrets to happiness to practice daily if you want to live a happier life.
Can you keep a secret? Because I have the answers.
#1 It’s all in your head. You’re only as miserable as you think you are. There are people around the world who have less than you, yet they feel happiness. Why is that? Because they decided their mental state. You can choose to see the glass half full or half empty. Of course, for some people, it’s easier to be happy than it is for others. [Read: How to be more positive and change your life]
#2 Let go of taking the “right path.” We all have an idea of how we want our lives to turn out. Maybe you want to become a millionaire or the lead singer of a famous rock band. But obsessing over a specific outcome won’t lead to happiness. By focusing on a specific goal, you miss out on opportunities for happiness.
#3 You’re happier than you realize. Many of us suffer from a happiness blindspot. We’re actually a lot happier than we realize, but we aren’t focusing on it. Rather, we focus on the negative, the things that can quickly manipulate our mood and destroy our day. But when you strip it all down, in essence, we aren’t focusing on making ourselves happy. [Read: Is negative thinking ruining your life?]
#4 Be present. If you want to feel happiness, be present. Worrying about what will happen in the future or past will only work to take you out of the moment. The past has happened, and the future can’t be determined. Quit focusing on things that aren’t relevant to the present moment. Once you stop thinking about the past and future, you’ll relax and enjoy your life.
#5 You choose your own definition of success. When it comes to learning the secret to happiness and success, most of us think of it in terms of monetary and material goods. He’s so successful, he has his own car and apartment, or, She’s so successful, she has her own business and the latest Prada bag.
What did you just read there? The word success was automatically tied to status and financial wealth. And that’s complete crap. You decide what success means to you. If you follow society’s definition of success, you’ll always be chasing something you’ll never have.
#6 Practice gratefulness. If you’re not grateful for what you have in your life now, you’ll always be chasing an unreachable goal. Happiness isn’t about getting what you don’t have. It’s about focusing on what you already have. Look at your life and acknowledge the things you’re grateful for. This can be friends, family, and passions. [Read: 15 authentic ways to be grateful and express it well]
#7 Don’t wait for tomorrow. We always say we’re going to start tomorrow. If you want to paint, start today, don’t wait for tomorrow. When it comes to doing things that make you happy, make a choice to do them now. If you wait till tomorrow, then you’ll wait till forever. Nothing is permanent in life. Do what makes you happy before it’s over.
#8 Focus on things that make you happy. When it comes to self-sabotage, humans are the best at it. We always go against the things that make us truly happy. Commit to what makes you happy. If not, you’ll always be drawn away from it. Once you’re committed, no one will be able to take away what makes you happy. [Read: How to focus on yourself – 17 ways to make your own sunshine]
#9 Have hobbies that are your passions. If you love acting, take acting classes or join a local theatre. If you love running, join a running club. Sometimes hobbies can be only hobbies, but you focus on having hobbies that are connected to things you’re passionate about. Those are the hobbies you’ll flourish in.
#10 Prioritize your time. Most of us spend our time on things that don’t matter. We focus on small, mindless tasks because it makes us feel like we’re achieving something. But, in reality, we’re not doing anything. Instead, focus on doing things that are important to you, whether it’s seeing friends or family, exercising, or sitting down to read a book. [Read: How to stop glorifying buys and start living instead]
#11 Say, “I love you.” It sounds a little odd but hang in there. When you tell people you love them, you’re practicing gratitude. Plus, by making other people happy, you make yourself happy. Acknowledge your love for the people around you. They’ll feel love and give it back.
#12 Do something out of your comfort zone. If you want to be happy, challenge yourself. Now, you probably thought to be happy means doing things you want to do. But being happy also means doing things that scare you. The secret to happiness is tied to personal growth; if you’re not happy, you’re not growing.
#13 You don’t need to be the best. Being happy isn’t about being the best. Happiness isn’t a competition. This also means you shouldn’t copy someone else’s routine for happiness. You are your own person. Never follow someone else’s path to happiness because you won’t end up any happier. [Read: How to discover self-love and the keys to happiness]
#14 Practice daily. Who thought you needed to practice to be happy? Since we’re wired to survive and spot danger, happiness isn’t necessarily natural for most of us. If you want to be happy, you’ll need to practice because no one is responsible for your own happiness.
The secret to happiness isn’t as complicated as you probably thought. But what you will need to do is be persistent and practice being happy. Eventually, you will feel lighter and more positive.