Happiness appears to be elusive in today’s society as everyone seems to be in pursuit of the happy life. Think about it - we’ve all heard a good friend say something along the lines of “I’ll be so happy when … " or “If only I had … , then I’d be happy.” Heck - we're likely guilty of saying something similar ourselves! According to the 2017 World Happiness Report the United States scored 6.8 out of 10 on the happiness scale. That’s not a lot of happy.
So what are some ways to bring more happiness into your daily life and routine?
Here are 7 Tips for Living a Happier Life:
1. Recognize that you are always at choice.
You can choose to be happy. You can choose to do what makes you happy. You can choose to surround yourself with people, experiences and opportunities that bring you up. You can choose to avoid those that bring you down. Recognizing that you are always at choice allows you to choose to create the life you want to live and to surround yourself with a community that will support you and lift you up as you do so.
2. Practice gratitude daily.
Developing an attitude of gratitude goes a long way towards living a happy live. Take time each day to write down those things for which you are grateful. Remember to thank people in your life who help you, who are kind to you, who lift you up. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis helps you to recognize and focus on the GOOD in life and allows you the space to give thanks for those people, things and circumstances that make you happy each day.
3. Laugh often.
Cultivating a daily laughter practice can help strengthen your emotional resilience when you are faced with difficult circumstances. Laughter boosts our social and emotional wellbeing. It also releases endorphins (those feel good chemicals) into our bodies, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. When you laugh you are bringing fresh oxygen into your brain and into your body for increased mental clarity and creativity. So exercise that power of choice and choose to laugh daily!
4. Show up authentically.
Be you - in all of your own quirky glory! Trying to fit yourself into someone else’s box of expectations doesn’t do you or the world any favors. Embrace yourself for who you are so that you can share your unique gifts, talents and voice with the world.
5. Give up on “should”.
If you think you “should” do something, take another look at it and ask yourself: Do I really want to do this? Does this align with who I am and what I’m about? Is this really the best use of my time? Am I doing this for myself or for someone else? Eliminating “should” from your vocabulary allows you to make decisions that align with who you are, what you want and how you want to show up in the world.
6. Remember to exercise.
Get up and get moving! Exercising just 20 minutes on a daily basis will increase your energy levels, help reduce stress, boost your confidence and contribute to a happier life. Exercise releases endorphins, those feel good chemicals again, into your brain and helps boost your mood. Try scheduling 20 minutes of exercise during your early morning routine and keep at it until it becomes a happy habit!
7. Unplug. Get outside.
Step away from your laptop, your cell phone, your TV and get outside. Studies show that spending time in nature can increase your natural killer (cancer fighting) cells as well as improve your memory, attention and cognition. Time in nature also helps to slow us down, allows time for reflection and creativity. So turn off your device and head out to your local park, forest, nature preserve or backcountry trail. Check out this article on cultivating a nature connection to get inspired to get outside!
So that’s it - my 7 simple tips for living a happy life. I know there more tips, strategies and ideas for a happier life that I could add to this list - but I’m keeping it short and actionable so that you can implement them today.
Have any that you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear your favorite tip for living a happier life in the comments below.
Cheers and remember to make it a HAPPY day!!