Happiness is an abstract concept. There is no one solid definition for happiness as it varies by person. Something that invokes great joy in one person may not have the same effect on another. Due to this diversity in happiness, psychologists, philosophers and others have different perspectives on the definition of happiness. Even though the specifics of happiness may vary, there are some general aspects in life that bring happiness to the majority of people. Here are some ways to be happier in life:
Be grateful for the ordinary
Most of us have daily routines that we follow and we do not think much of these activities. However, viewing these daily activities with a sense of gratefulness can really bring out the associated happiness. By treasuring your everyday experiences, your thoughts regarding the lack of happiness in your life will gradually diminish. Everyday things that bring happiness include contacting your family and friends, exploring the neighborhood, self-care and living for the moment.
Friends and family are individuals in your life who naturally invoke feelings of happiness. By meeting these people and spending quality time with them, you can establish sweet memories and think back to the happy times that you spent with them when life is not going the way you want it to. Your neighborhood can possess hidden treasures that you don’t know about. Get outside and go for a nice long walk while taking in your surroundings. You will be surprised at all the new things that you have not noticed before. Self-care is an essential aspect of life. You should always take great importance in taking care of yourself as there is only one you. Eat some healthy foods and occasionally treat yourself to your guilty pleasure to maintain a balance. Sometimes it is good to not worry about the future and the outcomes of actions. Higher levels of happiness can be achieved by enjoying the present.
Money ≠ Happiness
According to scientists, the lower your yearly income falls below $75,000, the unhappier you will feel. But any income in addition to this $75,000 does not increase happiness. Thus, the amount of money you earn is not equivalent to your level of happiness. Personal preference, values and comparisons can lead to variations in the extent to which money plays a role in one’s happiness, however money on its own is not enough to feel fulfillingly happy. If you do orient majority of your choices around the concept of earning money, it is time to broaden your perspective and look at the valuable non-monetary aspects of life.
The social media trap
Obtaining satisfaction from recognition and affirmation via social media platforms is unhealthy and eventually leads to unhappiness. This form of validation is tiring and toxic at times. Social media is only reflective of your best moments in life, thus the validation that these followers are giving are not for your true self. Also, being envious of the best moments of other’s lives is not a healthy way of thought. To break free from this habit, remind yourself that these social media platforms are not a representation of our real lives. Stop comparing yourself to filtered photos and schedule time periods in which you stay away from social media. Your account will stay the same way you left it so no need to be on it all the time. Instead, invest this time in some physically activity to release hormones that make you happy.
Admire your work
Enjoying the aspects of your job can actually improve your happiness. Job satisfaction impacts mental well-being and can improve your mood. While valuing your job duties, it is always good to give yourself credit for your work ethic as well. You should appreciate yourself for putting in hard work and completing the tasks that need to be done within the given time frame.
Strong, healthy relationships make a large contribution to one’s happiness. Socially connected people feel much happier than socially disconnected people according to research. Especially when living away from home, a chat with a good old friend or a heartwarming conversation with family can go a really long way when struggling under the pressure of academics. There are several opportunities around you to form strong social relationships. Examples include volunteer groups, sports teams, social events and etc.
Treasure your experiences
In life, there are moments when you are really stressed out and feel like everything is impossible. At these moments, you may feel very unhappy and tired. However, try to view these experiences in another light. Some stressors can provide us with the opportunity for growth and the development of our problem-solving skills. Stress in moderation builds resilience and gives you practice in thinking positively to equip you with the proper mindset to overcome future stressors. However, major stressors that lead to feelings of trauma should be dealt with further professional assistance along with positivity.
Research has shown that people who live active lifestyles are more excited about their lives than people who live passive lifestyles. Aside from the burst of excitement and fulfillment after a good workout session, exercise also has proven to have long term benefits. People who exercise regularly have reported to be less unhappy and they frequently view life with a positive perspective. Exercise also has health benefits and prevents the formation of harmful conditions that can invoke unhappy feelings in the future. There is only good in living an active, balanced lifestyle.
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