The question of how to be happy is a complex one.
Despite all of the world’s technological advances, happiness remains beyond the grasp of many people. This is partly because happiness is subjective and not all human beings respond to the same things in the same way.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to finding happiness. However, certain things tend to make people happy.
So, if you see yourself struggling to find happiness, here’s some good news: happiness is within your reach!
We’ve created this guide to offer some suggestions and insights into how to be happy. Read on!
Should You Be Happy All the Time?
At first glance, it might seem like a strange question to ask. The question has less to do with whether you need to be happy all the time and more about whether it’s possible to be happy all of the time.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll always be happy, and that’s okay. It’s normal and healthy for you to experience a range of emotions. After all, you can’t fully appreciate the good in life without the bad.
While it’s good to try and stay positive and happy whenever you can, don’t feel discouraged if it’s difficult!
Is Happiness a Habit?
When people discuss mental health and well-being, many factors have to be considered. It should go without saying that leading a happy life leads to many health benefits and general life satisfaction.
That doesn’t mean it’s as simple as applying some positive thinking to learn how to be happy. Just like physical health, mental health is something that needs to be worked on every day.
Happiness is a habit. To be happy, you need to do and experience things that make you happy. You need to regularly practice doing things that make you happy. This process can be likened to a habit.
If you struggle to find happiness, then you’ll have to work hard to engage in things that offer more happiness. This isn’t easy, and may even feel impossible at times, but you must keep going anyway. Rest assured that the benefits of happiness are definitely worth the effort!
How Can I Find What Makes Me Happier?
The answer to this question is different for everyone.
For some, mental health or an underlying mental illness can hamper happiness. In those cases, seeking proper psychiatric aid is recommended. For others, problems lie in issues of self-esteem, negative thinking, or a lack of social connections.
You might want to check out this article on how to find what makes you happy!
You need to actively seek out things that can improve your quality of life. From there, you’ll be in a much better position to find your own happiness.
Ready to learn how to be happy? We’ve gathered our top ideas on the matter below! Hopefully, this sheds some light on your journey to a happier life.
How to Be Happy: Ideas to Get You Started
1. Find and Maintain Meaningful Relationships
Many people who struggle to find happiness also feel lonely or isolated to some extent. The two aren’t always connected, but loneliness and isolation can hurt your happiness.
While it’s easier said than done, the solution to this problem is pretty straightforward: expand your list of, and time with, social connections.
If you find making new friends difficult, then there’s a chance that you need to bolster your self-confidence. You might want to know a bit more about how to make friends as an introvert with social anxiety.
The best way to expand your social network is to find people who share common interests with you. This could mean finding a local Dungeons & Dragons group, going out to fan meetups, or joining the university tennis team.
Whatever your interest, there’s a community of like-minded people who are just as passionate as you are.
Increased connections with good people won’t just make you feel less lonely. You might even find new interests through these connections, which can lead to greater happiness!
As you spend time with more people, you’ll cultivate strong relationships and expand your support network.
These relationships are key to a happy life because they provide you with love, appreciation, and a sense of belonging.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Own Well-Being
While expanding your circle of friends can improve your overall happiness, you must also prioritize your own well-being.
Ignoring your physical and mental health can lead to disastrous consequences, both for your happiness and for your ability to pursue other meaningful goals. Failure to address your needs will only make it harder to be happy in the long run.
Here are some things that you can do regularly to improve your well-being:
- Build a sleep routine to ensure you get enough sleep.
- Practice deep breath control techniques to alleviate stress.
- Make sure to engage in regular exercise and physical activity.
- Keep in touch with friends and family to stay socially active.
- Spend time with positive people who won’t drag you down.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to improve your well-being. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be in a much better position to pursue happiness.
3. Surround Yourself With Positive Influences
If you’re trying to understand how to be happy, consider the environment around you. No, we don’t mean the weather (although research suggests it can affect your mood).
Take a moment to survey who you surround yourself with and their role in your life. Also think about what you tend to do with your time and what these activities bring to the table. This isn’t easy or very much fun, but it can prove an important exercise for improving your life.
If you’re surrounded by people you know are bad influences, or make bad judgments, ask yourself how that affects you. If you spend all day playing video games, ask yourself if you’ve done everything you needed to beforehand.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having friends who occasionally make poor decisions, and there’s nothing wrong with playing video games.
Just make sure that you’re being honest with yourself about whether you’re being distracted or led astray by these influences.
Let’s use the video game example again. If the game you’re playing involves playing with others online, be careful that it isn’t creating a toxic environment. Trash talk is part of most competitive games, but when insults and anger are the norms, it can rub off on you.
Consider if the games you enjoy cause you excess anger or stress. If they do, disconnect often to avoid developing antisocial behaviors.
Moreover, if you find that you’re constantly surrounded by negativity, it might be time to reassess some of your relationships. Friendships and family relationships are essential, but if they’re constantly bringing you down, it might be time to distance yourself.
Of course, it’s not always easy to tell if you’re being influenced positively or negatively. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you feel after spending time with someone or participating in an activity. If you feel drained, it’s probably not a good influence.
The key is to be honest with yourself and to make an effort to surround yourself with things that make you feel good.
4. Reward Yourself for Small Wins
One of the keys to how to be happy is to acknowledge your small wins. For those who struggle with feelings of stagnation, remember that everything you do has value and impact, regardless of scale.
If you’re spending time cleaning and organizing your living space, then acknowledge that right now – that’s an achievement!
A big reason that people struggle to find happiness is that they set their goals and expectations too high. When you’re struggling to feel happy, you won’t be in the best headspace to accomplish major tasks.
That doesn’t mean that you can afford to do nothing, but it does mean you need to temper your expectations. Take things slow and feel proud of any and all progress you make each day.
5. Form Good Habits
Make sure you’re developing good habits in your daily life. Start by taking a long, hard look at your habits. Are they helping or hindering you? Forming positive habits requires constant attention and dedication for most people and isn’t easy by any stretch.
The benefits of forming good habits are well worth the effort. If your life and relationships are built on a foundation of healthy habits, you’ll find that happiness comes more easily and naturally.
Here are some good habits to strive for:
- Practice gratitude: Each day, take a few moments to give thanks for the positives in your life.
- Save and spend money wisely: Save money and make smart purchases so you don’t feel stressed about debt or lack of funds.
- Exercise regularly: When you’re physically healthy, you’re more likely to be emotionally and mentally healthy as well.
- Take breaks: Make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day, so you have time to relax and regroup.
- Make time for things you enjoy, such as reading, playing sports, taking walks in nature, or anything else that brings you joy.
6. Contextualize Negative Thoughts
Many people say that you should just ignore negative thoughts and think positively, but this doesn’t actually address the problem.
While you shouldn’t act on the negative emotions and thoughts you experience, you shouldn’t ignore them.
Ignoring them also ignores the feelings and events that are creating them in the first place.
Instead, take the time to understand and contextualize these thoughts. Identifying where they come from is key to working out how to stop them from being intrusive.
This is an important exercise. Understanding the things that make you sad goes a long way to helping you figure out how to be happy.
There are a few key things to remember when it comes to contextualizing your negative thoughts:
- Don’t dwell on them.
- Don’t try to suppress them.
- Try to understand where they come from.
- Use positive reframing.
- Focus on the present moment.
When you take the time to contextualize your negative thoughts, you’ll be in a much better position to deal with them. By understanding where they come from, you can start to work on addressing the root causes. And by using positive reframing, you can start to change the way you think about them.
You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to the challenges life throws your way. A key to happiness is learning how to be resilient and not letting negativity get the better of you.
7. Step Back From Social Media
We’re willing to bet you’ve already heard this from people before, but it is true – social media can be a huge downer. In fact, studies have shown that the more time people spend on social media, the more likely they are to be unhappy.
The reason for this is multifold. First of all, social media gives us a distorted view of other people’s lives. We see only the highlight reel – the vacations, the new car, the birthday party – and not the mundane reality that makes up most of our lives. This can lead to feelings of envy and insecurity.
Second, social media is a breeding ground for negativity. From political arguments to mean-spirited comments, it’s easy to get dragged down by all the negative energy.
Additionally, platforms like Instagram and YouTube can suck up massive amounts of time and focus from your day.
By opening up an endless source of entertainment, you can easily fall down a rabbit hole of mindless content. This can create a distraction that prevents you from doing things that would actually make you happy in the long run.
Instead of scrolling through TikTok, put on some music and do something productive for your mental well-being. This sense of productivity can give you a feeling of control and accomplishment – two key ingredients for lasting happiness.
8. Understand and Expand Your Comfort Zone
While most of our advice involves changing habits and making different choices, it’s important to do all this in moderation.
Don’t try changing everything at once, or you’ll quickly burn out and feel like the changes aren’t making a difference. Make sure that you know your limits and understand the boundaries of your comfort zone.
It’s worth the effort to try and extend those boundaries. But, do so at your own pace. These kinds of changes don’t happen overnight.
Don’t pressure yourself into making a mistake or failing to properly address issues. Take small steps and build up your comfort zone over time. There is no rush – your small changes will lead to large differences in the long run.
9. Schedule Time for Positive Thoughts
While it’s important to understand the bad thoughts you have, make time to understand the good thoughts too.
When you have a positive experience and feel good, try hard to remember that feeling. When you’re in a bad headspace, remember the good times, and hold onto those.
A happy person doesn’t only experience positive feelings or good days, even if it looks like it from the outside. If someone appears to never get rattled, they might be pretending to be happy.
It’s impossible to escape bad days or negative feelings forever, but you can build coping mechanisms to lessen their impact on you.
Recognizing that positive experiences are more valuable than negative ones is an effective method for setting your mind at ease.
Here’s our suggestion: start journaling! Every day, spend time writing about all the positive aspects of your day. Include things like what made you smile, something you’re grateful for, or a moment when you felt proud of yourself.
Jotting down happy memories will not only remind you of good times, but it will also help train your brain to focus on the positive.
Also consider creating positive affirmations to repeat throughout the day. This could be anything from “I am capable and strong” to “I choose happiness today.” Reinforcing these positive thoughts will help to keep your mind in a happy state.
We hope that some of these tips and suggestions help you find the sense of happiness that you deserve. Teaching yourself how to be happy isn’t easy, but it’s worth all the effort to get there.
We believe that happiness is a habit. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes. So start small, and work your way up. Don’t forget to celebrate the little victories along the way!
If you found these tips useful but need some help getting started on your happiness journey, consider using an app for happiness. The Do Happy App is a great option if you’re looking to promote mindfulness, kindness, and happiness in your life!