A lot of people’s definition of happiness is tied to accumulating money or accomplishing a goal. As life goes on, there will always be more goals to achieve and objects we wish to possess. By connecting happiness to reaching a checkpoint, we repeatedly push that happiness one step forward and out of our reach.
You can’t find happiness at the end of the journey. It’s one of those things you create for yourself along the way through collecting moments and memories. I used to believe being happy meant having no worries or negative emotions, but that’s simply irrational. The happiest of us still endure hardships. People who are truly happy are the ones who find the strength to continue and look at the silver lining.
There’s no special secret to happiness as everyone experiences it differently. However, there are certain habits and thought processes that people can follow to view their own lives and the world around them in a more positive manner.
These are some habits I follow to live an optimistic life and I want to share them with you so that you can set forth on your own journey to becoming happier.
1. Introduce positivity & remove negativity.
Surround yourself with people who motivate you to succeed and support your passions. The ones who uplift your spirits and make you feel warm on the inside. Toxic people will only drain your energy and make you feel useless.
2. Stop and smell the roses.
Though cliché, noticing the small things in life has improved my happiness tenfold. Keeping a gratitude journal helps whether it’s in a notebook or in the notes section of your phone. The point is to write down a few things each day that made you happy. This can range from getting a good grade to talking with a friend to having your favorite lunch. Don’t just focus on appreciating the big moments.
3. Social media accounts.
The content you surround yourself with online affects your thoughts and overall mood significantly. By following inspirational, positive social media accounts, you’re exposed to outlets that empower you and connect you with others who want to foster positivity as well.
Consciously taking actions to uplift my mood and bring peace into my life has allowed me to become more self-aware of how important it is to treat ourselves with the same love we would a best friend. For me, self-care includes face masks, reading, cooking, writing, calling friends, practicing a skill, or even filling out a coloring book. Rather than setting aside an entire day for self-care activities as most sources advise, I find it more manageable to include a few small activities each day that allow me to take a break from my busy schedule.
5. Positive thinking.
Now I’m not saying you should be happy all the time (because that’s irrational and we should all address our varying emotions), but changing how you view a situation definitely affects your happiness levels. Having a positive mindset makes you view situations in a more positive way, which will make you realize that some things aren’t worth getting upset over.
6. Try new activities.
Pursuing a new activity provides both a challenge and enjoyment. This could include a long-term hobby such as starting a blog, learning an instrument, sewing, or cooking or even a short-term activity such as doing a puzzle, painting, or writing letters. Simply doing something new allows you to stimulate your mind creatively and deviate from a monotonous routine.
7. Happiness for the body.
Take care of your body by exercising, going for a walk, sleeping sufficiently, and taking vitamins. Coming from someone who wasn’t keeping track of these things until recently, the small steps to meeting basic needs make more of a difference than we’d like to think.
8. Being at peace.
The biggest factor in becoming happier is to be at peace with yourself first. This means letting go of resentment, jealousy, and any other feelings that may stop you from introducing more positive emotions. Whether you turn to religion or meditation or something different entirely, it’s important to find a way to relax and let go of feelings that will hold you back from becoming happier.