What is Happiness?
There are a million ways to define happiness.
“Be happy. Be bright. Be you.”
The dictionaries define happiness as
Delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing; OR Characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy (Dictionary.com).
A state of well-being and contentment; OR A pleasurable or satisfying experience (Merriam-Webster).
Others define happiness as fully enjoying all that you are and that is around you.
Despite the definitions, everyone experiences happiness differently. Some might become giddy or feel bubbly inside. Others might experience overwhelming emotions or even tear up. Others simply smile or feel joyfully content. There is nothing wrong with experiencing and expressing happiness your own way!
But, you’ve come here looking for ways to be happier. So, without further ado…
“Being happy never goes out of style.” – Unknown
How to be Happy
Happiness is as much a choice as it is an involuntary emotion. Let me explain.
You might often feel happiness without choosing to. For example, if a friend surprises you with something you love, you would most likely feel happiness automatically. You probably don’t have to remind yourself to be happy about the surprise.
However, you can also choose happiness. During trials and difficult times where you would automatically become sad or frustrated, you can instead choose to feel happy. I am, by no means, saying that you should feel happy instead of these other emotions (because it’s healthy to let yourself feel these emotions too), but it’s an option.
“Don’t let the silly little things steal your happiness.” -Unknown
Taking breaks is so important. These days we are so busy that we completely neglect to allow ourselves some good old-fashioned downtime. Feeling depressed, overwhelmed, sad, stressed? Take a break, treat yourself! You deserve it.
Taking breaks is so much more important than you realize. Taking some time out allows both your body and your mind a reset or reboot. If you are constantly going and jam-packing your body with caffeine, your body, and your mind will eventually give out.
If I do not take time off of both work and blogging each week, I burn out mentally and end up sick. This is no fun. But if I take some time to myself and practice some self-love while I’m at it, I feel refreshed and energetic!
You just can’t go wrong taking a break.
Not sure how to fit downtime or self-love into your busy schedule? Check out my 30-day self-love challenge that incorporates quick and simple self-love practices into every day for 30 days straight!
“There is sunshine in my soul today.”
Helping others has always and will always be a huge influencer of happiness. When you help others, you feel better about yourself. You feel happier. Even if what you are able to give is only your time or services. Maybe you share a sandwich with someone who forgot their lunch or help a neighbor carry their heavy groceries into their house. Trust me, you’ll feel great!
I don’t really need to explain this one. We hear it all the time, exercise, exercise, exercise. It’ll make you healthier and this is why it’ll make you happier. Yes, it’s exhausting, and yes, it’s difficult. But at the end, you’ll have accomplished so much, and you’ll feel happy about yourself.
“Happiness is made, not found.”
Meditation is so beneficial, but it a little bit of a taboo for some. Let me clear the air. You do not have to be religious to meditate. There is actually no one way to practice meditation.
Some people enjoy taking quiet walks to clear their mind by focusing on sights and sounds. Others practice yoga meditation where there is a focus on clearing the mind through breathing and stretching. Or maybe you’ll simply sit quietly for a few moments focusing on your breathing.
Meditation simply allows you to clear your mind of everything that is overwhelming your or stressing you out. It’s not for everyone, but I practice this each night before bed and it allows me to get to bed quicker and start each day new. It doesn’t remove stress, but it allows me to look at my stress more logically, instead of panicking.
“There are two ways to be happy: change the situation, or change your mindset towards it.”
I do not believe that I need to go into detail on this one, same as exercise. We hear all about how eating healthier is so great for your body and happiness. Those people are right. In all honesty, I do not eat right, and I can feel it making me groggier and more miserable. When I do eat healthy though, I feel amazing. I sleep better, I make better decisions, I feel better–I am happier.
“Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
Drink A Lot of Water
With eating healthier, you ought to drink more water. Not only is it great for your skin, but it’s great for your attitude. Again, I won’t go into details, because we all know this is true. I’m here to simply remind you to drink water because it’ll make you happier.
“I choose to be happy today.”
No, when I say socialize, I don’t mean you must constantly be around people. I’m an introvert, so I know that for some people, spending a lot of time around people is exhausting.
However, it is not healthy to hermit all the time (however tempting it might be). If you’re constantly hiding out on your own without human interaction you are going to get depressed.
So, to combat this, just get some socialization regularly. This could be anything from going out to the bar with some co-workers, to a night in with your family. Socializing doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are some ways for the introvert to socialize!
- Go into the bank instead of using the ATM
- Strike up conversation at the grocery store check out
- Go visit or call some family and just catch up
- Happy a close friend over for the evening
- Go out in public – anywhere (sometimes being in the presence of people is enough)
- Go get coffee with a friend or co-worker
- Spend some time at the water cooler at work
- Attend a study group or tutoring session
“Surround yourself with those who make you happy.”
For some people, this is easy or natural, but for others, it’s incredibly difficult. I’m a naturally positive person; however, when I am stressed, I am a massive negative-Nelly. Being negative (especially when I am already stressed) does me absolutely no good.
If I am in a bad mood, or even if I’m not in any kind of mood, forcing myself to think about the positive eventually turns my mood around.
Fake it till you believe it.
“Think positive and positive things will happen.”
Practice Gratefulness Regularly
Gratefulness is healing. I can’t think of a better way to explain it, except to share a blurb from my own personal gratefulness story.
I was in a low point in my life, by ‘low’ I don’t mean living on the streets or anything the phrase implies. I mean that I was struggling with a huge transition and a lot of anxiety. It was at this point I decided to start a gratefulness art project. Each day I would write down several reasons that I was grateful. Anything counted, everything I thought was written down.
When you sit around thinking about all that is going wrong, all that is awful, or all that you wish was different, naturally, you will feel sad or angry. But, if you spend your time thinking about all that is going well and all that you enjoy about your life, naturally you will begin to feel happy!
“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” -Dodinsky
Nothing is worse than the moment you realize that you’ve forgotten to plan for something, causing you to rush around like a chicken with its head chopped off. These scenarios are immensely stressful and can reduce happiness. The only way to reduce this stress, ultimately increasing your happiness, is to plan for it.
Planning ahead does wonders for stress. I highly recommend, and will always recommend, getting or making a planner. Personally, I use bullet journals because they are far more customizable. If you’d like to read more about different ways to get organized check out A Practical Guide to Time Management + Productivity, a guest post I wrote.
“HOW TO BE HAPPY: decide every morning that you are in a good mood.”
It’s not always easiest to be happy, but by following these guidelines, it should be a little easier to do. I hope you enjoyed these guidelines! What do you do that makes you happy??