20 WAYS TO BE HAPPIER
Everyone likes to feel happy but it’s easier said than done. We all have ups and downs and some days are better than others. If you’re feeling down, unsettled, in need of some ideas to perk you up or just want to have a fresh perspective on your day, check out this post on 20 ways to be happier!
20 WAYS TO BE HAPPIER
In this article I’m sharing 20 ways to be happier. I think we often get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we forget to make space and time for happiness. Perhaps we even feel guilty when we prioritise happiness and instead feel we should be doing, achieving and ticking things off those never-ending To Do lists.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to find ways to be happier in your every day, here are 20 simple suggestions. They won’t cost much (if anything) and with a little bit of time and consistency they could become part of your regular routine.
1. Write a gratitude list
It’s difficult to feel down when you spend a moment appreciating how lucky you are! Check out this post on how to write a gratitude list and why gratitude can be such a powerful mindset shift.
I love writing a diary or journaling because I love words and the power they give to the thoughts and actions that follow them. I love how I get clarity when I can see my jumbled thoughts take shape on paper. It helps me know what I’m really thinking and what, if anything, I need to do about it. Journaling is definitely a way of encouraging positive vibes when you’re feeling down for any reason. Here are some journal prompts for self-discovery if you’d like to explore your feelings.
3. Change your scenery
Get some fresh air, give your body some exercise and notice the world around you and how beautiful it is. It doesn’t cost anything and walking is good for your body as well as your mind! Here are some other quick and simple self-care ideas that take 10 minutes or less.
4. Establish healthy daily routines
The little things that we do every day set the tone for how we feel and what we get done in the rest of life. By doing things little and often we can create structure and framework for our brains and our days. It could be keeping the home in order or getting fit and eating healthily. It might be carving out a little extra time each day to phone a friend, write in our journal or tackle that decluttering project. Think about your day and how it flows. Where can you save yourself time, stress and create a little more calm, peace and joy? Try this article on 24 simple daily habits to make life easier for some ideas.
5. Live a life with less
Another plug for the simple life! Living a life with less clutter allows you to focus on the things that are most important to you (and they’re usually ones that make you happier too!). Check out this post on how less is more and the benefits of simplifying life.
6. Deal with the biggest stress in your life
Chances are that you’re unhappy because you’ve got some stuff going on that stresses you out or makes you feel bad. Find a way to deal with it by doing a brain dump, get clarity over exactly what’s causing you angst and come up with practical, realistic solutions instead of a fog of jumbled negative thoughts and worries.
7. Tackle the one thing on your To Do list that’s been bugging you
Get it done and out of the way. Goodbye! For more tips on writing a simple, strategic To Do list that concentrates your mind and gets the right things done, check out my post on how to write a great To Do list.
8. Listen to an inspirational podcast
Try pushing aside any negative thoughts for a while and fill your brain with motivating, encouraging and engaging information to make you feel more alive, more positive and, of course, happier!
9. Do something different
A change is as good as a break! Switch your routines around, forget about the housework for today, order takeaway instead of cooking, head to the park with the kids instead of forcing yourself to hit the gym. Do something on a whim because you can and it makes you happy!
10. Be proud of yourself
Write down your 5 biggest achievements in life and why you’re proud of them. You see, you ARE amazing. Does that make you feel happier?!
11. Pay someone a compliment
Make someone else feel good and you’ll often feel better yourself. The joy is in the giving of the gift as much as in receiving it.
12. Define your priorities in life
Take the following areas of your life (family, relationships, home, work, leisure, spiritual, physical, financial, health and fitness), rate them in terms of importance to YOU and mark out of 10 how well you feel they’re going. Take 3 steps to improve the 3 areas which you’ve marked out as most important to you right now. For more ideas, try this article on how to define your priorities in life and why it matters.
13. Practice acceptance
This is where you’re at right now. Life changes and comes in seasons so your today might be different from your tomorrow. Accept (and appreciate) what you have right now and appreciate it. You may have a demanding toddler and crave a little time for yourself, but that baby will grow up and won’t need you so much. Relish those precious times now. You might have a demanding job, but on the weekends it enables you to pay for sailing lessons or a break away.
14. Live in the moment
Have you seen the image of the dog sitting next to the man and the caption across the top asking who’s happier – the dog or the man? The dog is thinking about being right there with his owner, yet the man is thinking about a new car, a bigger house, more money. It’s one of the most impactful images I’ve come across that teaches us to stop chasing dreams all the time and to live in the moment instead. It’s not always the big things that make us feel happier. The little things in life can bring us joy too.
15. Prioritise personal growth
Sometimes when we’re not feeling as happy as we’d like, it’s because there’s something ‘feeling off’ with our lives. Not only does it help to look at our priorities but it might be that you need to work on your own growth and self-development. Think of ways to expand your mind, learn new things and experience new opportunities. Try these articles on goal-setting or my free 30-day Personal Growth Challenge to get started.
16. Seek support if you need it
We can’t be happy ALL the time as life throws so much at us. Feeling down helps us learn what we don’t like as much as what we do and this is just as valuable. If feeling happy constantly evades you, find a professional who can help you find your way again. Here are some other ways to protect your mental health as well.
17. Celebrate the small wins
We don’t have to be doing stuff, achieving things or changing the world every day. You don’t even need to simplify your life every day! It’s enough to just get out of bed if that’s all you can manage. Listen to what you need.
18. Plan for change
People are a funny mixture. We get frustrated when things don’t change or move along, but we get unsettled when things change too much. Plan for any changes that you’d like to make or you know are coming so that you can be ready and make the most of them when the time is right. You might like this post on 4 focus areas to make real changes in your life for some ideas.
19. Be authentic
Stay true to yourself. Know what makes you tick and what makes you feel like yourself. Stop trying to be like the next person or meet a certain set of criteria. Although we evolve and change as time passes, trust your gut and do what feels right to you. Be present in the here and now and listen to yourself. Stay true to the real you, not the person you feel you should be.
20. Phone a friend
Chatting and laughing with someone who you trust can lift your heart and spirits. Friends help us talk through our worries, laugh at funny things that have happened to us, build our confidence and give us a kick up the **** when we need it.
WAYS TO BE HAPPIER IN YOUR OWN LIFE
Being happy is a wonderful state of mind but unfortunately it’s not always permanent!
Life chucks things in our path to challenge and test us. Yet, even on those days when nothing’s going quite right, I hope these 20 ways to be happier will help you feel a little better. They might not all work for you but trust yourself, listen to what your body and mind needs and don’t be too hard on yourself!
MINDSET AND INTENTIONAL LIVING
Many of the ways to be happier that we’ve looked at in this article are to do with your mindset. How you think about things determines how you feel about them, and as we make many decisions based on our emotions, it’s quite important to understand why you feel how you do!
The other theme that weaves through my suggestions is intentional living. This is really just about deciding what you want from life and finding ways to make time and space for that to happen. Intentional living is about living on purpose rather than just drifting through life on auto-pilot.
I write a lot about intentional living but if you’re new to the idea and would like to learn more, try this beginner’s guide to intentional living.
HELPFUL RESOURCES ON MINDSET AND INTENTIONAL LIVING
- Your Intentional Life – A free course to help you find more ease, peace and joy amidst busy life
- How to declutter your mind – 24 tips to help you clear the clutter in your head
- Does Minimalism make you happier? – the relationship between simplicity and happiness
- Master Your Mindset – A powerful workbook with self-care tips and challenges to help you explore your mindset. Learn more how your thoughts affect your emotions and decisions in life
- Essential mindsets to help you get more out of life – Find out about different ways of thinking that help you simplify busy life and empower you to make the most of every opportunity
- How to declutter your home and life – How clearing clutter makes space for calm, peace, joy and happiness!