One thing that many people ask themselves is how to be more happy. There are books written about it, courses taught about it, and even people who dedicate their lives to finding happiness. But the pursuit of happiness is not an easy task, as finding joy can seem to be one of the most elusive and disappointing journeys one can traverse. For some people, they fixate on material possessions for happiness, and for others, it is success and career based achievement. These fixtures of happiness many times leave the individual only yearning for more, obsessed with the next level of success, or status or wealth–thinking that if they can only achieve this next level that they will somehow then be happy. But what most people don’t realize is that happiness is not a destination. This may sound cheesy, but truly, happiness is not something that can be attained through reaching some far off, one off goal or achievement. It is something that must be embodied and worked on just like any other practice. Happiness is an ongoing mission that won’t just be in your possession because you got your dream job or relationship. Now, those things may be a part of your happiness, but your joy can not solely rest in these material or worldly objects or relationships. It is not easy being happier, but there are some methods you can employ to start the journey to true happiness. Check out these 6 things you can do right now to make your life happier.
Start saying “no!”
It’s hard to believe that one word can make you happier, but learning to say no is a quick way to start feeling happier. This is because many of us have a tendency to say yes too much, too often, and to too many things or people. Often times, we say yes before thinking through our actual feelings, and over commit. This leads to guilt, regret, burnout and a whole host of negative emotions that constantly push happiness that much farther away.
Limit screen time.
We all love our devices and the convenience they provide. But being attached to our phones, laptops and tablets has decreased our ability to have autonomy over our day. It is easy to spend hours on your phone at a time, not realizing that you’ve wasted the whole afternoon consuming images and words from other people that may not be good for your personal temperament. Take some time away from your device, and fill your head up with good things, like books or art.
Go into nature.
Being outdoors is a great way to find some happiness and relaxation. It has been proven that taking in the beauty of lush greens, tranquil waters and buzzing animal life can drastically improve your mood. Taking just 15 to 20 minutes a day to get outside of your house, even just a walk down the street, can make a major difference in your day.
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but exercise for increased happiness really can work. It is very well documented that exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, the happy chemical your body naturally makes. And tapping into the relation between your body and mind through exercise is important: the more you feel good physically, the more you can feel good mentally.
Interact with other people.
We are in dramatically different times, and it is very plausible for one to go the whole day without physically interacting with another real human being. This can get lonely and isolating, and can negatively impact your mood. By interacting with other people, you can enjoy some social time.
Take an actual break for fun.
With such a work and success obsessed society that we live in today, many of us go days without doing something just for fun. Take a real break from being productive, and do something that is sheerly for enjoyment’s sake.