We all want to be happy, right?
And we know that if we’re happy now, before we’re in a relationship, then we’re much, much more likely to be happy later, when we’re in a committed relationship.
And here’s the funny thing – we’re also much, much more likely to GET into a relationship when we’re happy. And we’re much more likely to get into a relationship with someone else who’s happy when we’re already happy.
And that leads to what’s known as a happy relationship, which is something we all want.
Am I right?
So then the question is, how do we get happy when we just don’t feel happy right now?
Especially when everything around us seems negative. Just look at all of the headlines and stories in the daily news programs – they’re almost all negative!
When the overwhelming majority of what we read, hear about, or watch is negative, our brains have us believing that’s the true nature of the world – that things are just bad.
Reverse the formula.
We all believe, whether it’s from our earlier programming or the constant messages from our society and culture, that once we’re successful, we’ll then be happy.
But it’s actually the opposite that’s true – once you’re happy, you’re much more likely to be successful, both in life and in love.
And, more importantly, if the main driver of striving for success is to be happy, then why not simply bypass the struggle and be happy now, right where you are?
If the end result that we’re all working towards is to be happy, then find what makes you happy, and shortcut the whole process.
Psychologists believe that as much as 90% of your long term happiness is caused by the way you view the world, while only 10% is caused by external forces.
That’s some really good news here because that means YOU are in control of nearly all of your happiness. If you can change the lens you view the world through (and you can), then you can change your level of happiness.
And what’s even better news is that there are actually some scientifically proven techniques to help you become happier very quickly and easily.
Try these simple ways to be happy every day for the next week or so, and report back to me on which ones work the best for you:
1. Turn off the news.
This includes watching the morning news, reading the headlines in the newspaper, and it might even include checking your Facebook feed, particularly if you have friends that like to post all of the awful things that anybody, anywhere has done recently.
I know. This is a tough one.
It’s tough because negativity is truly addicting. That’s why it all spreads like wildfire, with the worst of the worst “going viral”.
It might even mean avoiding certain friends, coworker or family members that love to spread the bad news. “Did you hear about Claire over in Accounting…omg!”
But trust me, give yourself a “news cleanse” for a few days, and you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel. And you’ll realize you’re not missing anything.
2. Focus more on experiences, less on possessions.
Our relationships with others are one of our main creators of happiness. So the next time you have a few extra dollars in your pocket, instead of rushing out to buy something new, think about how you could spend that money instead on a fun experience with a close friend.
While buying something new can make us feel happy initially, the feeling is fleeting and it can quickly become a negative feeling. We tend to start wanting the next thing, and comparing ourselves to others who have something even better, which can actually make us feel worse than before the purchase.
So instead of thinking about the next thing you want to buy, think about the next thing you want to do.
Then go do it, with a friend if possible.
Get yourself in the habit of, at the end of each day, finding three new things that you’re grateful for.
I say “new” things, because it’s all too easy to get in the habit of simply repeating the same things every day, for example being grateful for your job, family members, friends, etc.
That’s still a great thing to do as it serves as a daily reminder of all of the stable things in your life that you’re thankful for, however the purpose of the three “new” things each day is different.
The purpose of this little exercise is to train your brain to be on the constant lookout for new things to be happy about each day.
This has the effect of “tricking” your brain into being more positive and will quickly raise your overall level of happiness.
4. Write it down.
Those of you who know me know that I’m all about the journaling. And for very good reason.
The simple act of writing helps us to not only release negative thoughts, but also to re-live the most positive thoughts and experiences we’ve had. So get in the habit of writing a few paragraphs about the best thing to happen to you each day.
It might be as simple as a conversation with a friend that you really enjoyed, or it might be about an amazing windfall that you encountered.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter.
No matter how big or how small, if it made you feel good, then re-live that moment at the end of the day (and again and again, when your future self comes back to read the entry in your journal).
5. Rethink your "goals".
The problem with goals is that the attainment of the goal is such a small, finite point in time. For example, if your goal is to lose twenty pounds, then every single day until you actually reach that goal you’ve missed it.
This can make you feel like you’re failing every single day.
If, instead, you replace that long term single minded goal with the goal of building a habit, then you have a chance to hit your goal every single day.
Say your new goal is to eat healthy meals and include one salad every day. Now you can feel great about attaining that goal every single day (or at least most days).
Now that’s what I call a happiness booster.
6. Be kind ever day.
Do at least one intentionally kind thing for another person every day.
It could be as simple as complimenting a friend, a coworker, or even the waitress at lunch on their outfit or hairstyle. (Just make sure that the compliment is true, and that you’re really feeling it, otherwise it will just come off as false flattery).
Or send an email letting someone know that you really appreciate them either for something they did, or for simply being “them”.
It could be helping someone with a task they find difficult, but that you enjoy.
Offering a helping hand to others is one of the quickest and easiest ways to feel better about yourself and your situation.
7. Reduce stress.
You can do this by incorporating something like yoga or meditation into your daily routine, or by simply taking 15 minutes out of your busy day to just do something you enjoy, purely for yourself.
It might be a walk, either alone or with a friend, or picking up your favorite book and reading a few chapters.
Maybe a nice, warm, relaxing bath.
Just make sure to really let yourself relax and release any negative thoughts during this time period, and instead focus on all of the beauty and wonder of the world.
8. Take good care of your body.
This includes eating right, being careful not to over-indulge in things like sugar, alcohol, junk food, etc., and exercising.
The way you treat yourself if a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.
So once you start treating yourself better, you’ll immediately start feeling happier, more energetic, and you’ll be more productive.
Because here’s the thing, when you’re happiness rises, your positivity rises, your creativity rises, your energy level rises, your productivity rises, and, best of all, your attractiveness rises.
It’s like a win-win-win-win-win…you get the idea.
Instead of the “downward spiral” it’s an “upward spiral”. Everything gets better.
This is who you were naturally before you learned to be anything else. This is your birthright, this is who you are and this is what you were born to be.
How about you? Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to give your spirits a lift? Share them with all of us in the comments!