Did you check off all the things on your to-do list that you've been procrastinating on? Yay! Did you finally clear out a thousand emails that have been filling up your inbox? Woohoo! Take pleasure in these little achievements. They add up!
3. Find Your Work-Life Balance.
Work takes up a lot of our day, but it shouldn't be the only thing we do. It's important to pursue activities and interests beyond our job. Do you have a hobby? Are you spending time with friends and loved ones? Are you getting exercise
? Creating balance in your life will reduce stress and give you other outlets to express yourself and have fun.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness mediation works by bringing your awareness and attention to the present moment. It's about being nonjudgmental and accepting how you are feeling. Practicing mindfulness
means being present, aware, and curious. Accepting what we are going through decreases stress and helps us see situations for what they are. Through mindfulness, we can find peace and affirmation in ourselves.
5. Be Creative
You may think of artists as being moody and depressed, but studies show that engaging in creative activities
on a regular basis actually makes you happier. Those who spend time using their imagination and being creative have more enthusiasm and are more likely to have feelings of long-term happiness and well-being. Such creative activities can include writing, painting, drawing, and musical performance.
6. Spend Wisely
It's tempting to believe that the more money you have, the happier you'll be. But the reality is, it's how you spend your money
that helps you feel happier. The key is to do it wisely. Spending money on experiences—travel, dining, concerts and so on—can make us happier because we are sharing those experiences with others. Happiness connected to material possessions fades, but experiences help us define our purpose and passions in life.
7. Do What You Love
It's pretty hard to maintain happiness if you hate your job. Don't waste the best years of your life in a joyless job
, even if it's paying the bills. What are you interested in? What are you truly passionate about? Focus on building a career in an area that motivates you and will provide you with a high level of satisfaction, and your happiness factor will go up exponentially.
8. Accept Imperfection
Many of us strive for perfection—we desire to push ourselves to be our best. But in order to be truly happy, you must
embrace the imperfection
that is part of life. Perfection is impossible, and holding ourselves and others to these standards is futile. We will always end up feeling let down. Accept that life is imperfect and recognize that there is beauty and grace in that imperfection.
9. Live in the Moment
Our thoughts and feelings often revolve around the past or the future. Reality is what you are experiencing in this very moment; what you are going through right now. Sometimes we want to escape that reality. But when we stay in the present, we are fully engaged in our lives. Endeavor to live in the moment
, and you'll begin to have a deeper appreciation for your life.
10. Cultivate Gratitude
Find ways to cultivate gratitude on a daily basis. Giving thanks and being grateful for all you have will make you happier and more content. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation
for what you have received in life. Those gifts may be tangible or intangible. When you spend time each day acknowledging all that is good in life, you'll see there is more good than you realize, and you'll find that sadness, anxiety and depression are diminished.
11. Give Back
Be generous with your time and your money. Give to others in need. Give to those you love and care for. Those who give back
have a sense of selflessness and humanitarianism. Those who are generous in spending money on others tend to have good health, perhaps because giving has a feel-good effect that lowers blood pressure and stress.
12. Surprise Yourself
It's hard to feel happy if you are bored or feeling blah about life. Part of feeling happy is feeling stimulated, interested and a little surprised by life. So surprise yourself by setting goals outside your comfort zone. Put yourself in new or unexpected situations. Set goals for yourself and then work to achieve them. And remember to enjoy the ride!
13. Listen to and Engage With Music
Listening to music lifts our spirits. It makes us feel better, in part because listening to music causes our brains to release dopamine, a neurochemical connected to pleasure and reward. Those who engage with music
through dance or through attending concerts report high levels of happiness and a sense of well-being.
14. You Do You
One of the best things you can do to boost your happiness is to just be yourself. That means not being dependent on the approval of others, but accepting yourself
for who you are. Spend some time getting to know yourself. What defines you? What do you believe in? Who are you, underneath it all? Search for ways to be comfortable in your own skin.
15. Build Meaningful Relationships
Happiness, love, friendship, and community go hand in hand. As humans, we have a fundamental need to interact and connect with others. We naturally seek our tribe
—the people who will support us, understand us and be there for us through life's roller-coaster ride. Without meaningful relationships, we are lonely and isolated. We're happier when we pursue happiness with others.
16. Nothing Compares to You
yourself to everyone around you. Most importantly, stop comparing your things to all the things everyone else has. Social media has a way of making us feel like everyone else has it better than us. How often does scrolling through your newsfeed make you feel negative emotions? Allowing envy and resentment to take root robs us of appreciating what we have.
17. Stop Worrying
Constantly worrying about everything creates toxic anxiety, where your mind is steeped in negative, spiraling thoughts. Worries plague your mind and make you afraid and apprehensive about things you often have no control over. Sometimes we believe that if we worry enough, we can keep bad things from happening. But the truth is, you cannot experience joy or even contentment when you're consumed by worry.
18. Hang Out With Happy People
Ever hang out with a gloomy person and leave feeling bummed? That's because moods can be contagious. It turns out that feelings can be transferred from one person to another, and the more we share experiences with one another, the more our emotions and behaviors become synchronized. One secret to long-term happiness is surrounding yourself
with others who are also happy.
19. Spend Time in Nature
Some researchers believe that today's ultra-wired generation is actually suffering from a nature-deficit disorder. Studies have shown that the more time we spend in nature, and the more we relate to the natural world around us, the greater our sense of happiness. Our connection to nature
also plays a role in maintaining positive mental health.
20. Reminisce Over Happy Memories
Why do we love all things retro? Perhaps because nostalgia makes us happy. Nostalgic feelings, or reminiscing
about our past, can help us reconnect with feelings of love and a sense of wonder and fulfillment. Our past shapes us and defines our identity. When we remember good times and happy memories, we can increase our self-confidence and feel closer to those around us.