Who doesn’t want a little more happiness in life? How do you actually achieve this? We’ve gathered 10 steps to become happier, that may just help you change your life, and for the better-forever.
1. Forgive Others
Forgiveness is preached as necessary in an impressive number of different world religions, and there’s a reason for this. Hanging onto anger and bitterness-no matter how justified-is a harmful habit. If you can learn to forgive others, you then free much of the energy you waste on anger, and thus take an important step toward becoming a happier person.
2. Work Out
Exercising improves looks, but more importantly, it elevates your mood. And when your body feels good, you’re bound to feel happier. Exercising releases hormones responsible for mood elevation, and can help stave off some age-related problems. Your physical health isn’t all that affects your happiness; but staying active and healthy is certainly an important way remain happy.
These days it’s an easy to rush around and take things too seriously. Stress is a part of everybody’s life, and it’s an almost overwhelming part for many people. But anxiety doesn’t just make us unhappy, it actively harms our bodies and reduces our quality of life.
If you can find a way to deal with stress, such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation, you will learn a lot about how to be a happier person in the modern world.
4. Get Enough Sleep
If you’ve ever had insomnia or skipped out on an night’s rest for studying, you then know first hand how big an effect our sleep has on your mood. In today’s world, it’s common to sacrifice sleep when life gets busy. However, a chronic lack of sleep will undermine your mood and health in the end. If you find yourself stressed and sad; but want to know how to become happy, the simplest step may just be to sleep more.
5. Get out in Nature
In today’s world, a lot of us live in cities of glass and steel and seldom spend much time outside at all. When you spend most of your day going back and forth, sitting inside at your home and at your job, your problems can seem awfully big sometimes.
Getting out and enjoying the natural world is a good way to de-stress and an even better step towards overall happiness. Somehow, being outside in the mountains or at the beach can remind us that there’s a wide world out there, and that our problems aren’t as big as they seem.
6. Make Friends
Loneliness sucks; and while not all of us need people to the same degree, we do need at least someone at some point in our lives. A wide variety of philosophies tell us that if we want to know how to be a happier person, we should learn to love and connect with other people.
If we have friends in our lives, it’s easier to weather our troubles. If it sounds hard to make friends, don’t worry—a lot of other people feel the same way. There are a lot of lonely people out there, and they may want a friend as badly as you do. So take your eyes off your phone next time you wait in line at a coffeeshop-strike up a conversation with a warm-faced stranger; good things and valuable friendships must gather root somewhere after all.
7. Face Your Fears
We all have things that scare us. It’s natural to want to avoid these things, but sometimes happiness lies not in avoiding our difficulties, but in meeting them bravely. Avoiding our fears empowers them; but actively solving these same fears helps empowers us.
8. Accentuate the Positive
It’s common for people to focus on the things that they wish were different in their lives. However, learning to focus on the positive is an important way to become a happier person. There’s a lot of good things going on in all of our lives, we just have to take the time to recognize them.
9. Do What You Love
We all have little things that we enjoy doing. Whether that’s surfing, writing poetry, gardening, studying foreign languages, or hiking, there are some things that we do out of passion and love and nothing else. Spend a little more time doing what you really enjoy, and watch yourself become a happier person.
10. Let Go of Guilt
Finally, we’ve all done things that we feel bad about. We’ve all made mistakes, and hurt others. While we should make every effort to make restitution when we’ve hurt someone else, after we’ve done this, we need to learn to forgive ourselves. After all: wisdom is living in a world where we’re as good as what we learn from past mistakes. Many of us are our own worst critics, but it is simply not reasonable to expect perfection from ourselves. When you learn to forgive and love yourself for who you are, you’ll take an important step toward happiness.