Steps to Living a Happier Life
Updated: Apr 5
Surround Yourself with People who Make you Happy
Relationships with family and friends take time. Make time to nurture relationships with people that you love and care about and that love and care about you. Sharing experiences and memories with these people will fill your heart with joy. These are also the people that will help you through the difficult times as you will for them.
Make Time to Laugh
Have you ever heard the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”? Well, it's true! Laughter is free and you don’t have to remember to pack it. You just need to remember to squeeze it into your life. Laughing can cause beneficial physical changes to your body. Laughter can relieve stress and minor pains and give you a renewed boost of energy. Fill your life with people that make you laugh, go see comedies, tell yourself jokes and always remember to laugh at yourself. “Laughter heals all wounds, and that’s one thing that everybody shares. No matter what you’re going through, it makes you forget about your problems. I think the world should keep laughing.” Kevin Hart
Move that Body
Sitting all day is unhealthy for both the mind and the body. Fitting exercise into your life on a regular basis has proven to provide many psychological benefits, like improved self-esteem. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." That feeling, known as a "runner's high," can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. Start a walking group with friends or family or try some sports that you might enjoy.
Fit Meditation into Your Schedule
According to Mental Health America, meditation which comes in many variations has long been acknowledged as a tool to master the mind and cope with stress. Science is increasingly validating those claims, especially for depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and PTSD.
Fill Your Time with Things you Love to Do
Have you ever noticed that when you’re doing things you love, you are filled with joy? Whether it be playing tennis, scrap booking or meeting up with a friend for a movie, do what you love. When you are doing what you love, you’ll find that you are filled with joy. With school, practices, work or chores filling your schedule, its important to make sure you schedule time for things you love to do.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Go outside for at least 15 minutes; on a cold day you can walk briskly and at least get some sun on your face. The sun helps your body produce vitamin D, which many people have a deficiency of.
When you eat right, you feel better both physically and mentally. You will also avoid that guilty feeling that you just pigged out on junk food. It’s definitely o.k. to indulge in your favorite unhealthy foods now and then. Balance is key!
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to express your feelings and write down things that make you happy and not happy. Finishing your day with a journal entry, can help you determine triggers for your unhappy moments. Once those triggers are defined, you can learn how to avoid or prepare to deal with them.
Get Enough Sleep
Harvard Health says “Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health”. Most experts recommend 8-10 hours of sleep for the average teen. Getting a good night’s sleep will help you manage stress and get through your daily activities much easier. Everything seems more difficult when you are tired.
Family or friend traditions create a feeling of security that can help see you through hard times. The holidays are a great time to continue family traditions or to start some of your own. Having fun traditions to look forward to can also help you focus on a positive and help you through some down days.
Do Something Different
Changing your scenery or trying something new can be a great way to recharge your mind and body. It doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation to be effective. Getting fresh air on a local hike or a day at the beach are perfect ways to change your everyday scenery and help freshen your spirit.
Forgive and Forget
Life unfortunately includes people that hurt or disappoint. It can be very difficult to forget and move on from the past. Bitterness and anger can keep you from being happy. If you can’t work it out with this person, at least try your best to let go and move your focus from the hurt onto a bright future.
Grab a softball and play a game of toss, have a water balloon fight, or a game of tag. Have a family game night and play board games that make you laugh. Find what activity makes you laugh and smile and fit it into your life regularly.
Many people have successful lives but still feel empty. When we help others, this can often fill that emptiness. Volunteer or make a meaningful contribution to another person and you may find it will be big source of happiness for yourself. Try to do something nice for someone once a day. It can be as simple as opening a door for someone.
Live Your Best Life
Have integrity and treat people with kindness. But, make sure you live life on your terms. Stop worrying about what everybody thinks about you. Remember, what other people think about you is none of your business. As Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Accept who you are, just be yourself, and you’ll feel a world of difference.
Eliminate the Negative
Negative thinking will always bring you down. Become more aware of it and try replacing your negative thoughts with some positive ones. Spend less time with negative people and more time with positive people.
Try to remember all the things you have to be grateful for. It’s easy to forget all the important but wonderful things we have in our life, like family, a roof over our head, food and friends. When we learn to appreciate what we already have, we begin to feel happier.
Manage Your Expectations
You can’t expect to feel happy every day. Unfortunately, bad things happen in life. Learn to manage the good and bad that life can throw our way.
You can trick your brain into thinking its happy by smiling often. Try it.
Due to neurolinguistic programming, a trigger, like a smile, cues the brain to feel the same feelings it had the last time those muscles were used.