We all seek answers to what makes us truly happy. Some of these ideas might surprise you or they might be something you are already working on. But one thing is sure: we cannot remind ourselves enough of the importance of these seven contributors to a happy life.
Way # 1. Admit When You are Wrong
Being happy doesn’t mean that you will hold all of the answers to life’s questions. You will still enter situations and make wrong decisions along your path. To maintain long-term happiness, make sure you are promptly admitting (to yourself and others) when you are wrong.
When you fail to recognise or admit being wrong, you close the door on the opportunity. When inventing the telescope, Sir Isaac Newton went through many rounds of trial and error before he emerged with a finished project. Newton was able to recognise his mistakes and allowed them to contribute to the final product, the first working telescope. And this is why we all know his name today.
Recognising when you are wrong creates room for possibility and change in your life. Humbling yourself by accepting your mistakes gives you access to a better perspective. After all, each mistake is a part of your overall success.
Way # 2. Eliminate Toxic People, Places, and Things
Trust yourself enough to recognise which parts of your life aren’t serving you anymore. Are you tired of keeping in touch with your “friend” from high school? Do you dislike your work environment? Do your eating habits frustrate you? Don’t ignore the constant negative impact that frustrations have on your life. You have the power to surround yourself with healthy, positive influences. It is never easier to “just deal with it”; it’s always the right time to eliminate this negativity.
If you no longer get along with people from your childhood, you are not obligated to maintain your relationships. If you are sick of going to your job every day, make a change. If your eating habits drive you crazy, start eating healthy today! Toxic people, places, and things will take advantage of your happiness. It is essential to take away their power over your well being to keep yourself healthy and happy.
Way # 3. Find Your Passion
What would you do if money wasn’t an object? What activity would you rush to begin? When do you feel most at peace? While real-world responsibilities, we often keep our passions at bay. It is important to make time for activities you love. Even feeling stuck in your career will get better when you feel engaged in other passions in your life. Create a work-life balance that allows enough time to actively pursue your passions.
If you are having trouble finding the time, try waking up half an hour earlier than you normally do. This will create some space in your life for the time that you can devote to whatever you choose before your day takes you away. Start by trying a meditation practice: it will clear your mind and help you discover your purpose. Even if you start small, dedicating time to something YOU choose to do will help you dictate the path of your happiness.
Way # 4. Express Your Gratitude
If you can admit your shortcomings, you can start expressing your gratitude for life’s gifts. Society is always searching for the “key” to happiness because positive emotions wear off quickly. Instead of looking for the next object, person, or position that you believe is the key to your happiness, try expressing gratitude for what you already have on a daily basis.
According to a study, our gratitude habits directly impact our happiness. After 10 weeks, participants who kept a brief journal of things they were grateful for each day were 25% happier than those who listed daily annoyances. That makes a whole lot of difference!
A gratitude practice helps you be a more active participant in your life. By default, you will begin to notice the good around you instead of the bad. Eventually, you won’t need a new pair of shoes to sustain your happiness. You will instead be filled with the joy of what’s around you already.
Way # 5. Learn How to Say No
We can’t make everyone happy all the time. People pleasing is an easy trap to fall into that will end up leaving you no time for yourself. It is human nature to want to be loved, but the first person you need to love is yourself. You will never create lasting happiness in your life if you constantly say “yes” to everyone in your life.
Learning how to say “no” does not mean you are selfish. It only means that you have enough self-awareness to know when you need to take care of you. Listen to your body when it warns you about needing rest. Don’t wear yourself thin because you feel like you “should”. Lasting happiness only comes to those who know what makes them tick, so listen to your clock!
Way # 6. Be of Service
There are many sayings noting that the secret to happiness is helping others. Everyone from Buddha to St. Francis proclaimed the same message: it is better to give than to receive. Most of us heard this adage growing up, but scientists have proved our mothers right!
Brain imaging technology has shown that being of service and giving sends signals to the sections of the brain that are also stimulated by food and sex. As strange as it may sound, many other experiments prove that our brain is wired to enjoy helping others.
Helping other people takes us out of ourselves and our self-obsession. The act of service puts our lives into perspective and gives us a sense of purpose. Investing time and money to help people in need will be the greatest decision you ever make.
Way # 7. Stay Positive
This advice is a cornerstone of the happiness pursuit. It is important to remember that it’s normal to have bad days, feel sad, or just want to be alone — that is part of being human. The key to happiness is simply recognising that negative emotions and bad days are just that normal.
However, do not attach feelings of failure or stress to an incident when something isn’t going your way. Staying positive when you feel good is easy. The key to lasting happiness is to stay positive when things go wrong. Let yourself feel “bad” feelings, but don’t let them make your outlook negative. If you look at each disappointment or letdown through a positive lens, you will begin to see the story of your life take shape. Nothing will make you happier than that.