Being happy is a major goal of most peoples’ lives. We list being happy among our top life goals, right up their with having a job we like and a life partner to share it all with. We might forget that happiness is a feeling that comes and goes, rather than something we can attain through experiences, material objects, or hard work.
Optimists seem to always be happy. They are cheery, see the bright side in conflicts, and always have a solution to problems that come up. Some people seem to live life with a joy that comes from someplace else, and nothing can dull their shine.
Happiness is all a matter of perspective. We can look at what we have and compare it to others- in some cases, what we have seems like nothing at all, while to others we look rich in comparison. We need to keep in mind that happiness isn’t the ultimate goal, but rather a feeling that happens to us every so often.
Here are nine ways to boost your levels of happiness during your life to cultivate feelings of gratitude, selflessness, and serenity.
- Keep your conversations positive. When you’re talking to your friends, your family, or yourself, keep the conversation centered on things that make you happy. Bring up funny stories, something cool you learned, or celebrate someone’s good news. There’s nothing worse than being the one person in the room with nothing good to say about anything.
- Celebrate the day. At the end of every day, think of a few things that made that day special. Even if you can only come up with one thing, make sure to celebrate that moment. You can celebrate these moments by yourself or with those around you. Cultivating this gratefulness can lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.
- Connect with your inner kid. There’s a moment in all of our lives where we lose our inner child. We stop creating and playing with abandon; we find it harder to make friends, and we struggle to find joy in the everyday situations we come across. As an adult its especially important to connect with your inner child by being creative, by singing, or by participating in hobbies that make you feel young and happy.
- Center yourself in joy. Our emotions are deeply connected to who we choose to spend our time with. We can’t always choose who we work with or for, but we can choose our friends and our loved ones. By surrounding yourself with joyful people, you engage with people who have a positive outlook on life. This creates an atmosphere of fun and happiness that influences your attitude for the better.
- Radiate positivity. How we think about the world around us influences how we react to it. By thinking happier thoughts, we can change how our brain sees conflict and challenges. Focus on what makes you happy around you, whether it is a person, nature, or something else. Take time to breathe, splash in a puddle, grab a coffee, or do something else that makes you feel special.
- Make challenges fun. Consider each challenge as a puzzle that needs a creative solution. By brainstorming, you can engage your mind and think of ways to improve your life at the same time. The fun is in the solving of the problem.
- Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a close friend. All too often our internal critic is incredibly mean, and we aren’t very gracious or kind to ourselves. When talking to yourself about your life, a problem you’re facing, or any other issue, be gracious. Give yourself space to brainstorm, to feel what you’re feeling, and to gather strength to deal with the day. Talk to yourself as if you were a close friend and minimize how much judgement you are placing on yourself. You are your harshest critic.
- Find what makes you happy and do it often. Take the ‘treat yourself’ attitude to a whole new level! Find what makes you feel good and run with it. Take an hour or more out of your week to read a new book, grab coffee with a friend, or just sit and enjoy some peace for a few minutes. You deserve happiness, and you deserve the time it takes to find what brings you joy.
- Make others happy. Whether it’s buying someone else’s coffee unexpectedly or paying someone a compliment, going out of your way to radiate happiness into someone else’s life can go a long way. Their happiness will spill over into your life and continue the cycle of positivity. Giving of yourself to others is the grandest gesture we can give.
Cultivate happiness in your life today. What can you do to make yourself and others happy this week?