Learning how to increase levels of happiness is by far one of the most searched for things by people all over the world. In attempt to find some answers, David Myers, author of his book The Pursuit of Happiness, provides strategies how you can boost happiness in your daily life. I share some of his suggestions from the book below…
- Realize that enduring happiness doesn’t come from success. Just like being wealthy or healthy, its absence creates misery, but having it doesn’t necessarily guarantee happiness.
- Take control of your time. Happy people feel in control of their lives, often by mastering the use of their time. Its helpful to set goals and break them up into daily tasks. Although we often times get frustrated by overestimation with how much we will accomplish in a day, we tend to underestimate how much we can truly accomplish with simply small steps towards our goals every day.
- Act happy. When we put on a smile (even if we really don’t feel like it), this facial expression triggers signals to our brain that our body must be feeling happy. Talk as if you feel positive, full of self-esteem, optimistic, and outgoing and soon enough your mind may start to believe it.
- Seek work and leisure that engage your skills. Happy people are more likely to be in a mental state called “flow” (see my article about flow here). They get engaged in tasks that challenge them without overwhelming them, such as gardening, socializing, or craftwork to name a few.
- Start moving! A multitude of research reveals that aerobic exercise not only promotes health and energy, but is also an aide for mild depression and anxiety. A healthy mind begins with a healthy body.
- Give your body adequate sleep. Happy people live active, vigorous lives yet reserve time for renewing sleep. Many people suffer from sleep debt, resulting in feelings of fatigue, reduced focus, and gloomy moods.
- Prioritize close relationships. Close friendships with those who deeply care about you can help you get through difficult times. Confiding in one another is good for the soul and body, so make sure to nurture your closest relationships. Act lovingly, display kindness, share quality time together, and make room for fun.
- Focus beyond yourself. “Those who feel good do good”, as happiness increases helpfulness. Reach out to those in need, and you will also reap the benefits.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Take some time each day (morning or evening) to pause and reflect on positive aspects of your life such as your health, friends, family, freedom, education, senses, natural surroundings, etc. For tips on how to start a gratitude journal, read my post on Gratitude Journaling 101.
- Nurture your spiritual self. Faith provides a support community, a reason to focus beyond the self, and a sense of purpose and hope. Numerous studies show that actively religious or spiritual people are happier and are able to cope better with crises.
What do you think? Are you ready to incorporate these tips for a happier life? Share in the comments below.