We all know that happiness can affect our health and that our health can affect our happiness. But did you know that there are little things that you can tweak in your everyday life to become a happier person?
There are many factors in our lives that are completely out of our control, and these factors can have an impact on overall happiness. If you are living in a conflict zone you are going to experience less happiness. If you are living in an economically depressed area where your basic needs are not being met you are going to have less opportunity for happiness. And if you are ill or if your loved one is ill you are going to have less opportunity to feel happiness.But these are things that happen from time to time in your life, so building a happy life can help insure against unhappiness when these things do come about.
Being unhappy can lead to a cycle of further unhappiness that is difficult to break free from. When you are already unhappy normal life experiences like getting a flat tire or losing your job can seem insurmountable, leading you into a spiral of anxiety and depression that continues to suck you down deeper. Practicing habits that make you feel happier on a regular basis is a good insurance policy against the downward spiral.
Psychologists say that people need the right mix of things like a sense of purpose, occasional sadness, autonomy, mastery of a subject, a sense of belonging, psychological flexibility, and more in order to be happy. That’s right, you do actually have to face adversity once in a while in order to feel true happiness. How would you know when times are good if you never face adversity?
So what can you do to feel happier? Start by practicing empathy. That’s right, being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes can actually make you feel better about your life. Understanding that everyone has a tough road to follow can help you realize that you are not alone on your journey.
The happiest man in the world, Matthieu Ricard, meditates on happiness for at least fifteen minutes a day. Thinking happy thoughts can actually make you feel happier overall. Even when bad things are happening it’s important to find the positive and work to focus on that for a while in order to break the sadness’ hold over you.
In addition to these very important habits, there are a few others that can help you achieve your happiest life possible. Living in the moment is a great way to tune out all the extra stuff you don’t need and prevent it from dragging you down. Being grateful for what you have also takes the focus off of what you don’t have. Spending time outdoors is great for two reasons – sunlight is good for your health on occasion and getting outside gets you away from screens.
Learn more about these and other habits of the world’s happiest people from this infographic!