We all strive to reach a state of happiness in our own ways but, all too often, we’re left feeling disappointed or dissatisfied with our lot. It’s easy to assume that once we reach a particular goal or obtain something specific, our happiness levels will soar, and we’ll feel content. In reality, however, the same feelings of emptiness creep in surprisingly quickly.
So, how can you create a life that’s truly happy? If everything you’ve tried so far hasn’t generated the results you’re looking for, you might be assuming that striving for happiness is a fool’s errand, but it doesn’t have to be. With these six tips, you can make simple changes and learn to live a happier and more contented life:
1. Rethink Your Goals
It’s good to have goals in life as they give you something to work towards and keep you motivated, but it’s more important to have the right goals. Often, we aim for things simply because we assume we want them. External factors, such as family, friends and society, tell us, either subconsciously or consciously, what the right path in life is and we tend to follow it rather rigidly.
Of course, if you’re chasing goals that you don’t genuinely aspire to, it’s not surprising that they don’t deliver long-term happiness or satisfaction when you achieve them.
Before you begin reaching for your next target, take some time to think about what you really want out of life. There needn’t be a set path that everyone follows, particularly if staying with the status quo doesn’t appeal to you. When you set goals that you’re truly excited to achieve, you’ll find that achieving them brings an authentic sense of happiness into your life.
2. Become Someone You’re Proud Of
There are many ways to be successful in life, but they aren’t all admirable. If you cut corners or exploit others for your own benefit, for example, you might achieve material success but, deep down, feelings of shame or self-loathing will negate any short-lived happiness your success brings.
When you become a better person, however, you can be proud of your character and your behavior. While everyone has faults, learning to identify them, being honest with yourself and taking steps to improve yourself can transform your life and make you happier than you thought possible.
To get started, take a look at this blog post and discover actionable ways to become a better person. With advice and motivation from ex-boxer, Ed Latimore, you can begin taking steps to become the person you’ve always dreamed of being. As you progress on your journey, you’ll find that feeling proud of who you are has a meaningful impact on how happy you feel.
3. Surround Yourself with People Who Lift You Up
Your surroundings have a major effect on your mood, outlook and how happy you feel. However, this doesn’t just apply for your physical surroundings or your environment; it applies to people too. Even if you’re spending time in a palatial environment, you won’t find happiness if you’re surrounded by people that undermine you or knock your confidence, for example.
In contrast, being surrounded by positive and uplifting people can have a positive effect on your own well-being. Of course, close friends and family members may provide us with criticism or feedback from time to time and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, constructive criticism gives us pause for thought and allows us to make positive life changes.
However, choosing to spend time with people who inspire you, motivate you and bring out the best in you will enable you to be your most authentic self and, as a result, you’ll feel happier in your own skin.
4. Focus on What You Have
We live in a materialistic world and it’s almost second nature to spend time coveting the things that you haven’t got. Whether it’s a larger home, a newer car or the latest games console, there are always bigger and better things that we aspire to own. While having financial goals can be a positive aspect of your life, feeling resentful or bitter that you don’t have everything you want isn’t going to bring you joy.
As you work towards achieving your objectives, take time to focus on what you do have and be genuinely grateful for it. As you spend time reflecting on the positive aspects of your life, it will evoke an authentic reaction of contentment and gratefulness. What’s more – you’ll find that the desire for material goods wanes as you focus on the things that you really value in life.
5. Prioritize Your Physical Health
We may not have total control over our health, but we can certainly take steps to optimize our well-being. You can’t always prevent an injury or illness, for example, but there are some health issues that are preventable. By living a healthy lifestyle, you can improve your physical well-being, reduce the risk of numerous illnesses and reduce the symptoms of unavoidable health issues.
As well as changing how you feel physically, this also has an impact on your emotional well-being. Exercise is a known mood-booster, for example, which means you can transform how you feel simply by working out regularly. As the mind and body are inextricably linked, any steps you take to improve your physical health will have a positive effect on your emotional well-being and your happiness levels too.
6. Learn to Manage Stress
Stress can come from all sorts of issues and, in many ways, it’s a natural part of life. However, too much stress can have a serious impact on your health and will certainly affect how joyful you feel. From major life events, like a relationship breakdown, to everyday niggles, such as a broken water pipe or a faulty car, there are endless things that push your stress levels up.
Unless you learn how to manage stress in a healthy way, you’re going to find it hard to enjoy the happiness you’ve worked so hard to create for yourself. While it’s natural to feel frustrated or even overwhelmed from time-to-time, learning to recognize the signs of stress gives you an opportunity to stop them in their tracks.
From practical changes, like learning to say no or readjusting your schedule, to improving your well-being with meditation and mindfulness, there are a variety of stress management techniques you can use. By finding ones that work for you, you can ensure that excess stress doesn’t become a barrier to a happiness or fulfilment.
Making the Most of Every Moment
It’s not unusual for people to inadvertently sabotage their own happiness because they assume that something ‘bad’ is waiting for them around the corner. If you find that you’re constantly waiting for something to go wrong, for example, you dilute the power of the present moment and ignore the opportunities for happiness that are in front of you. Instead of focusing on what the future might hold, practice staying in the moment instead. This will enable you to feel content and happy with where you are in life and allow you to make the most of every moment.