Need some help on how to find happiness or just plain getting your happy switch turned to the “on” position?
Well, after a lot of research and double-checking all of the latest scientific data my friend Sue-Ann Bubacz and I put together this incredible 100 plus tips and life lessons for happiness!
Ready? Here we go.
Happy. Happier. Happiness.
Just those words bring visions of peace, contentment, and joy, don’t they? But feeling happy can be fleeting, like a candy sugar rush, here then gone. So, the question is, how can you get, keep, and reboot that feeling?
Happy people, as many studies show, understand happiness reigns from the inside-out, so the external happiness adrenaline rush from things, events, or other people outside of yourself doesn’t cut it. Not if you want to be (or are) truly happy.
According to a long term study by Harvard, not even money buys happiness. Sorry if that’s the secret to happiness you thought you were missing.
Wiki explains the formal results of the study, saying,
“Beyond the point at which people have enough to comfortably feed, clothe, and house themselves, having more money – even a lot more money – makes them only a little bit happier. However, we can sometimes get more happiness bang for our buck by spending it in prosocial ways.” A Harvard Business School study found that ‘spending money on others actually makes us happier than spending it on ourselves’.”
But here’s a bit of good news;
Daniel Gilbert explains that, “Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.’
According to George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University’s Teachers College,
“…positive construals can be taught. We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things.”
Kevin Daum’s report expands on the happiness premise for Inc Magazine,
“Happiness is a personal objective only reached by knowing what it looks like for you. Happy people understand what makes them happy and are therefore able to make changes in their life to eliminate unhappiness. They don’t hope for happiness, they decide to make it happen.”
That being the case, let’s get to it to help you shape your happy self.
Balance your mind, body, and soul;
Creating a happy outlook to live by starts in the mind, but telling yourself to be positive is not the answer. Instead, forcing a “stay positive” mantra may be detrimental to a get happy plan. Plus, trying to force a positive attitude on yourself may give you extra stress and anxiety rather than bolstering your happiness.
Shit happens and letting yourself feel those negative feelings will actually help you stay happier in the long run.
Still, your mind is the playground where happiness lives. And, while mindset and attitude do influence finding happiness, it’s sparking the brain’s synapses and creating serotonin and endorphins that matter.
The mental-physical-emotional or mind-body-spirit mix gives a gentle, balanced approach to a rational and workable method to promote and grow happiness via action.
An active body and mind in motion are the critical starting points to getting your happiness situated firmly in place.
While there’s an overlap between mind, body, and soul in this list of acts to stimulate your well-being and happiness, the suggestions and to-do’s are sorted by the primarily benefited areas.
Let’s start at the top, working first from the mind, try these:
Boost your brain;
-Say yes to something new and expand your mind beyond what it already knows.
-Try journaling to:
- Get things off your mind
- Collect thoughts and ideas
- Note important things in your day/life
- Get organized or plan
- Start a creative process
-Adopt a serious reading habit to stimulate the mind, to continue learning, to seek out more, and to understand our minimal role in a bigger world. Mix it up in what you read while you’re at it! Make a list of books you want to read and even break down your reading into categories to rotate so you don’t burnout on a topic or genre.
–Test and exercise your mind, adding a fun twist by playing mind games, board games, puzzles, or crosswords.
-Create a Vision Board or start a Dream Doodlers Scrapbook to visualize dreams and ideas via a creative outlet. Allow yourself the rule of no rules with this one!
–Experiment with adding the value of mediation or yoga to calm your mind and spirit.
-Take a new course that seems like fun, whether for business or pleasure.
Move your body for a happy brain;
Activity to stimulate serotonin or dopamine comes through gentler activities so don’t tell yourself you can’t until you take a look at the following possibilities to get your body in motion:
-It’s as easy as walking, dancing, biking, hiking.
-How about gardening, baking or cooking, or decluttering, sorting, and organizing? Along with taking action to accomplish these kinds of tasks, the results are satisfying and productive as well.
-Play a team sport in your community or participate in yard games like croquet or badminton or horseshoes or Bocchi or volleyball, etc. Go bowling, maybe?
-How about some cleaning… vacuuming, scrubbing, dusting, mopping, oh yeah.
-Wash your car and clean out your garage (or shed or spare room); water the lawn while you have the garden hose out.
-Organize a treasure hunt game for your family in your yard or at a nearby park.
-Hey, have a picnic or bbq while you’re outside too!
-Get out for fresh air and sunlight—your body needs it—and observe.
-Take in nature any way that is accessible to you. Yes, having plants in your environment help too!
-Start a rock, shell, or other nature-themed collection.
-Schedule outdoor activities to experience and stimulate your senses and tickle your creativity.
Soothe your soul;
Spirituality, mental and physical well-being, as well as mindset, all play a role in achieving underlying contentment and a happy lifestyle. Stimulating your mind and body through the practices listed above, working in tandem with the next items to experiment with, gives you a well-rounded approach to being happy.
Try these to take your spirits higher and drive a happy life approach:
-Yoga and meditation, as mentioned earlier, induce the happy feeling chemistry to bump up in your brain, but also allow you to calm your spirit.
-Activities like painting, sketching, sewing or knitting, crafting, colouring, drawing, scrapbooking, or photography, also calm us and stimulate us at the same time.
-Interact with family or friends by playing games or cards or partaking in other family play. But to get plenty of this social (offline) interaction, make it a priority by making sure to schedule fun to create memories.
-Find an “Attitude of Gratitude” in some way for a powerful boost to finding balance in life. For some, this is as simple as taking in nature in silence and seeing, hearing, feeling, and experiencing the natural and utter beauty all around us.
-A Gratitude Journal helps in reminding yourself of the good (and many) things to be grateful for in life, despite struggles or problems. Writing down three things you are grateful for each morning gives you a positive attitude as you attack each new day.
-Practice stoicism and get a handle on your ego for best results in finding your happiness.
“Stoicism holds that the key to a good, happy life is the cultivation of an excellent mental state, which the Stoics identified with virtue and being rational. The ideal life is one that is in harmony with Nature, of which we are all part and an attitude of calm indifference towards external events.”
Pay gratitude forward;
-Volunteer, contribute, share, teach, or give to others to improve your well-being and increase happiness intrinsically.
“Supporting others rebalances the weight of attention we pay to our inner self to the outer world. It also activates hardwired, ancient brain circuits that release feel-good brain chemicals such as oxytocin and serotonin and prevents the release of chemicals that impair immunity and promote fear.” Pat Dossett and Andrew Huberman, Fastcompany.
-Give yourself a cultural treat like theatre, ballet, stage musical or concert; visit a museum, attend an art exhibit, or check out the aviary or a botanical garden.
–Laughter is good for you, so embrace humour to lighten your soul and manifest in physical well-being. “If you’re happy, tell your face,” and experience a positive impact inside and outside of yourself.
-Watch a comedy or comedian and laugh it out!
-Exchange a “joke of the day” with a circle of friends or colleagues.
-Jot down inspirational quotes, laughs, and ideas each day.
-Enlist the power of Color Therapy using light and colour to create a happy feeling atmosphere. Your surroundings, including colour and clutteredness, affect your mood and focus.
Take it Up an Octave
-Singing is a feel-good release, and it doesn’t matter how you sound or where you sing, just belt it out!
-Create a party or celebration for no reason, or make a holiday up.
-Have an indoor picnic, design a get-together around a single colour.
-Write lists to relieve your mind, create to-do’s, and keep track of progress and purpose. Try writing what you did do instead of what you need to do.
-Write and mail a letter or card to someone you love or haven’t been in touch with lately.
-Create personalized activities calendars for personal or business use and add stickers to denote accomplishments.
-Organize photos and memorabilia.
-Commit to completing a passion project—something you’ve always wanted to do—and do it!
-Take a cooking class, ballet class, try a sculpture.
-Take self-defence or karate class.
-Learn a new computer skill.
-Write a book, poetry, or lyrics.
-Frame your thoughts around solutions and not problems, thereby expecting the best at every turn.