Happiness isn’t just a fleeting emotion, but a state of being. At least, it should be. We all want to be happy, and we all can be, if we really work towards it. Unfortunately, there is no manual that can teach us exactly what to do and what not to do in order to be happy. Each of us is too unique for this to be possible. However, experts agree that there are some general habits that one can adopt into their day to day life in order to cultivate a lifestyle of happiness.
Psychological Studies have shown that smiling, even when you are not necessarily happy to start with, can actually hack your brain and trigger a mood of happiness. When you engage those muscles used in smiling, your brain will automatically begin to function accordingly. The more you smile, the happier you will become. Literally.
Those who take a more positive outlook on life tend to be a lot happier in general. This isn’t to say that they don’t experience setbacks, but rather that they tackle them with a different mind-set instead of allowing these to break them down. Seeing a setback as a challenge instead of a defeat is just one step towards a more positive outlook on life.
Let go of the things you can’t control, and focus on those that you can
We waste so much time worrying about things that are totally out of our control. If there is literally nothing you can do about something, why waste your energy on it when you could be focusing your energy on the things you do have control over- such as your own career, your talents, your goals and your ambitions. The more energy you put into these things, the faster you will be able to achieve the life that you truly desire and deserve, and the happier you will become.
Take a walk on the wild side
Seriously- spending a little time outdoors will do wonders for your mood. Fresh air and some Sunlight promote happiness and positivity. Fresh air leaves you feeling rejuvenated and healthy, whereas natural Sunlight increases levels of the Hormone know as Serotonin, which is responsible for stabilizing mood and reducing stress.
We all remember the famous Jungle Book song that a happy go lucky Baloo sang to the young Mowgli. “Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife.” It was the Hymn to many of our childhoods, but is something many of us have lost touch with. Appreciating the smaller things in life can do wonders for your happiness. Reveling in something as simple as a walk along the beach, your favorite song playing on the radio or the beauty of the Sunset as you drive home from work, can create a happy mind-set. People who appreciate even the smallest of joys in life are generally a lot happier than those who do not.
Experts say that even 10 minutes of exercise per day can seriously improve your overall mood. Exercise releases endorphin’s- hormones that reduce stress and increase feelings of calmness and well being. Endorphin’s are the reason why some people can actually become addicted to the gym. So put your Yoga pants on and stretch your way to inner happiness!
Take up a hobby
Doing something you really love in your spare time is another excellent stress reliever, and will also lead to increased happiness. Whether its painting, dance classes, surfing or whatever else- take time out to devote to the pursuit that makes you feel happier and lighter about life. Too much work and no play is as bad as all play and no work.
Spend time with the right people
Spending your time around others who adopt a positive and happy outlook on life will greatly improve your chances at living a happy life. Many have said that happiness is contagious, and that is quite true. Body language and behaviour has a profound subconscious effect on the brain, and being around people who display body language and behaviour that portrays happiness will cause your brain to pick up on that and react accordingly. You will find yourself more energised, self-confident and generally happier. Spending time around people who actively build you up will also contribute to your overall happiness, and it’s important to surround yourself with those people who really make you feel good about yourself.
Be a little crazy (the GOOD kind of crazy)
Don’t be afraid to let your hair down from time to time. The moments we spent with our besties just behaving a little bit crazy without the slightest care for what others may have thought of us are some of the best moments of our lives. Throw your head back and laugh, dance like no one is watching or rock those bright purple socks with that yellow skirt. Why not? A little light hardheartedness takes the seriousness out of life. Life is too short to always worry about what other people think of you.
Surround yourself with happiness, and you will become happiness.