Everyone wants to be happy. And, although the definition of happiness may vary among individuals, it’s no secret that most of our pursuits in life are influenced by what we think brings us joy. Some people find fulfilment in building their career or caring for their family, while others spend their lives acquiring material things.
In the end, whatever priorities we set in life, it’s only us who can truly determine whether everything we’re doing (or some of it) allows us to live a happier life.
But what if you’re unhappy right now or feeling dissatisfied? You may be wondering: Is there a way to be happy or happier than before?
An oft-quoted but rather dated study found that 40% of people’s happiness is within their control, and although the number may be debatable, no new research has been done to disprove it. Other things that can affect one’s happiness include one’s upbringing, social environment, and certain genetic factors.
If you’re searching for advice on how to live a happier life, then here are some answers:
1. Actively pursue happiness
It’s good to know that you hold part of the key to your own happiness. Therefore, it’s essential to go after the things that bring you a sense of contentment or fulfilment.
This can mean:
- taking up a hobby you never had time for but always wanted to pursue
- leaving a toxic job or relationship
- adopting a pet
- indulging in some self-care
It doesn’t have to be something grand. In fact, simple things or gestures do bring joy.
2. Be kind to yourself
You deserve to be happy. If you’re unhappy and force yourself to keep giving, it will backfire. Doing this will leave you tired or even sick. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
If you’re disappointed in or frustrated with yourself because of failures, avoid being overly critical of and harsh to yourself. Just as you’re ready to give a friend compassionate advice, you should be able to do the same for yourself.
3. Focus on the good
Delight in the things you achieve or receive, big and small. Cherish every happy moment, no matter how short-lived. These things can inspire you to forge on during times of distress.
Focus on the good things and practise gratitude. Once this becomes a habit, it becomes easier to be happy.
4. Find sources of inspiration
It helps to seek people who provide inspiration and motivation to others. These may be successful public speakers or notable authors like Nick Vujicic, Brene Brown, Magic Johnson and Brian Tracy, who are focused on discussing happiness, self-actualisation or personal development. Find books or social media accounts that will help keep you motivated and grounded.
5. Practise meditation
There is plenty of research on the impact of meditation on people’s capacity to be happy. Thanks to neuroplasticity or the brain’s ability to change and grow, meditation — when practised regularly — can help ‘rewire’ the brain and increase a person’s ability to find and experience happiness.
Everything on this list is simple to do, which means you can begin as early as now to live a happier life.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.
This information does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before making a decision, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation or needs.