Do you consider yourself to be a happy person? What do you do each day to contribute to your happiness? While most people would say that attaining happiness is their number one goal, few take the time to deliberately focus on achieving it. Anyone can be happy, but like any other goal worth accomplishing; it takes work. Follow these tips every day and you will be well on your way to becoming a happier person.
1. Eat well. The quality of food that you put into your body can make a big difference in both your health and your happiness. Since we are all so busy, it can be tempting to resort to processed foods, which are often high in fat and salt and low in nutrients. Take some time to plan your meals and to shop for the week. If you have lots of fruits and vegetables available, as well as foods that are high in protein and nutrients, you will make decisions that are better for your diet and your health.
2. Exercise. Being physically active is important for both your mental and your physical health. It is recommended that you have at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Find something that you enjoy doing, whether it be yoga, rollerblading, or playing basketball, and have fun with it. You can even bring a friend along to make it a little more enjoyable.
3. Take time to be grateful. We all have so much to be grateful for, but we often spend more of our time focusing on what we don't have. Break that bad habit. Before you go to sleep each night, think of one thing in your life for which you are thankful.
4. Help somebody. Sometimes in order to be happy, you need to step outside of yourself and do something for someone else. Whenever you see someone in a difficult situation, do what you can to help them. You may even consider volunteering or joining an organization where you can contribute to the community on a regular basis.
5. Do something fun. You spend so much time working and taking care of your home and your loved ones, but when was the last time that you forgot about all of your responsibilities and just had fun? While you may not be able to schedule fun into every day, make it a priority at least once a week. Fun is not a frivolous activity; it is an important mental and emotional release that will contribute to your overall health.
6. Find your purpose. What will be your legacy? When you leave this earth, what will you leave behind? Take some time to consider what you believe your purpose to be. It could be related to your business, your career, your children, or your community. Since you are a unique individual, your purpose is no less unique. Once you have a goal in mind, make sure that you dedicate some time each day to work on it.
7. Practice compassion. It can be tempting to judge others, but it doesn't actually make you happy. Have you ever noticed how you actually feel after a gossip session? Yes, there may be a feeling of self-satisfaction, but most of us don't actually feel very good. Instead of judging, try to show some compassion and consider where the other person may be coming from. Often, when people are being difficult, it is because their circumstances are challenging. When you make an effort to be kinder and gentler to the people around you, it gives you a sense of well-being and it contributes to your happiness.
8. Assume that people have good intentions. How do you view the world? Are you suspicious of people that you don't know, or do you generally trust others? When you are always expecting the worst from people, it's true that there is no way that they can disappoint you, but this mentality causes you a lot of additional stress and it prevents you from reaching out to others. If you expect good from the world, you will usually receive it.
9. Get organized. It is difficult to be happy when you are always running around looking for something. Set aside a day or two when you can dedicate the time that you need to get yourself organized. Once you have everything in order, be sure to devote at least half an hour a day to keeping it that way.
10. Build an emergency fund. You can't be happy when you are constantly worried about what tomorrow may bring. Instead of worrying about a potential crisis, prepare for one. Start an emergency fund and put a little money into it each month. As your emergency fund grows, so will your peace of mind.
Happiness isn't really a destination; it is part of the journey. In order to be happy, we need to truly live it every day. Consider the words of Norman Vincent Peale, "Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast".