Happiness is not difficult to achieve. In fact, it is a choice you make every day. It’s not a secret, there is no classified recipe for happiness. However, there are things you can do to promote happiness and tools you can use to enhance your happiness. Most of these ‘tools’ are nothing more than common sense, but applying them to our own lives can be difficult. We all want to be happier but many of us simply don’t know how. These 10 tools to enhance your happiness will help you to live a happier more fulfilled life, every single day.
10 Tools to Enhance Your Happiness…
Open your Optimistic Mind
It is so easy to fall into the trap of negativity. Financial strains, family problems, school and work commitments, all take their toll on our mental well-being. Unfortunately, life is stressful (and it always will be) but how we approach this stress is what impacts how we live. When faced with a difficult situation, look for the silver lining. Even in the most stressful scenarios, there is a positive point.
For example: Maybe you don’t like your job and the thought of going to work is frustrating or depressing. While I would suggest seeking other employment, that is not always a viable option. Instead, try to find one thing that you enjoy and focus on that. Perhaps you have a great co-worker who always makes you smile or maybe you enjoy one aspect of your position. Focus on that and find ways to do it more often. Approach your manager or boss and tell them how much you enjoy this task. Find ways to do more of what you like and express to management the ways that it would benefit the company.
While some situations may appear to be completely negative, often times we can put a positive spin on them, or find at least one thing we like about them. Look deep and aim to be optimistic. When you focus on the good in a situation it tends to change your overall outlook.
Finding solutions is the key to creating happiness. Approaching your boss with ideas that allow you to do more of a task you enjoy is a great example of taking an active role in your happiness. You may not love every aspect of what you do, but if you can do more of what you love it will make it easier.
Ask yourself, what is it that is making me unhappy and how you I change it? Brainstorm solutions and find ways to implement them into your daily life. If it is money that has you down, for example, find ways that you can save even a little here and there, or look for opportunities to make more. It may seem daunting at first, but even the smallest solution (like saving $5 a week) will lead to more ideas down the road.
The solutions are there, you simply have to find them. Get creative and ask for help if you need it. Sometimes friends can provide helpful ideas we didn’t consider.
Make Use of Media
Google and YouTube are truly amazing tools. Whatever the problem, the internet has an answer. There are ample amounts of how-to videos, great websites and personal advice available at your fingertips. The internet can help you come up with ideas, answer questions, provide a mental break or make you laugh when you need it most. Of course, there is always this site as well, with numerous articles and ideas on creating and inviting happiness into your life every day.
Laugh Out Loud a Little
Laughter really is the best medicine.
Laughter is so powerful when you are feeling down and defeated. A good laugh can instantly lift your mood. So, find a way to smile and laugh; even if you have to fake it at first. A silly video, a call to a funny friend, or your favorite comedy are all good options to get your giggle on.
Not in the mood to laugh? Fake it. Studies show that smiling, real or not, actually increases your overall mood levels. So if you are not able to make yourself laugh, try smiling instead… This works even better when you do it out in public.. Especially if you smile at strangers and small children. Children (especially when they are not your own) have a magical way of making your polite smile a real one in seconds.
Get inspired… whatever that means to you. If you enjoy writing, write. If you can paint, paint. Draw, or sing, or dance, or… You get the idea. Creativity is a great way to enhance your happiness. If you have a talent, use it as much as you can.
Not a creative type? That’s okay. You can still invite inspiration into your daily life. Find something that makes you feel good, walking, hiking, meditation, reading, etc.. and do it as often as you can. Sometimes inspiration is as simple as sitting quietly for a few minutes and allowing your mind to wander. Just pay attention to those thoughts and aim to keep them on the positive side.
Mind your Mind
Mental Health is often ignored and yet it is just as important as your physical well-being. While social campaigns are easing the stigma that surrounds mental health by encouraging people to talk openly about it, there is still a great deal of work to be done. For many people, addressing mental health issues is a simple money matter… They can’t afford therapy. If this is the issue that you face be sure to look around your community, many cities offer counseling services free or on a sliding scale. Also, consider group therapy or look to a counselor rather than a therapist. Often times, counseling is cheaper than a registered therapist and the services are beneficial to those not suffering from serious mental illnesses that require medications.
If counseling is not required then simply be sure to check in on your mental health once in awhile. Ask yourself, “how am I feeling?” and try to understand what it is that is making you feel that way. Don’t stress out if you are feeling down. Everyone gets in a rut sometimes. Get to know the signs of depression and be sure to address the issue if you think that you might be suffering or if you have felt ‘off’ for an extended period of time. Often, however, it is simply a matter of making little changes in life to help enhance happiness.
I don’t think we celebrate enough. Even the smallest accomplishments deserve recognition. Maybe you didn’t reach a big goal that you have been aiming for, that’s alright. What did you accomplish? Chances are if you sit down and really think about it, you accomplish a great deal each day. Celebrate these accomplishments, no matter how small or insignificant they seem.
Did you get your house clean? Celebrate. Only one drawer? That’s okay too!
Try to find something each day that you can celebrate accomplishing. Being proud of yourself for these small acts will seem silly at first but it is a great confidence booster. Don’t be shy about it either, get the kids involved and celebrate their successes too. This is a great way to show them that hard work is worth the effort.
When you finally do reach your bigger goals celebrate even more. Every single day should be a celebration of success… because you managed to get through the day and get things done. Even if no one else appreciates the effort it took, you know your hard work and you deserve to reward it.
Appreciate Yourself As Well
Celebrating your successes, big and small, is not enough… You need to celebrate yourself as well. We often put ourselves on the backburner to everything else in our lives. Women are especially prone to doing this, and it can take its toll.
When we don’t take care of ourselves, how are we able to take care of others?
Be sure to make time to appreciate yourself and celebrate simply being ‘you’. You can do this by rewarding yourself with something you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a lavish gift or an expensive vacation. Often times a few moments alone, a good book, or a glass of wine are enough to help us relax.
Another idea is to remind yourself of why it is you are so amazing. Start a journal, or make a list, of all the things you like about you. Maybe you are a good parent, a patient person, kind, always see the good in people. Perhaps you are caring, helpful, or know how to make others smile. When you really sit down and think about it, you will find that you have some truly amazing qualities. Don’t be shy, share them with yourself, and others. There is nothing wrong with bragging a little, it is great for your self-esteem.
Erase Envy, Embrace Acceptance
Okay, let’s be honest… We all look to others at times and think, “God, I wish I could be like that”… But, it’s time to STOP doing this to yourself! I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… There will always be people that are better at something than you, have more than you, or do more than you.. That doesn’t make you a bad person! In fact, instead of looking to them with envy, look for inspiration and see how you can help the cause, what you can learn, and what things you can add to your life for your own benefit. Use them to inspire yourself, not to compete or compare.
Secondly, stop judging people’s lives by what they post on Facebook.. I will talk more about this later, but the point is that things are not always as they appear. Just because someone looks like they have it all together on social media doesn’t mean that they are happy in real life. It is easy to forget that Facebook is not reality, and that sometimes (aka: most of the time) people exaggerate things online.
If you really want to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to yourself. Look at how much you have changed, grown, learned and improved over time. That is the only comparison that matters.
If you demand nothing less than happiness, happiness is what you will get. If you truly want to be happier and live a more fulfilled life you have to expect happiness. Look for the positive, aim to be happy, surround yourself with things and people that make you feel good, and forget what other people have to say about it. The only way that you are ever going to be happy is if you choose to be. Period.
The tips above are only a few ideas of ways that you can enhance your happiness. Can you think of more?
Until Next Time,
Just Be happy!