The pursuit of happiness seems to be one of the world’s eternal questions. It has been the subject of books, movies, and TV shows for years upon years and yet seems to remain a mystery to many people.
However, being happy doesn’t have to be a cryptic, elusive goal. There are certain tangible steps, many backed by science, which you can take on a daily basis in order to be happier in your life.
Here are 6 simple ways you can pursue happiness in your day-to-day life.
1. Practice Gratitude
You’ve probably heard the term “gratitude” used a lot in recent times. In fact, it has become something of a fad in the past few years. This is more than simply a passing trend – according to the Harvard Medical School, positive psychology research has shown that taking the time to give thanks is directly linked to increased happiness.
In simple terms, the idea of gratitude is all about consciously appreciating and giving thanks for the good things you have and experience. This can be a challenge in a modern mindset which is more focused on criticizing and problem-solving. However, simple ways to implement this in real terms include keeping a gratitude journal: this involves sitting down for 10-15 minutes every day and recording the things you are thankful for.
Now that doesn’t sound too hard, does it?
2. Do The Things You Enjoy
This may seem obvious: do fun things in order to be happy! However, it is surprising how often we forget to do the things we enjoy, prioritizing work, family and other commitments. Start with a small exercise: think about all the things you spent time on in the last week, and how much of that was doing the things you enjoy the most? If the answer is very little (or no) time, it is time to change that: determine the things you enjoy the most, whether this is a sport, hobbies or spending time with friends or family, and schedule time for these every week.
3. Learn To Love Your Job
Unless it’s one of the rare cases that it’s simply time to quit your job, you are probably operating under unnecessary negativity which can be overcome to help you to love your job. Learning to love what you do for the majority of your time is obviously essential for your overall happiness. Often, this is simply about a mind shift: practicing gratitude, reconnecting with your primary motivations and getting more involved with your workplace and your workplace can all help you to appreciate and love what you do. Andinspireme helps businesses to help positive workplaces where team members truly love their work, allowing them to be happy while in the workplace and in general.
Another important part of happiness, which we often overlook in our busy modern lives, is celebrating the good things which happen to us. It can be all to easy to focus on challenges and problems, that we skim over the good things in order to move on to the next crisis that we feel needs to be addressed. However, it is equally important to take the time to celebrate the positives, and taking the time to do this is vital to your happiness. This doesn’t need to be a major event such as an anniversary or a graduation, it could simply mean recognizing and celebrating something good in your life such as a relationship, friendship or the job you love!
5. Build Better Self-Confidence
Unhappiness and a lack of self-confidence are closely linked. A lack of confidence in yourself, and in particular negative self-image and self-talk can be extremely damaging to your happiness. Building better self-confidence involves training your brain to think differently. This takes the form of certain mental exercises such as visualizing your best self, writing a list of the qualities you have that you like the most, and thinking about your strengths. By practicing these thought processes, you will replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk instead, building a more constructive mindset that will make you happier on a daily basis.
6. Dream Big
Often we can be limited in pursuing the things which will make us truly happy by our own negativity. We tell ourselves that the things we really want to do are impossible, therefore we don’t even try. However, no dream is too big if you have enough determination: for example, see this inspiring story of Neeraj, who conquered Mt Kilimanjaro on one leg.
Whatever your dream, whether it is to own your own business, follow a certain career path, or move to a particular place, stop thinking that it can never happen and instead start thinking about what you need to do to make it happen.