We strive to live a happy life. But people often think of happiness as something we don’t have control over. Some believe if certain things happen, that’s the only time they’ll be happy. “If only I had that job,” or “If only I was living in a certain area I would be happy.”
Research shows that only about 10% of your happiness depends on your situation. So your job or education achievement contributes a small portion of your happy, fulfilling life. So, where do most of your happiness come from?
Some people are naturally optimistic and cheerful. Their upbeat dispositions make them happy most of the time. But what happens to people with grumpy personalities? They might be gloomy more often than being cheerful.
The good news is that it’s possible to create your happiness.
Why Does Happiness Matters?
Just like integrity and kindness, happiness is your moral obligation. So why does being happy matter?
Happiness Makes You a Better Person
A happy person is more compassionate, loving, kinder, and patient. You’ll also be gentler, considerate, and thoughtful than people experiencing depression.
It’s the Purpose of Life
If you think happiness is having the best car in your possession, then it’s not. You might think buying luxury homes or having $100,000 in your pocket will make you happy. Surprisingly, happiness does not rely on possessions or situations you are in.
Happiness is the object of human existence. Being happier makes you spend time learning, having meaningful interactions, and growing.
Happiness Makes You a Better Parent
Undoubtedly, parenthood is hard. It takes dedication and sacrifice to be a good person to your children. But when you’re happy, your kids will be happy too. A happy parent celebrates their children’s achievements.
When you’re happy, you’ll manage to schedule playtime for yourself and that of your kids. More so, you won’t hold grudges. Your child will wrong you from time to time, but you should learn to forgive pretty fast.
People who forgive and let go of grudges are less hostile, less depressed, and anxious. As a happy parent, you’ll have positive emotions, a higher level of well-being, and practice forgiveness.
Happiness Leads to Healthier and Long Life
Happiness is linked to low levels of coronary heart disease. Some studies show that optimism and happiness lower the chances of cardiovascular disease, boost cognitive skills, and reduce cancer risks.
Being happy makes you experience less anxiety and depression. You’ll be less stressed out, workout regularly, and eat healthily. As a result, you’ll have a higher longevity rate.
Happiness Makes You Bounce Back Faster
Being a happy person doesn’t mean you won’t experience challenges and difficulties. Happiness will not spare you from the toughest trials in life. However, you’ll learn to deal with and interpret the obstacles and find a solution.
When you get slapped by life tragedies, you’ll manage to bounce back. In other words, when you fall, you’ll bounce back higher.
Your happiness matters to you, your friends, children, colleagues, and family. It matters to your associates, clients, neighbors, and even to the world.
7 Recipes for a Happy, Fulfilling Life
If you’re feeling unsatisfied, unhappy, or empty, here are the best practices you can follow for a happier life.
- Be True to Yourself
Acting or pretending to be someone else can be distressing. It means you’ll have to fake your lifestyle to fit into someone’s life pattern. Being authentic is simple, but it’s not for timid people.
Here are some signs that show you’re living a lie:
- Feeling alone
- Obsessed with pleasing others
- Overextending yourself to gain approval
- Sacrificing your dreams and desires to satisfy other people’s fragile egos
- You’re constantly bored with life.
- Being surrounded by unsupportive and hypercritical people
- You carry grudges
- Your happiness is based on other people’s opinions.
- You feel undervalued, underappreciated, and unseen.
How many of these signs resonated with you? If you have more “YESs” than “NOs,” you’re likely living on autopilot mode.
You should know you’re responsible for your happiness. Take control of your life and face challenges. If you feel too pressured, take a step back and reevaluate. Relax your mind and soul by including practices like yoga, therapy, mindfulness, and meditation.
Deliberately quit toxic relationships and remove unsupportive people from your circle. Cut them off with kindness and find new friends who bring positive energies into your life.
Additionally, you need to stop avoiding who you are. Explore and find the best way to express your thoughts and feelings. Set aside about 15 minutes a day to rediscover who you are.
Accept, love, and value yourself. Being a people pleaser will only make you feel depressed with frail self-esteem. Accepting yourself gives you the courage to say “NO” without feeling guilty.
Only say “yes” to commitments and people who bring the best out of you. Don’t make decisions when fueled by fear or coercion.
- Travel Often
When did you last travel? Or took a nature walk away from work, school, or business? Travelling is a proven road to happiness as it rewires your brain. The new experiences help in building stunning neural pathways in your brain.
Rewiring your brain helps you get more creative and explore new ideas. Traveling together with your partner will boost your relationship and make you happier.
You get to meet new people through trips and establish new relationships. Forming meaningful connections contributes to your overall happiness. Traveling experiences make you forget troubles back at home or pressure in the office.
These experiences boost your happiness. Enjoy having a picnic or a nature walk in the park and have a peal of hearty laughter as you warm by a campfire.
- Be Grateful
Being grateful is a recipe for a happy and fulfilling life. Instead of complaining over a half-empty glass, be thankful that the glass is half full. Practicing gratitude makes you happier and healthier.
You’ll also tend to sleep better, do away with grudges, and eliminate anxiety. Grateful people always find a positive concept in a negative situation.
For instance, losing a job can be painful. But a grateful person will find it as a way of exploring more opportunities- either a new job or a business venture.
Some people are grateful for having a cup of coffee or seeing the sunrise. Others express their gratitude for good health and peace of mind, while some barely notice such minute things.
Don’t wait to buy or build a mansion to be grateful. Be thankful for everything you have now. It could be your hearing is perfect, you’re not experiencing any pain, and you’ve never slept hungry.
The more you’re grateful, the more you positively see the world. This increases your happiness even amidst tragedies.
- Live in the Moment
The concept of living in the moment is a great idea. More than often, people get worried about what will happen tomorrow or what happened in the past. This will only make you anxious.
Probably you’ve heard people saying you should live as if there’s no tomorrow. Focus on the “now” moment. Yesterday is gone, and you’re not assured of tomorrow. So, the moment is the guaranteed time, and that’s where you should put your time and effort.
You need to relish life at the moment. Enjoy that cup of coffee or that meal without anxiety. This will elicit happiness.
Take notice of the small things happening in your life that bring you joy. It could be eating ice cream, dancing, listening to music, or playing an instrument.
- Take Risks
Risk takers tend to live a satisfied and fulfilling life. Playing safe in life won’t make you feel happy and fulfilled. You might stagnate in a comfort zone, but you’ll not make meaningful strides.
Risk traveling solo, starting a business, quitting a stressful job, and cutting off toxic people. You can also apply for a job you may think you have no chance of being shortlisted. Taking risks is undoubtedly scary, but it brings feelings of fulfillment and joy.
Taking risks is about being open to new opportunities, despite the uncertainties. There’s joy in achieving something you never thought you could.
- Be Your Only Competitor
Focus on your goals and not what others have achieved. Competing with others is daunting, and it leaves you unhappy and unsatisfied. We’re living in an era where people flood their social media with their achievements.
But most people are faking it on screens and living a different life behind the scenes. Such scenarios make people compare themselves against others. The person in the mirror is your opponent.
Focus on your goals and learn to do what’s important to yourself.
- Work Hard
You’ll amount to nothing if you don’t work hard. Working hard makes you attain your goals. It’s hard work that will make you earn that degree, build a home, and get money for traveling.
Life shouldn’t be consumed by toil, but you need to carve out time for experiences and activities that need effort.
The Bottom Line
Life has high and low tides, but you can remain optimistic in every situation. Being happy doesn’t mean you’re free from challenges, but it means you can retell your story in a fulfilling way. If you don’t know where to start, these seven practices will kickstart a more fulfilling and happy path.