Is there a secret to happiness? In my opinion, no. I think happiness depends on your willingness to constantly work at it. Turns out though, there are behaviors that can certainly help you on your quest to happiness. Let’s examine a few simple and proven things that can change your attitude and ultimately your happiness.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
How many of us are guilty of this? There isn’t one standard for success although society may have you thinking the opposite. What is your own personal idea of success? Really devote time to working towards achieving it. If you’re spending so much time thinking about what others have and what they’re doing in their life, you’re choosing not to focus that energy on yourself. You will inevitably be stuck on an endless road of trying to attain the next best thing. There will always be someone who has more than you or performs better than you, chasing after them deprives you of your own contentment.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
I know, scary, right? Think about how you feel when you’re outside of your comfort zone. Anxious? Fearful? Worried? You are probably feeling a surge of adrenaline too. I don’t know about you but adrenaline makes me feel alive! This state of flow is actually an optimal state of consciousness where more often than not, you perform at your highest level. That is not to say you won’t experience your fair share of failures, that part of it is natural. Actively challenging yourself results in growth and growth is a requirement to your happiness.
Don’t Hide From Negativity
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Negativity does not make me happy”. This is true. It’s how you deal with the negativity that is going to bring about happiness. Life obviously has its ups and downs even for the happiest of people. We need to have the ability to mentally shift from positive and negative emotions, a behavior called psychological flexibility. Studies have shown that psychological flexibility is a fundamental aspect of well-being. So, next time you’re in a situation that has you feeling angry or upset, allow yourself to really feel those emotions and then employ different ways of reacting. Over time, you’ll gain the ability to better respond to negative emotions.
To make yourself happy, make others happy! What a concept! Studies have shown giving to others makes us even happier than giving to ourselves. The best part about this is that being kind is so incredibly easy. It’s as simple as a thank you, holding the door for someone or donating items you no longer use. Kind behavior releases endorphins in our brain and boosts our happiness as well as the happiness of the person we are helping.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
This is a given. It’s hard to feel happy when you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is not only beneficial to your emotional well-being but also to your physical well-being. Getting enough sleep ensures we stay healthy and helps us to have a positive mindset. If you are having trouble sleeping, try to discover what’s causing the issue. It may be as simple as not using your phone past a certain time, not drinking coffee too late in the day or you may even need a new mattress.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, happiness is something you may have to willingly work at but the things I’ve listed (and many more not listed!) are good habits to get into to ensure you are happy more often than not.