Tuesday, 19 March 2013

How to Be Happy

Happiness — it's what we all strive to find and keep, even when it's as elusive as ever. Nobody is happy all the time, but some people are definitely more fulfilled than others. Sometimes, happiness has little to do with material goods or high achievement; it boils down to your outlook on life, the quality of your relationships etc.

To be happy, you've got to;

1. Be optimistic.

No matter what happens, good or bad, the effect on our happiness is temporary, and we tend to revert to our baseline level. Some people have a higher baseline happiness level than others, but it's also largely influenced by how you think.

Add up all the little happy things that happen to you during the day. For example, you had a nice breakfast, your friend said something funny that made you laugh, you took your dog for a walk in the park and played with it. All of these added together account to one big happiness.

Look at the glass half-full instead of half-empty. Your girlfriend break up with you? Now you have a chance to meet someone else! You lose your job? Now you have the opportunity to find a better one! Adjust your mentality so that, in everything that happens to you, there's some kernel of good.
Put yourself in situations where good things are likely to happen to you. It's easier to stay optimistic if you set yourself up for success.

Learn to enjoy your life!

2. Treat your body like it deserves to be happy.

It may sound cheesy to say, but your brain isn't the only organ in your body that deserves to be happy. Exercise, healthy diets, and regular sleep are key factors in growing more happy and staying that way.

People who are physically active have higher incidences of enthusiasm and excitement. Exercise causes the brain to release chemicals called endorphins that elevate our mood.

Eat right. Eating healthy foods gives your body and brain the energy it needs to be healthy. Unhealthy diets are responsible for brain shrinkage and certain brain diseases like depression and dementia.

Get enough sleep. The more sleep you get, the happier you tend to be. Getting just a single extra hour of sleep per night makes the average person happier. So if you're middle-aged, shoot to get at least eight hours of sleep per night; the young and elderly should shoot for 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night.

3. Stay close to friends and family Or move to where they are, so you can see them more.

We live in a mobile society, where people follow jobs around the country and sometimes around the world. We do this because we think salary increases make us happier, but in fact our relationships with friends and family have a far greater impact on happiness.

If relationships with family and friends are unhealthy or nonexistent, and you are bent on moving, choose a location where you'll be able to compensate that.

4. Be compassionate.

Compassion is all about doing something kind for someone in need, or someone less privileged than yourself. People gain as much happiness from watching others give to charity as they do receiving money themselves!

Think of easy, quick, and effective ways that you can make your community a better place by being compassionate

5. Have deep, meaningful conversations.

Spending less time participating in small talk and more time in deep, meaningful conversations can increase happiness. So next time you're beating around the bush with a friend, instead cut right to the chase. You'll be happier for it.

6. Find happiness in the whatever you do or have now: Many people expect the right job or career to dramatically change their level of happiness.

It's clear that your levels of optimism and quality of relationships eclipse the satisfaction gained from your job.

If you have a positive outlook, you will make the best of any job; and if you have good relationships, you won't depend on your job for a sense of meaning. You'll find meaning in interactions with the people you care about. You'll use your job as a crutch instead of relying on it for meaning.
Many people find that being on the right career path is a key determination in their overall happiness. It just means you should understand that the capacity of your job to make you happy is quite small when compared to your outlook and your relationships.

7. Smile: When you smile, whether you're happy or not, your mood is elevated. So smile all the time if you can! Smiling is like a feedback loop: smiling reinforces happiness, just as happiness causes smiling. People who smile during painful procedures reported less pain than those who kept their facial features neutral.

8. Forgive: an attitude of forgiveness contributes to better cardiovascular health.

You could say forgiveness literally heals the heart. While it is unknown how forgiveness directly affects your heart, it may lower the perception of stress.

9. Make friends.

People who go to worship regularly report greater life satisfaction than those who don't. The critical factor is the quality of friendships made. The difference is the forming of friendships based on mutual interests and beliefs. Consider finding something else you're deeply passionate about, making friends with those who share similar interests.
When you interact with people who share your interests, you feel happier due to sensations of reward and well-being. This is because during such interactions, endorphins and dopamine — neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of happiness and relaxation — are released into the body. In other words, your body is designed to feel happier when engaged in social interactions.

So if you want to be happy, try the steps above, you are definately going to unlock that happier you.
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