Proven Ways to Be Happier
Urbanette Magazine staff get here at 10am, so I usually spend the few hours before then catching up on news and thinking of business ideas. Today, I was poking around on The Good New Network’s Facebook Page (which is a day-brightening page to follow because it’s full of happy news) and I came across a link to a fantastic article all about how to be happier, called “Be Happy: 46 Proven Techniques to Increase Your Happiness and One Way to Get More Sex“. Check it out for links to studies that prove the points below.
Here are my favorite “proven methods” from the list. They’re pretty inspiring!
See setbacks and obstacles as growth opportunities
Jack Andraka was rejected by 199 research institutions before he found a home for his research and developed a breakthrough diagnostic cancer test (at age 15). Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school. It’s ok to fail and have challenges. Your failures are your best opportunities to learn. Hopefully, you can see them that way.
Recognize and embrace your inspirations
Maybe there are movies, stories, music or people that inspire you. Seek them out and expose yourself to them–repeatedly. Some people like to read about individuals who have enormous struggles to give them perspective. Others like to read about people who are saving the world. Choose what resonates with you.
Change how you view chores
I’m not doing the dishes, because I have to. I’m doing the dishes because I want to make my wife happy. For me, that makes me a lot happier about chores, and makes me look for more things I can do around the house (although my wife might debate this point). You can also say you’re doing chores because you enjoy the outcome – like a clean house.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Before you get upset, ask yourself, “Will this matter tomorrow, next week or in a year?” If you get upset at someone who cut the line or a customer service representative or anyone else, you’re not hurting him. You’re only affecting your own happiness.
Find your purpose
Your mission could be being a great parent, a great spouse, an excellent gardener or saving the world. We’re happier when we have a purpose. People are constantly searching for their purpose and what’s most important to them. Here’s an exercise to help you figure that out:
Imagine you’re at your own funeral. What would you like people to say about you? How would you like to be remembered?
Now, how do you become that person?
Keep in touch with friends and family
Relationships are what matters and studies show that having strong relationships makes you happier — even if you’re an introvert. You can have all the stuff in the world. Your relationships are what are substantive. Take the time to work on them. One of the top five regrets of the dying is not spending enough time with family and friends.
Don’t talk bad about people
You’ll feel bad afterwards and it doesn’t achieve anything. Look for the positive and talk about that (or say nothing).
Put more effort into understanding the people around you. Really listen and ask questions to understand them. You’ll have better conversations and better perspective.
Give people the benefit of the doubt
Instead of getting frustrated when someone does something you dislike, have compassion. They’re probably having a bad day. If someone is rude, I think that poor person is probably unhappy, and I remind myself how lucky I am not to be him.
Choose who you spend time with carefully
If you spend time with negative people, you’ll impact your happiness. Find people with good values who energize you. Being around happy people will make you happier. And, please share your happiness to energize others.
Choose to see the positive
You have a choice to see things in a positive or negative light. Seeing things more positively increases happiness. I’m not suggesting you embrace someone who is trying to hurt you or tell someone it’s good that they’re sick, but you can train yourself to view things more positively. Plus, you’ll be 50% less likely to have a heart attack.
Meditating is a great way to be in the moment. There are countless studies showing how those who meditate are happier. (Check out the full article for more tips and instructions.)