- the quality or state of being happy.
- good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Happiness is what everyone strives for in life. It is what everyone tells you to be, but no one really tells you how to be it. Happiness is subject to every individual making it a rather complex topic. Luckily with in-depth research and studies, there are plenty of tips and techniques to feel more joyful and increase your happiness. So, let’s dive into how to feel happy.
How to Feel Happy
Avoid the “if when” Mindset
In a world in which we are surrounded by social media and glamorous ads, we are susceptible to superficial ideas of happiness. Just scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or passing commercials in the street, we constantly see people, products, and services that make happiness seem so achievable. If you book that holiday, you’ll be happy. If you get that promotion, you’ll feel happier. It gives us hope that we will find happiness if or when this happens – it’s a waiting game.
The problem with this “if when” mindset is that we are constantly depending on that future moment for our happiness. We are aware of what we lack, failing to see what we actually have. The best way to tackle this is by replacing the “if when” mindset by counting our blessings.
The infamous gratitude list is one of the best ways to really think about what we already have and embrace it with open arms. Start the day on a positive note by making it the first thing you do in the morning. Look around you and start to think about your blessings: nature, food and drink, pets, family, friends, beautiful places, access to water, safety, good health, wildlife, a home, entertainment. Make a concerted effort to practice gratitude because you will feel much better for it after. Check out this free five-minute morning journal below to make gratitude a daily ritual.
Connecting With Others
Spending time alone is great and definitely needed, but spending time with others should also be a priority. For introverts, this can be a struggle at times. Reminding yourself that we humans thrive off social interactions and supportive relationships is a great reason to organise a get-together with loved ones. The most important thing is to be sure that you are making genuine connections that contribute to your psychological well-being. Organise something you enjoy with someone you get joy from being with in order to boost those feel-good vibes. Notice how you feel after certain social activities and interactions and aim to fill your social schedule with the ones that leave you feeling great afterwards.
Go Easy on Yourself
Sometimes you will feel down and that’s completely normal. Just like every other emotion, happiness is fleeting. This means that those bad moods will end and those moments of joy too. If you find yourself overthinking, learn how to stop with this practical guide. When feeling down, try and do something that uplifts you. Treat yourself, watch a funny TV show, read motivational quotes. But remember, sometimes it’s OK to not be feeling it so go easy on yourself.
Psychology and Happiness
Psychologically speaking, there are two types of happiness. Hedonistic happiness is the fleeting kind such as that first bite of chocolate, receiving a compliment, or going on vacation. This type of happiness is about experiences of passing pleasure and joy. On the other hand, eudaimonic happiness is the purposeful, long-lasting type. When your values and beliefs are expressed in your choices, habits, and actions, you are practicing eudaimonia. Those that experience this type of happiness enjoy life and all it has to offer. This sense of fulfillment is reached from the pursuit of meaning and virtue.
Eudaimonic happiness offers a completely different perspective on what it means to have a good life. It involves discovering our purpose and investing in personal growth. This sense of fulfillment will enable us to feel more content and purpose. In terms of how to feel happy in the long term, eudaimonic happiness is key.
The concept contains six pillars that experts deem crucial in the pursuit of lasting happiness. The elements are autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, positive relations, self-acceptance, and purpose in life. To clarify, autonomy refers to the ability to feel confident enough to pursue your own path in life and build yourself a life without getting wrapped up in other people’s perspectives and plans for you. Environmental mastery is the ability to create a suitable environment to accommodate personal needs and values. By taking on these challenges you are investing in your long-term happiness which, needless to say, will definitely be worth it.
In a nutshell…
If you’re feeling down and in need of a pick-me-up, there are some simple mood boosters out there. Connect with a loved one, practice gratitude, avoid the what-if mindset or do something that brings you joy. Always be easy on yourself and remember that happiness, just like every other emotion, is fleeting. Be cautious of what you say to yourself and remember you are amazing and you are loved.
Want to know how to feel happy long-term? Define your meaning and values in life. What is most important to you? Which of the six pillars of happiness could you work on? Have goals that make you feel excited about the future, and make plans to look forward to. And, of course, always have someone to love!
“Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.” – Louise Armstrong