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  • Writer's pictureKatie

How to Be Happier: 25 Ways to Be Happier & Why The Pursuit of Happiness Can Be So Difficult

Updated: May 23, 2021

How to Be Happier

Have you ever met someone that didn’t want more happiness? The pursuit of happiness seems to be an ongoing quest for most people. Many people struggle to understand how to be happier and how they can improve their lives. Luckily, finding happiness might be much easier than you think! Many times, simple solutions can be effective ways to be happier fast.

Many times, the best ways to be happier are just about adjusting your perspective. You may consider how to be happier and think about changing major aspects of your life (that you may or may not be able to change), but it's so much quicker to just change the way you look at things. My top tips are to...

  • Remember what you have to be grateful for

  • Look outside yourself and serve others

  • Adjust negative thinking to positive

  • Embrace your passions

  • Spend time with people you love

Those are some of my favorite quick ways to boost my mood, but I've provided 25 ways to be happier below. For a quick PDF sent directly to your inbox, click below for my 15 Simple Ways to Increase Your Happiness PDF freebie!

16 Ways to be Happier

Consider these strategies to bring more happiness into your life:

1. Ask for support and be supportive. Most of us enjoy the feeling of helping others. You can also accomplish a lot more if you simply ask for help and support when you need it.

2. Make your life simpler. Having too many tasks, commitments, and physical items in your life makes everything harder. Only keep the commitments, people, and items that you love.

3. Volunteer. When you're trying to figure out how to be happier, you may want to adjust your perspective and look outside yourself. Helping others and seeing that your life isn’t so bad is sure to make you happier.

4. Take the time to create. Everyone has a creative genius inside of them, but most of us rarely get to use it. Find a creative project and let your imagination run wild.

5. Surround yourself with happy people. It’s hard to be happy when those around you are unhappy. Find a few individuals who consistently seem happy and develop new friendships.

6. Be flexible and open-minded. If you’re inflexible or closed-minded, you’re probably miserable. When no one is living up to your expectations, how can you be happy? The more carefree you can be, the happier you’ll be.

7. Listen to music you love.Music is a great way to unwind, relax, get excited, and feel motivated. Music can change your emotions, so use it to your advantage.

8. Sleep enough. Too little sleep makes you grumpy and is bad for your health. Enjoy better days by getting enough sleep the night before.

9. Do your best. If you try to do your best, life is much simpler. There’s no more deciding how much effort you’ll put into something and no regrets that you didn’t try hard enough.

10. Watch less TV. Perhaps nothing wastes more time than watching TV. It’s mostly a way to avoid a boring and unhappy life. Go find something to do that actually makes you happy.

11. Be well-rounded. Some of us are great with money, but in horrible physical shape. Others have a great social life, but are at war with their families. Having balance in all aspects of your life makes a big impact. Work on the areas of your life that aren’t as strong.

12. Try new things. Odds are you haven’t played your favorite sport or read your favorite book yet. You might not have even met your best friend yet or tried your favorite food either. You won’t find any of these things if you’re not open to new possibilities.

13. Embrace spontaneity. Planning can be a good thing, but spontaneity has the potential to be great, too.

14. Stop waiting. There are only so many tomorrows. Get started by doing some of the things you’ve been putting off until “the time is right.”

15. Read regularly. Reading can be a healthy distraction and great form of entertainment. It can also teach you things you didn’t already know.

16. Plan an exciting future. Part of happiness is having something to look forward to. Give yourself a compelling future.

Do you see how simple it can be to increase the level of happiness in your life? Add a few of these items to your life each day and measure the results. Being happy doesn’t have to be complicated. Many of the best things in life are simple and free.

Compelling Research on How To Be Happier

Over the last few years, there have been some fascinating studies done to determine what makes people happy. If you’re wondering how you could increase your happiness, here are nine more strategies suggested by the research:

17. Give to others more often. Research indicates that people who give even a small amount of money, even just $5, are happier than those who spend money only on themselves.

· Even more fascinating is that when researchers evaluated how people who buy for themselves feel, it was discovered that purchasing new items had no real effect on one’s happiness.

· Maybe the reason you want to go shopping all the time is that, no matter what you buy or how much, it’s not really doing anything for you. Buying things doesn’t actually make you happy, but spending that money on others just might.

18. When you’re younger, go for excitement and adventure. Young people often reported their definition of happiness as “excitement.”

19. As you age, strive for peacefulness. As individuals age, they indicate that happiness means having a “peaceful” life.

20. Get some exercise. A Harvard study looked at people in their 50s and found that those who exercised regularly were happier when re-evaluated again at age 80 than those who didn’t exercise.

21. Maintain a healthy weight. In the same Harvard study, weight was also a factor that could either make or break your level of happiness. Those who are overweight or underweight experience less happiness than those who keep their weight in the average range. Eat the right, healthy foods to maintain a healthy weight and stay energized.

22. Spend time often with your best friend(s). Go out and do things with your friends frequently or just hang out together. Having strong social supports will increase your happiness. Go ahead and call them right now for an immediate boost to your mood.

23. Meditate. According to the National Institute of Health, those who meditate regularly improve levels of happiness indirectly by increasing character traits that contribute to happiness, such as conscientiousness and empathy.

24. Experience more and buy less. Another fascinating take away from the research is that you’ll be happier from having more experiences in life than you will from having more material goods.

· Research indicates that people feel happier about their memories of events than they do about a recent purchase. After all, how often can you say to yourself ten years after buying something, “Wow, that new sweater really changed my life!” A canoe trip with your friends, on the other hand, is bound to create some great memories!

25. Engage in activities that make you happy. Regardless of what others tell you about how to spend your time, if you take part in activities of your own choosing, you’ll be happier. Think about your friend who says, “Cleaning my house makes me happy. I really enjoy doing it.” You might have said, “Ugh, are you kidding?” The key is to do what you enjoy.

· If you’re curious about acting in a play, take a local acting class. If you’ve always wanted to grab a pair of binoculars and go to the closest national park to go bird-watching, do it.

· When you do all the things that spur your interests and satisfy your curiosities, or things that simply make your heart sing, you’ll feel happier.

This newest research regarding what makes people happy might help you in your own quest. Take advantage of the information presented here and increase your happiness. Go ahead, make someone happy: you!

Why is The Pursuit of Happiness So Difficult?

Happiness, in one form or another, is the focus of every living creature. We all want to be happy. Interestingly, there are many different ways we choose to pursue happiness. A corporate-raiding billionaire and a preschool teacher are both pursuing happiness in their own way.

While there are great differences between the lifestyles of happy people, there are many things they share in common, too.

See why pursuing happiness directly is ineffective:

  1. Happiness isn’t a thing that can be pursued. You can pursue a specific model of car or 6-pack abs. You can’t pursue happiness because it’s not a tangible thing. Happiness is the result of living life in a particular way. The particular way is different for everyone, but there are guidelines you can follow.

  2. Happiness is internal. Happiness is already inside of you. It’s your natural state. It’s not something you need to find out in the world and capture. You only need a few circumstances in your life to permit it to be experienced.

  3. Possessions don’t lead to happiness. You can’t buy your way to happiness. Have you ever purchased anything that made you happy six months after you purchased it? Buying things can be pleasurable, but the pleasure is temporary.

  4. Fun doesn’t lead to happiness. Fun is a temporary distraction. Riding a roller coaster is fun. Eating a bowl of ice cream is fun. Fun is a great diversion from the monotony of everyday life, but it won’t make you happy.

What does a person actually need in order to be happy?

  1. Sufficient financial resources. It’s been well established that happiness doesn’t increase with income once a level of roughly $75,000 is attained. However, it does increase up to that income level! A sufficient income allows you to fund a comfortable lifestyle and pursue your most important hobbies. It’s not easy to be happy if you don’t have a roof over your head or enough food to eat.

  2. Relationships. Meaningful relationships and interaction with others are important parts of happiness. There are few people that can be truly alone in life and be happy. This is one of the core reasons highly successful people are often miserable. They frequently lack meaningful relationships.

  3. Feeling needed. We like to feel needed. We like to believe that our existence matters to someone. Volunteering is a simple way to fulfill this need. Caring for a pet is another way to feel needed.

  4. Positive expectations. When you have a positive outlook on your future, it’s much easier to experience happiness in your life. Optimistic and hopeful people are more likely to be happy. Knowing that you’re taking a great vacation in a few months is another type of positive expectation that can increase the level of happiness you feel. What do you have to look forward to in your life?

  5. The feeling of progress in your life. A little progress can unleash a lot of happiness. Even if you still have 100 pounds to lose, losing just three pounds this week feels pretty good. Set a few goals and make progress toward them. You’ll feel great.

  6. A lack of things that make you miserable. This is important. Happiness isn’t just about attaining a set of criteria in your life. It’s also about not having negative things in your life that block happiness from shining. Ask yourself what the worst parts of your life are and fix the things you can.

Having all of these in your life is no guarantee that you’ll be happy, but it comes close. Can you imagine all of these items in your life and still not being happy? Avoid chasing after happiness directly. Instead, create the right environment for happiness to appear.

And don't forget to download my 15 Simple Ways to Increase Your Happiness PDF freebie to continue working to create a life suited for happiness!


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