Seems like people everywhere are searching for 'happiness'. Try taking a look around the self-help section of your local bookstore and you will see a plethora of publications promising to help you become happy.
Happiness can be a short-term feeling, a fleeting moment when you feel joy. It can also occur more long term, linked to successful relationships, contentment, and a feeling of being where you would like to be in life.
Unfortunately, for most people this feeling happens all too fleetingly.
However, there are ways to improve your happiness levels. Although the list is far from exhaustive, here are five actions that can help you bring happiness to your life:
1. See the great outdoors
We live in a wonderful world, full of amazing views, plants, and animals. Getting outside and experiencing it can help bring about a feeling of ease and lift your mood.
Studies have shown that just being shown pictures of nature is enough to improve a person’s outlook. In addition, getting out in the sunlight helps your body absorb vitamin D, decreased levels of which have been linked to depression.
2. Find a passion
At their lowest, some people cannot find a thing they love to do. Imagine going through life never experiencing any passion for anything!
Go and experience new things and find that spark. This might enable you to develop a love for something that may stay with you for the rest of your life.
We live in a privileged world where we have the opportunity this. My advice would be to seek it out.
3. Do some exercise
This may sound like an obvious one, but keeping fit and taking regular exercise is an excellent way to increase that feel good factor.
When you partake in physical activity, your brain releases endorphins, producing a feeling of euphoria. Added to this, your body releases antibodies that help fight diseases.
This all helps to keep the mood lifted and the body healthy. Research has shown that ill health is a major cause of unhappiness. While it is acknowledged that to some degree our health is not always in our hands, we can still do a lot to improve it.
4. Give a helping hand
Arguably, a truly altruistic act does not exist. However, this should not hinder who wishes to help another. Studies have shown that helping others does bring about happiness for the helper.
This may be because it helps bring purpose to their life, or it could be that the knowledge that their act has improved another’s life is the key.
Ways you could help others are many. It could be something informal, like taking time out to help a family member in need, volunteering for a charity, etc. The idea is to engage in the community, in whichever way we can, to help improve lives.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Harsh self-criticism can lead to unhappiness. Learning to roll with the punches and move on is a great way to stop dwelling on the past. It also helps an individual to seek answers to problems quicker.
Dust yourself off, don’t over analyze, and learn to value yourself. In addition, learning to manage your expectations of yourself and others will prevent you from reacting when situations don’t go your way.
These are just some ways that you can improve your happiness. Try one or try them all. Just go about life with purpose and look after yourself and others. Let the happiness in!