Life can be so busy. It’s easy to get preoccupied with the tasks you have to do, a never ending list of things that need your attention, and a near constant strain on your time. It often means that it makes it too easy to overlook the happy in your life. Other things get in the way or make us only see the drudgery.
The encouraging thing, however, is that we can all be happier, if we set our minds to it.
10 Ways to be Happy
1. Put less stock in what others think of you or say about you. This means not letting your self-worth be determined either by the good things that people say or the bad things that people say. This is much, much easier said than done, of course.
In my own life, I am related to a couple of people who don’t really like me. It used to just gnaw at me often. I finally realized that I was putting too much stock in how they saw me. I just told myself over and over that if they didn’t like me, it was their loss, not mine. It took a while before I could really internalize it, but when I finally believed it, my happiness level went way up.
2. Cut down on your media time. I haven’t done this, but I know that I should. Magazines, television, Internet – they all tell us over and over (directly or indirectly) that we need more to be happy. Or, if not more, then different things than what we have.
3. Include more prayers of thanksgiving into your prayer life. Not that asking God for help is bad, of course. He is the perfect One to go to in troubled times. Your life will be happier, however, if you can recognize and acknowledge things to be thankful for, both very large and very small, throughout each day. Try to have more of your prayer petitions start with “Thank you, God, for…” than “Please, God…” (click to tweet)
4. Get enough sleep. This is preposterous coming from me. I’d be lying not to include it though. I know that I could usually be in a much happier mood if I just slept more.
5. Eat a well balanced diet. Yeah, again, I’m ridiculous. I don’t do this well, though I’ve been working to add more vegetables and a fruit to our meals. But, whether I do this or not, if you’re eating a healthy, well balanced diet, you’re more likely to be healthier. Being healthier can help you avoid illnesses or injuries which can make you a lot happier.
6. Surround yourself by people that bring out the best in you. If you know someone that always makes you in a rotten mood when you’re with them, then either figure out a way to change your attitude when you’re with them or figure out how to spend less time with them. Spend your time around people that make you think, “I like who I am when I’m with them.”
7. Marvel at simple things. Last month, I had to defrost the dorm size-ish freezer that I have in our garage. This task was long overdue. This task also became my entertainment for the day. I loved watching as the inside of the freezer changed from caked with ice with very little thawing to the point where large chunks of ice were crashing to the bottom of the freezer.
Early in the process, I was chatting with Rob, who thought I was joking when I indicated this was my excitement for the day. It was only after I texted him a picture of the ice laden inside of the freezer that he said that he thought I was joking and now he was bored for me. I retorted, “Hey – everything is a miracle,” and then proceeded to send him picture updates of the freezer and of large ice chunks. This, of course, made the experience even more fun.
Who knew that watching ice melt could be so fabulous? You know what though? I love watching that kind of thing. It’s just fascinating. And, it turned a possible chore into a half day of entertainment.
8. Practice more patience. If you can manage to be more patient with the people around you – less sighing at dumb questions (even if it’s just in your head that you sigh), less “hurry up, kids” coming out of the your mouth (or in your head), and so on. It’s not often that you’re both impatient and extremely happy at the same time.
9. Make time for physical activity. You decide what you like to do. Or, you know, take time for what you don’t really like to do but do it because it’s good for you. I do not enjoy exercising. (I know. It’s shocking, right? Or, you know, not so much.) Still, I do feel happier after the fact that I have done it.
10. Travel, if you’re able. I have mentioned before that we spent years not really traveling. I didn’t really miss traveling because we didn’t do much of it growing up and neither did Eric’s family. It’s only been when we started traveling with the kids that we have found out what an amazing experience it is. Sure, it doesn’t always bring the happy. There are bad hotel rooms, “Are we there yet?” whines, and the occasional need to pull over for a car sick child. But, we love not only the experiences but the memories that bring smiles to our faces.
What do you think you could change in your life that would make you happy more often?