people wait around for happiness to find them, when in reality
it’s sometimes only a positive thought away. Being happy can
be a choice you make. There are many small techniques you can
try to create a happier and more enjoyable life.
science says about happiness
has shown you have control over your happiness," explains
Stacy Blackburn, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System family
physician. "It all relates back to your personality and
also your thoughts and behaviors, which can be changed."
some people think landing their dream job or driving a fancy
car will bring them lots of joy, this is not often the case.
On average, people who have wealth, beauty or less stress are
no happier than anyone else.
great news for many, because there are ways to live a happier
life that don’t reflect your income or appearance. Happy
people seem to build their life choices around five pillars,
says Dr. Blackburn. They include:
what you have
time to friends and family
a sense of purpose
in the moment
an optimistic outlook
is one aspect of your life over which you have complete
control. Being optimistic involves seeing your situation from
the positive side instead of the negative. It can be easy for
negative thoughts to take over, but they don’t have to. If
you aren’t naturally an optimistic person, there are ways
you can challenge your pessimistic thinking. Dr. Blackburn
suggests combating negative thoughts by recognizing them and
asking these questions:
the situation really as bad as I think?
there another way to look at the situation?
can I learn from this experience that I can use in the future?
are an important part of being happy. Can you think of a
friend who can always make you laugh? When you surround
yourself with happy people, their happiness is likely to rub
off on you and improve your mood. Dr. Blackburn says research
suggests that relationships provide the strongest meaning and
bring the most purpose to your life.
can be easy to take family and friends for granted, they’re
typically the people who are there through good and bad times.
It’s important you make time for these relationships and
give happiness in return. Communicating kind words and actions
to the special people in your life and showing appreciation
can help you become a happier person.
is a sense of wonder, appreciation and thankfulness for life.
Taking time out of your day to recognize the good things in
your life and appreciate what you have can help practice
gratitude. It can be as simple as taking a minute every day to
identify at least one thing that enriches your life. Practice
substituting ungrateful thoughts for grateful ones. Try
practicing gratitude before you go to sleep at night and right
away when you wake up in the morning.
who strive to meet a goal or fulfill a mission are happier
than those who don’t have such aspirations. Goals provide a
sense of purpose, boost self-esteem and bring people together.
The goal itself doesn’t matter as long as it is moving you
closer toward living a happier life.
everyday activities with the long-term meaning and purpose of
your life can help you feel more content," says Dr.
Blackburn. "Some people are engaged in activities they
love, while others aren’t. If you’re searching for your
purpose, ask yourself these questions:
excites and energizes me?
are my proudest achievements?
do I want others to remember me?
all of the aforementioned advice suggests ways to help you
become happier, practice is the key to achieving happiness.
Remember that your choices, thoughts and actions all carry
influence over your happiness. Making an effort to cultivate
optimism and express gratitude can become a simple habit over
wait for joy to come on a day when you’re less busy or
stressed, because that day may never come," says Dr.
Blackburn. "Look for opportunities throughout your day to
enjoy the small pleasures in life. Focus your energy on the
positives of the present instead of dwelling on the past or
worrying about the future."