According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, negative feelings — anger, worry, and sadness — have been rising around the world by 27 percent (from 2010 to 2018). [Source: Greater Good Magazine]
Well, thanks to the global pandemic (COVID-19), this figure ought to be worse now.
The latest World Happiness Report indicates that the pandemic has deeply affected the quality of life and had a toll on negative emotions.
Wow, what a shocker! (Excuse the sarcasm)
Of course, how is anyone supposed to feel good amidst a global coronavirus outbreak – people lost their jobs, many businesses failed, social life took a hard break as self-isolation and social distancing became a norm. Worst of all, many lost their lives or their loved ones.
Now, as we slowly transition back towards a corona-free world, it’s time to let go of the negativity. Let go of whatever is preventing you from being happy.
Don’t know how?
This article will tell you how to be happy and provide tips for leading a life of contentment.
The Dilemma of Happiness
Humans are the most advanced species. Nevertheless, we damage each other due to our greed, ambition, fear of love, envy, hate, intolerance, and partiality.
And, we are unable to be completely happy or provide happiness to everyone else.
That’s a blessing in disguise.
We, humans, think that to live a peaceful life, we have to be happy 24/7. Blaise Pascal, the famous seventeenth-century French theologian, explained the dilemma of human happiness as:
“All men seek to be happy; this is without exception. Whatever different means they may employ, they all tend to this end.”
But wanting to be happy all the time is actually a negative approach to life itself.
Let’s face it; if we never experienced sadness or any negative emotion, we would never truly appreciate what being happy feels like. So, wishing to be happy 24/7 is toxic positivity.
In short, all human emotions are necessary to appreciate and live life to the fullest. Thus, instead of wishing to be constantly happy, strive for a life of contentment.
Live To Be Happy
Many people believe they require material things to make them happy, such as more money, promotion, success, etc. They chase a hazy sense of happiness rather than enjoying life itself. They fail to realize that even the richest of all have to face the ups and downs of life.
Imagine you had all the things in the world, everything you ever wanted, but your cat dies, or your new car breaks down. Of Course, you won’t be happy about it.
The point is, even when you have everything, there will always be something to be unhappy about. There are always excuses to be unhappy if you search hard enough.
So, material things don’t matter, so find happ iness beyond material things. Instead of chasing, begin to live.
“Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much f**** stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a f*** about anymore.”
- Excerpt from New York Time’s Best Selling Book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuckby Mark Manson
It’s good to wish and work for more, but don’t forget to slow down and enjoy life for what it is — right now. That’s the secret behind how to be happy with yourself.
How To Live To Lead A Happy Life?
Wondering how to be happy?
Being intentional can help you get your mood back on track — and increase those happiness hormones! Implement these powerful habits into your everyday routine to live a happier, healthier life:
1. Practice Gratitude
If you are having trouble finding joy, there’s one simple yet effective thing you can do: be grateful. Just take a moment every day to acknowledge the positive aspects of your life.
It’s pretty simple: sit and ponder. You’d be surprised how much there is to be grateful for.
In psychology, gratitude is a positive emotional response that reduces stress, anxiety, and depression (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).
How To Be Grateful?
|1||Journal positive thoughts|
|2||Every day write ten things you are grateful for|
|3||Think of five good things you experience every day|
|4||Practice mindfulness and meditation|
|5||Name five people you are grateful for and why|
Plan Something Exciting To Look Forward To
By making plans for the days ahead, you can help to restore a sense of normalcy. While our diaries are as empty as London commuter trains, penciling in a virtual coffee with a buddy, a walk outside, or a book to finish each day will give you purpose.
How To Be Grateful?
|1||Plan a trip|
|2||Schedule a spa day|
|3||Plan a meet up with an old friend|
|4||Go on a shopping spree|
|5||Save up for something you have always wanted to buy|
3. Make An Effort To Reconnect
While interacting with loved ones is more complicated, it has tremendous power. Our social ties are one of the essential factors in our happiness.
Foster healthier relationships by improving communication and spending more quality time with your loved ones.
Go on a date with your significant other, plan a family dinner, or simply a night out with friends.
How To Build Healthier Relationships
|1||Communicate and resolve any conflicts|
|2||Spend time together|
|3||Go on a holiday|
|4||A friendly text will go a long way|
|5||Chat over a nice cup of coffee|
4. Do Something Nice For Someone Else
Sadness is a common human reaction to various life changes and occurrences in many circumstances. However, several practices can help.
If you’re feeling depressed, doing something nice for someone else is a terrific way to lift your spirits.
Simple Things To Do For Others
|1||Communicate and resolve any conflicts|
|2||Send flowers to your significant other|
|3||Help a stranger|
|4||Call an old friend to check up on them|
|5||Donate or give time to community service|
5. Take Care Of Yourself And Be A Good Friend To Yourself
Stop asking yourself, “how to make myself happy”. The answer is simple. Just be kind to yourself.
Look at how you speak to yourself. We can be really kind to others while being extremely harsh, critical, and unpleasant to ourselves.
Taking care of yourselves is also about taking care of your mental and physical health.
For physical health, trying to do yoga or exercise can be very beneficial. You can slowly create healthy habits by investing into your body and remember it takes time to build new habits. So take things slowly and work your way up.
For mental health, you should focus on mediation, talking to your friends and family and also consulting psychologists. Our mind is our everything, we should take really good care of it.
Another small way that can contribute to better health is an organised work flow. You should use PDF planners to organise your goals and tasks.
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How To Love Yourself?
|1||Embrace all your flaws and avoid feeling insecure|
|2||Invest in yourself (take up a fitness class, buy yourself a present, etc.)|
|3||Do yoga and meditation|
|4||If you are holding on to emotional trauma, seek professional help and therapy|
|5||Improve personal hygiene and keep your surroundings clean|
|6||Organise your workflow|
The Power of Positivity
Most of the time, people are dissatisfied because they focus on the negative aspects of their lives.
It doesn’t matter how joyful you are; if you go about worrying about unpleasant things all the time, you’re going to feel anxious or depressed sooner or later.
Negative mindset and attitude can also affect your brain’s aptitude for memory, reasoning, intelligence and mood. When you constantly worry and hold negative ideas in your mind, your thought pattern becomes negative.
You become emotionally exhausted, stressed, fatigued and anxious which leads to sleep deprivation, hunger pangs and even allergies. All of this ultimately makes you depressed.
Thus, negative thinking can cause bouts of depression.
So, how to stop feeding a negative mindset?
No one can explain the power of a positive mindset better than Jay Shetty, Global influencer, best selling author, Award-Winning Storyteller, Podcaster, and former monk:
“Being positive doesn't mean you don't ever have negative thoughts. It just means you don't let those thoughts control your life."
- Excerpt From Think Like A monk
What you focus on and what meaning you assign to things can determine your emotions, whether they are happy or not.
Mainly transforming your mindset and focusing on things that bring you feelings of joy and pleasure is the best method to make yourself happy.
Knowing how to make yourself happy boils down to realizing that you can allow yourself to be happy by letting go of the constraints that society has imposed on you. The conditions that must be met before being happy will make it more challenging to be happy.
It’s OK to set goals and objectives for yourself – and you should. But don’t base your happiness on whether or not you achieve them. Learn to be content while pursuing your goals and desires. That’s the real recipe of finding happiness.