Do you feel bored or unhappy about certain areas of your life? Are things going badly, and you want to make your life more positive? Keeping yourself happy is about having a general sense of well-being and life satisfaction. Having positive emotions have also been linked to health and longevity. You can learn to keep yourself happy in life by loving and accepting yourself, thinking realistically, engaging in positive activities, and working toward your personal goals.
Maintain a positive attitude about yourself
. Self-acceptance is an important piece of being able to love yourself and keep yourself happy.
Accept yourself for who you currently are instead of focusing too much on trying to change yourself.
Use positive self-talk by thinking or telling yourself things like, “I love who I am. I accept everything about myself right now — even things I want to change. How I am right at this moment is completely fine.”
Acknowledging the wonderful things about yourself can help you develop happiness about who you are. Reminding yourself about these qualities when things get tough can help you maintain a sense of well-being about your identity. You are unique and special.
Make a mental or actual list of everything that you like about yourself. Read this list or remind yourself of it the next time you feel down on yourself. Some examples include liking your: personality, hair, passion, eyes, sense of style, compassion, and adventurous attitude.
Kindness is a great quality to have. Count the times that you were kind to someone this week. You can write them down in a journal or Word document. Paying attention to the times you were kind can actually increase your level of happiness.
Define your good qualities.
We all have things we’d like to improve upon, and that is okay. However, don’t dwell on your flaws – look at them as opportunities for personal growth.
Being open to new experiences can help you focus on your personal growth. Try new things like different forms of art (painting, sculpting), traveling to new places, and trying things that scare you (i.e. public speaking).
Notice and reward accomplishments and changes over time. This can help you focus on the positive changes you have made and encourage you to further your personal growth.
Accept your need for growth.
Sometimes people can feel dissatisfied with what has occurred in their past life. Instead of thinking too much about the negative, focus on the positive aspects of your personal history.
Make a list of every positive accomplishment you have made. Some examples may be: graduating from school, passing a test, finishing a project, or completing an art piece.
Forgive yourself for past mistakes. Look at them as ways to learn and grow. Your mistakes do not define you. You can decide to grow and do better today.
Focus on past accomplishments instead of downfalls.
Your own beliefs about how happy you are affect your overall well-being. Unfortunately, some people view happiness as something unattainable or something they have not yet achieved. If you think this, then you may have a hard time filling that void. Happy people simply believe that they are and they don’t look for materials or experiences to make them happy; they focus on what they have that is already going well. Hence, if you believe you are happy, you will be.
Instead of looking at a glass as half-empty, look at it and instead imagine that it is half full.
Pay close attention to the positive aspects of your life. What contributes to your well-being? For example, people who have a positive well-being and are happy generally have good relationships with others, take care of their home lives, and have some direction in their career (or are working toward it). Think about all of these things and how they increase your well-being.
If find yourself thinking you are unhappy or having thoughts like, “I’m not a satisfied as I want to be,” identify all the evidence that goes against this idea. Tell yourself, “I have everything I need right now. I am happy with how things are even though they aren’t perfect. They are plenty good enough.”
Believe in your well-being.
. Hope is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction. Hope is associated with thinking things will turn out okay and hoping for the best (not expecting the worst to happen). Focus on what you hope to happen in the future.
Believe that things will work out okay, or the way they are supposed to, even if they aren’t exactly the way you planned them.
One way to increase hope is to catch your negative thoughts such as, “Nothing will ever change. I can’t fix this.” These are very hopeless thoughts that may lead to depressed mood. If you notice these types of thoughts you can immediately say to yourself, “That is a hopeless thought. I am hopeful. I may not be able to completely fix this issue, but I might be able to change something about this situation. I can at least change how I think about it.” Focus on changing your thoughts like this and you can become more hopeful overall.
Keep hope alive
Many people think of the negative views but not the positive aspects of a situation. Try to persevere through obstacles in life and focus on how you can learn or grow through adversity. With every negative, there is always a positive, and thinking about that will set you on the path in which you can make progress toward happiness.
If you or a loved one has a setback either in a job or in a personal situation, look for the positive effects in that situation instead of the negative effects. For example, identify ways that bad situations can make you stronger by building character, educating you about situations, and creating a tolerance to emotional distress.
If you lose your job, then think about the prospect of finding a better job that pays more, has shorter working hours, and can lead to a better and more enjoyable daily life.
daily. Gratitude may be one of the best indicators of happiness and well-being.
If you have your health, then you have everything. Be grateful that you are healthy enough to focus on increasing your happiness.
Make a list (mentally, on paper, a journal, or on the computer) of everything you are currently grateful for. This can include things like family, friends, job, pets, partner, entertainment, music, government, safety, food, money, and home. When you feel like you are lacking, remind yourself of these things that you are grateful for. You have so much already.
Think of the positive aspects of each situation.
Even the happiest of people are sad sometimes. Accept that you will sometimes feel emotional pain such as anger, fear, worry, stress, and sadness.
Express your emotions when you need to. If you do this you may feel happier overall. When you bottle up emotions they can come bursting out in destructive ways (such as with anger and violence). However, letting a little bit out in healthy ways, such as boxing when you feel angry, can help you feel more balanced emotionally in the long-run.
Love is a strong predictor of well-being. Relationships, in general, are so crucial to our sense of well-being. We need mutually satisfying friendships and relationships with family in order to be happy; this is what makes us human.
Happy people tend to be more social than unhappy people. So get out there and socialize.
If you feel uncomfortable or anxious meeting new people, spend time with others you already know and feel safe around. You can build your confidence from there and work up to talking to unknown individuals. Tell yourself, “Strangers are just friends I haven’t met yet.”
Remember that it is more important to have close relationships with others instead of having many acquaintances that you don’t know very well. It’s about quality over quantity. To cultivate and tend to the friendships you already have.
Understand that relationships are about give and take, or reciprocity. Sometimes you have to make compromises. Be agreeable, flexible, and willing to shift if you need to. But, avoid compromising your values in any way or engaging in risky situations.
Give affection and have positive intimacy with others. Share your thoughts and feelings with friends you trust. Don’t isolate yourself when you are feeling sad or frustrated. If you need some time alone, that is fine, but remember to get social support afterwards.
Negative people and their negative thoughts may block you mentally and bring negativity into your life. Toss their way of life aside as you would a bad piece of candy, and enmesh yourself with people who have the way to enjoy life and living and will share happiness with others.
Set boundaries with people who cause you grief. Say, “No” when you need to.
Take some time to consider leaving relationships or friends that are destructive to your send of well-being or happiness.
Own your emotions.
Pleasure is an important component of happiness and life satisfaction.
Surround yourself with the right activities and the right people that bring opportunities for happiness into your life.
Being active is correlated with happiness levels. Try fun exercise ideas like hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, gardening, dancing, kickboxing, or doing yoga.
Engage in pleasurable leisure activities. Some examples include: watching movies, writing, painting, playing music, sewing, knitting, and reading.
Focusing on experiences rather than on material possessions may increase your happiness. Instead of buying a new car, perhaps travel to another country. Objects will fade and break, while memories can last a very long time and experiences can shape who you are.
Continue spending time with positive people.
. Being concerned with the welfare of other people and acts of kindness can increase happiness. So, be positive in your thoughts and actions by sharing with and helping others. There are so many ways to help others, so find ways to benefit their lives: at the same time, you will feel the joy inside of you by doing this for the betterment of others.
Spending money on others increases happiness. Buy a homeless person something to eat.
Be empathic and put yourself in someone’s shoes. Sometimes a listening ear to a troubled heart is all that is needed.
Help others who need help by volunteering at a local service organization or hospital. For example, you could serve at a food kitchen, or help build a house for tragedy survivors.
Avoid negative influences.
. Being self-sufficient is important in increasing and maintaining your overall sense of well-being or happiness. Make your own goals; do not rely on others to tell you what you want.
Resist social pressure to believe in or do certain things. Hold true to your beliefs.
Regulate your behaviors. In order to be happy you need to be in control of your own actions. Impulse control, or the ability to stop and think before acting, is an integral component of regulation.
Evaluate yourself by your personal standards instead of by what society thinks you should be or do.
Engage regularly in activities that make you happy.
. Values and interests are the guiding force of motivation. Curiosity and enthusiasm are also strongly associated with life satisfaction and well-being.
Get interested in something new. Try a new hobby, activity, or exercise. Explore ideas that you have not yet considered.
Meaning and purpose are strongly associated with happiness. This means having goals and aspirations.
Remember that money alone will not maintain your happiness.
Make short term goals in all facets of your life. Instead of making huge goals for yourself, make them shorter and easier to accomplish. For instance, if you want to lose weight, do not look at a huge amount of weight you may need to lose. Set your goal for losing only 10 lbs. This you can accomplish more easily, but it’s much more difficult to lose 50 lbs at once. Keep setting the goal for only another 10 lbs — until one day you will see the 50 lbs weight is lost.
Think of your possibilities for achievements in education or training that are within reach instead of far down the road. Find what kind of course of study you can take to begin to make progress toward your goals.
If you are employed, it is important to have happiness at your work as well. After all, you may spend 40 hours a week at work. Studies show that a negative work environment can lead to stress, burnout, and less productivity.
Seek an occupation that: pays you well, is secure, provides supportive supervision, and promotes equality and fairness. It is also important that you feel valued.
Increase your motivation
Make meaning out of life.
Sustain a positive work environment.