Abraham Lincoln once said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
While a good chunk of happiness is controlled by our genes, there are lots of things you can do to make yourself happier. In this article, you’ll learn 9 techniques to boost your happiness.
9 Proven Happiness Hacks
Showing gratitude for the things you have is the single most important thing you can do to boost your happiness.Every night before you go to bed, write down 3 good things that happened to you that day. Cultivate this habit daily to gradually boost your happiness. You can also practice loving kindness meditation.
On the other hand, thinking about the bad things that happened to you that day can have the opposite effect. Doing this regularly will make you more miserable over time.
Don’t train your brain to be negative. Focus on the positive and let go of the negative.
2. Be Your Best Self As Often As You Can
Think about the best version of yourself and strive towards becoming that person as often as you can.
Think about the things you are uniquely good at and do them often to increase your happy thoughts.
3. Spend More Time with People You Like
Spend as much time as possible with people you like. These are the ones who truly make you happy. Not spending enough time with people you like is one of the biggest regrets people have.
Talk to your favorite people as often as you can. Share the best events of the day and tell them to do the same.
4. Money Stops Making You Happy After $75K/Year
Money can buy you happiness till you reach an annual income of $75,000 a year. According to a study conducted at Princeton University, earning over $75,000 has no greater impact on happiness. So while money is good, there are other better things.
Money can definitely make you happier, no doubt about it. However, it will not increase your moment to moment mood.
Spend your money on things that truly make you happy. Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is not good. Money is good, but wanting it all the time is bad.
5. Giving is Better Than Receiving
“If you want to be wisely selfish, care for others.” – Dalai Lama
Giving makes you happier than receiving, according to science. This is why volunteering makes us happy.
Even the Dalai Lama spoke about the importance of being selflessly selfish in an interview with ABC News Anchor Dan Harris.
“If you want to be wisely selfish, care for others.” – Dalai Lama #Quote @soulfularogya
There is even research that suggests that the act of giving creates a ripple effect of doing good. That’s right! Your act of doing good can encourage others to behave generously as well.
6. Savor the Present Moment
Take time to enjoy the things you love.
Don’t let your mind wander. A wandering mind is not a happy mind. Be totally mindful of the present moment.
Practice mindfulness meditation and make it a part of your daily routine. This will gradually help you master the technique of savoring the present moment and appreciating its value even more.
Related: How to Make Meditation a Daily Habit [Infographic]
7. Set Ambitious Goals and Strive
Studies indicate that we are happier when we are busy. We usually do things that are easy, that bring us little to no joy. Instead, we should set ambitious goals and then strive to achieve these goals.
Mastering new skills may be stressful in the short term, but in the long term, it’s happiness boosting.
8. Be Optimistic
Pessimism may soften the blow of bad news, but optimism is key to happiness.
Did you know you could train your brain to be more optimistic? This technique is called learned optimism. Learned optimism is the idea in positive psychology that the talent of optimism, like any other talent, can be cultivated. Learning optimism is done by consciously challenging any negative self-talk.
We will most certainly have to face sad moments in life which will make it difficult to stay optimistic all the time. But when that happens, it’s good to remember this quote by Victor Hugo.
9. Get Your Sleep
Staying nocturnal is not going to increase your productivity. Nor is it going to make you happy. If anything, it will make you feel groggy in the morning and increase chances of you developing serious illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. It can even dumb you down.
So make sure you get 6-8 hours of sleep every day.
Hope you enjoyed the post. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Editor’s Note: This article was first published on September 17, 2016 and has been updated regularly since then for relevance and comprehensiveness.
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