Happiness isn’t something that just happens to you. It’s an art, and a skill.
More than anything, happiness is a habit, and one of the single best ways you can ensure success at anything you set your mind to.
When you make the decision to prioritize your own well-being, to appreciate the good things right where you are, you take an essential step towards gaining control of your life.
The results are in the details, so in this post I’m going to share some of my favorite tricks for being happy, all of the time.
5 Life Hacks To Increase Your Happiness for Good
1. Noticing The Good: Gratitude and Appreciation
You may have heard of the benefits of gratitude before. That’s because developing a habit of appreciation is scientifically proven to rewire your brain, release happy hormones, and create a long-lasting positive impact in your life.
The good news, is that there is no single trick to make this work. Anytime you appreciate the good things around you and take the time to feel thankful, you’re boosting your ability to be happy.
That said, there are some easy habits you can develop:
- Step Back Throughout The Day: One secret to radically increasing your level of joy is to notice that amazing things are already happening to you, all of the time. The problem is that as we get caught up in our routines, we forget to notice the good things around us. Try taking the time throughout the day (every hour or half hour, for example) to step back and breathe, and begin to notice the good things that are already present in your life.
- Revisit Positive Moments: Another way to practice gratitude is to set aside a few minutes at the end of the day to revisit the positive things that happened that day. Sure, you might have had a few tense moments as the day progressed, but don’t let them overshadow the accomplishments and peaceful moments. Try to list at least 10 things that happened that day. It might take some practice to get started, but soon you’ll find your life overflowing with good feeling memories.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal: One of the best and most-recommended tips for increasing your sense of gratitude is to journal. According to Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor. writing down positive aspects of things hardwires them into your brain, and deepens the impact of them, making your gratitude practice more permanent than simply thinking about the good. It doesn’t matter what you’re grateful for, whether it’s big or small, happened yesterday or 10 years ago, it’s the act of writing and remembering them that counts.
- Start Your Morning The Right Way: Lastly, one of the easiest ways to put yourself in the mindset of appreciation is to take a few minutes for yourself first thing in the morning. Rather than diving right into the stresses of the day, take 10 minutes to build positive energy. This will put you in the right frame of mind so you can see the good as you begin your day.
2. Stop Complaining, Start Affirming
While gratitude and appreciation help you notice the things you like, complaints are the opposite side of the coin. Just as you want to start noticing the good, it also helps to stop noticing the bad.
Both of these techniques are important because they work to shift your focus. Thanks to The Law of Attraction, that also means they shift the energy you hold, and your ability to be, do, and have whatever it is that you want.
Begin to notice all of the little complaints you say, and replace those complaints with affirmations or gratitude statements.
This can be extraordinarily simple. For example, one easy tip is to actually say you’re doing well, both to yourself an others.
How often do you have a conversation that begins:
“How are you?”
“Oh, I’m alright.”
“How was your day?”
“It was ok.”
It might not sound very important, but these habitual responses are huge clues into your default state of mind. If you’re serious about raising your vibration quickly, change these little statements, and pay attention to how often they crop up.
Don’t say you’re just “ok,” “hanging in there,” or “can’t complain.” Tell yourself and others you’re doing “really well,” and “in a good mood.” If you don’t actually believe that, fake it ’til you make it, or else say something like: “things are improving,” or another positive affirmation you can believe.
These little words have a big impact.
3. Start a Meditation Routine
Another powerful technique that will virtually guarantee you a higher level of happiness is to begin a meditation routine.
When you meditate, you sit to quiet the mind and focus on your breath. You can learn to stop excess thoughts, and release negativity. This will dramatically lower your stress and make you feel more competent and capable as you go through your day.
Most importantly, meditation is an excellent practice for learning to tap into your inner energy of joy. When you reach within, you learn that you don’t need anything external in order to be truly happy, and the joy that you can cultivate from within will far surpass any temporary happiness created by the material world.
4. Eat Well and Exercise
This trick is so common sensical it’s easy to overlook.
Your diet and exercise routines have a major impact on your overall level of happiness. Not only are you more likely to live long and have a higher quality of life when you pay attention to what you eat and engage in physical activity, but you’ll also feel better.
This is important for a number of reasons. Not only are diet and exercise key factors that can help to alleviate depression, anxiety, and a host of other issues, but they will give you more energy and vitality. This makes you more likely to do the things you actually want to do.
They also give your body the tools it needs in order to step back and process the world in a more balanced light. You become less focused on the narrow minutiae of your routine and think with a clearer head.
5. Create Your Own Happy List
Lastly, one of the best practices you can do to improve your happiness is simply to focus on the activities that make you happy.
This is easy to do when you’re already in a good mood, but much, much harder to do when you’re in a negative state of mind.
For that reason, I suggest you create a happy list — a list of little things you can do that will always improve your mood. They can be anything from singing along to your favorite song to getting up and going for a walk.
The point is to find short and easy activities that work for you, to help you to feel better whenever you want to.
Read more about how to create a happy list in this post.