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Posts Tagged ‘get happy’

10 Unusual Ways to be Happy in Life

In Designer Lifestyle on November 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Being happy. As simple as shaking your head.

Photo courtesy of thiquinho

We all know that there are things you should do to make yourself happier. Often, they’re presented as daunting tasks. Find your soulmate, live a life of passion, do meaningful work to help others… The fact that we know this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll do it. Nor does it make it easier. I try not to think about these difficult, multi-step, goals and focus on smaller, more unusual, ways to be happy when I need a boost.

 

  1. If there is an event that you find traumatic or painful, try writing about it. The natural response is to try to avoid things which make you feel hurt or uncomfortable, but thinking about it in a structured way takes away some of its power over you. 
  2. Focus on the little things that affect your body’s chemistry. Living a life of passion and love is a complicated and multi-step process. Getting to sleep at a reasonable hour and avoiding extremes of blood sugar are not. They are primary building blocks to let you build momentum towards something bigger.
  3. Fake it ’til you make it. This works with happiness and confidence particularly well. In a way similar to the placebo effect, the body starts to rely on something that isn’t really there, and provides the ‘cure’ for your affliction on its own. If you’re lacking confidence or happiness, your body adapts to project it.
  4. Buy experiences, not objects. Life experiences are inherently more social, and they have some element of risk. Successfully navigating risks is naturally thrilling and spending quality time with others is a proven factor for happiness
  5. Think a little more about a new job. Going for the job that will get you the most money won’t necessarily make you happier. Work is where people spend a significant portion of their lives, and taking any job is a decision that should be based on multiple factors. Finding somewhere with people that you get along with, or that works towards a purpose you are passionate about, can be more valuable to your well being than money.
  6. Expand your time. Focusing on the here-and-now can actually slow your perception of time and make you more willing to use that time on activities that will make you happy, rather than hurrying around without the time to please yourself.
  7. Take action. About 50% of your happiness level is genetic, but that’s no reason to assume that you were born, and always will be, an Eeyore or a Tigger. The simple act of doing something to improve your future is (and I try to use this word sparingly) an empowering one. Your material circumstances account for about another 10% of your happiness level. But the rest is within your direct control – how you think and behave.
  8. Lose some friends. 5000 Facebook friends but nobody to confide in? I’m sure you can point to a person like that (but please don’t; it’s rude). If you want to be happy, sometimes you have to make an effort to surround yourself with positive people and get rid of the negative ones. Maybe, once your life is wonderful and nobody can drag you down, you will be able to help them with their lives and lift them up. But don’t sacrifice your happiness for no reason.
  9. Play practical jokes. You have to feed your inner child at some point. There’s a genuine mirth you can create from a joke that everybody can enjoy. Just try to make sure that the fall guy will find it funny too. 
  10. Set stupid challenges for the day. Maybe it’s a competition with a co-worker to see how many times you can say ‘horse’ in conversation with others. Maybe you’re only allowed to walk if you’re whistling (avoid libraries). One of my favourites when on tiled floors is that I can only move like a knight would in a game of chess. They’re silly, and that’s the idea. Adding variety to your day, and taking things less seriously, makes it more enjoyable. Life has a sense of humour; we should too.
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