How to be happy? What is the secret of happiness? Every human on earth is in the pursuit of happiness. The problem is we tend to constantly change the goal post for things that makes us happy. We want to have it all. The constant hunger for wealth, love, and social validation can make a person feel unhappy even when they are more privileged than most of humanity. To be truly happy, you have to look inward and be self-aware. Happiness is simply the feeling of self-contentment, gratitude, and inner peace.
Here are the top 5 tips for living a happy life
Nourish Your Relationships
Surveys from Harvard University show that while most people believe that acquiring wealth and fame are keys to happiness, research proves otherwise. Money and fame cannot be the sole predictors of a long and happy life. The key to a happy and long life is in the way you nourish and cherish the people around you. It is the strength of your relationships. It is proved to be a reliable barometer of health, happiness, and well-being. The kind of relationship chemistry you have with family, friends, and most importantly, your spouse is the major indicator of your happiness. It is concluded that the people who had the strongest relationships with friends, family, and spouses were less likely to develop chronic diseases, depression, and other kinds of illness.
It is to be noted that while deep, meaningful relationships make us happy and cheerful, toxic relationships can be deadly. The people you are in a relationship with should be the ones you can really count on during tough times.
Protect and enforce your personal boundaries
When people constantly transgress your personal boundaries intentionally, it is natural that resentment will build up over time. It would be best if you stopped people from disrespecting you knowingly and intentionally. It is challenging for people-pleasers to say no. To ensure happiness for everyone else, they put their own mental health, wellbeing, and happiness at stake. Make it clear to people what is acceptable and what is not. Don’t tolerate bullying and emotional manipulation. With self-awareness and introspection, you should determine the kind of behavior and people you want in your life. Standing up for yourself will make some people dislike you, but eventually, more people will respect you for knowing your self-worth and impeccable personal values.
Don’t compare yourself with others
With the buzz of social media where everyone showcases their best moments, it gets impossible not to compare our life with the exciting lives (Of course, they only project the good side of it) of people we might not know personally. A neighbor got a new car, your college mate got a promotion at his job, and someone you know went on a vacation to Malibu. Ask yourself, would these things matter to you in five years from now? It would be best if you let go. Don’t compare your life with others, and don’t worry what others think about you. Be yourself and work towards your life goals. Everyone has their own journey in life with untold stories of struggles and hardships. Don’t project yourself to be someone you are not.
Happy people are real and authentic. They feel and think the way that brings them joy. They don’t worry about external validation. Trying to one-up others in this social game can never bring inner peace and happiness.
Live in the moment
Don’t let past regret and future worries spoil your present moments. Life is a sinusoidal curve with good times and bad times. Nothing lasts forever. There is no point in ruminating about the past. Learn from your mistakes and forgive. Anxiety about the future can be crippling. What has not come yet, why worry about it? It is best to enjoy the present. Be grateful for what you have at the moment. Try to make your present wonderful. Make each day count.
Spend time on a hobby you love
To be happy, it is important to develop a hobby that you enjoy. It can be cycling, painting, cooking, dancing, reading, or yoga. Reward yourself with treats or buy a gift for yourself as you achieve important milestones or excel in the field of your interest. Hobbies not only bring out your hidden creativity but also distract you from the everyday troubles of life. Make your hobby your passion, or you can even convert your passion into a hobby. It would enable you to nourish your inner child. You will always have something to look forward to, feel content and enjoy your ‘me time.’ Happiness, after all, comes from within.
Hunaid Germanwala is an INTP Author and digital marketing specialist whose mind is always buzzing with creative ideas. Hunaid graduated with a Masters Degree from Ulm University in Germany and has been working as a digital marketing professional since 2014. His motto in life is “Better to Light the Candle than to Curse the Darkness.”