When was the last time you felt happy for no reason? We all have ups and downs in life. We sometimes experience that worst events life has to give us. Below are some tips on how we can recover from sad days and into a more happier life.
- Look for happiness in the right places. – When we’re young we look for happiness in drugs, sex, alcohol, parties, fast cars, extreme sports, etc. Then when we get a little older, we look for happiness in more ‘mature’ ways – a stable partner, romantic getaways, walks along the beach, jazz music, a night at the bar with some friends. Do they work? Do these things make us happy? Sure they do. They raise our happiness temporarily. But people have a baseline of inner happiness. Certain events and possessions, like an unexpected windfall, might raise or lower our happiness momentarily, but soon we return to our inner baseline. The key is to gradually raise this baseline. Enjoy the moment, but don’t completely ignore long-term goals. What will you be proud to have accomplished, or disappointed that you didn’t do, five years from now?
- Acknowledge the lesson is every situation. – Everything is a life lesson. Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc. They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’ Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
- Be authentic. Be true to yourself. – Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.” Live by this statement. There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes. The only shoes you can occupy are your own. If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living – you’re merely existing.
- Use personal strengths to get things done. – Everyone possesses unique personal strengths. We all have different talents and skill sets. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state of completion always creates a sense of achievement. If this achievement is based exclusively on your personal ability to get the job done, the psychological rewards are priceless.
- Avoid negativity and negative people. – Don’t belittle yourself and don’t put up with people who try to belittle you.
- Appreciate the things you already have. – The road to happiness isn’t difficult. Happiness is not dependent on amassing a certain amount of wealth or notoriety. If you’re always striving for something bigger and better, without stopping to appreciate what you currently have, happiness will remain slightly out of reach. Your current situation may be far from perfect, but if you can detach from your own negative views and appreciate the simple aspects of each moment, happiness becomes easier to cultivate.
- Savor the joy of simple pleasures. – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.
- Help others when you’re able. – In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.
- Share time with people you love and experience life together. – The quality of our personal relationships correlates directly with our overall sense of worth and happiness. Sometimes in the midst of life’s chaos we forget to do the little things that remind us we’re part of something greater than ourselves. We need a certain amount of meaningful contact with other people to feel fully alive. There are few things more satisfying than recounting the greatest moments of your life with your family and closest friends who lived these moments alongside you. And remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
- Resolve conflicts with others. – Always forgive people and move on, even if they never ask for your forgiveness. Don’t do it for them – do it for yourself. Get that unnecessary stress out of your life.
- Smile more often. – A genuine smile makes you and everyone around you feel better. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. This reaction has been studied since the 1980’s and has been proven a number of times. Bottom line: Smiling actually makes you happier.
- Compete only with yourself to be the best you can be. – When you catch yourself comparing yourself to a colleague, neighbor, friend, or someone famous, stop! Realize that you are different, with different strengths – strengths these other people don’t possess. Take a moment to reflect on all the awesome abilities you have and to be grateful for all the good things in your life.
- Accept things when they are less than perfect. – If you find yourself at a point of intense decision making where you’re caught in a spiral of over-analysis and you’re making no progress, take a deep breath, break the spiral, make an educated guess on the next logical step, and take it. Even if you get it wrong you’ve learned something, which is better than doing nothing. Your failures along the road to your goals are simply opportunities to learn and grow. Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists; it rewards people who get things done.
- Take full responsibility for your life. – Either you take responsibility for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. You must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.
And remember, life always takes place in the present. You never know what the future holds – whether or not you and your loved ones will still have good health or even be alive. The opportunity to enjoy life is now. Make time to do so.