Self Help Skills

How To Be Happy: 20 Things To Do That Will Make Us Happy


To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

- Bertrand Russell


Remember the old Scottish motto: 'Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.'

- David Ogilvy


Here are a bunch (maybe more) of simple things we can do to make ourselves happier. Let's try them out (this writer is going to do that as soon as this is over) and see how we turn out after 8 weeks or so. Fingers crossed.


1. Get physical: Exercise for half an hour three times a week. Get enough sunlight.


2. Get more rest: Get more sleep. Move closer to where you work, or get a job closer to where you live.


2. Count your blessings: At the end of each day, think about the things you are grateful for in life. Stop comparing yourself to others.


3. Talk time: Have long talks with your partner or closest friend each week. Tell your parent how your workday was today. Tell them the best thing that happened to you today.


4. Plant something: Even if it's a window box or pot plant. Make sure it stay alive. Get a dog or cat.


5. Cut your TV viewing by half: Also, remove advertising from your life. Cut out that endless 'barrage of carefully scripted audio/visual entertainment, that is actually pushing I want that...' feelings into you.


6. Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once each day. At least smile at yourself once a day.


7. Phone a friend: Make contact with at least one friend or relation you have not been in contact for a while and arrange to meet up.


8. Have a good laugh at least once a day. Hopefully, not at the expense of others.


9. Every day make sure you give yourself a treat: Take time to really enjoy this.


10. Daily random acts of kindness: Do an extra good turn for someone each day - strangers during commute, colleagues, friends and family.


11. Give more and expect less: An extension of above tip.


12. Assume positive intent of others: That people are good inside.


13. Know when to quit: No need for you to continuing doing something that is only bringing your hardships and disappointments.


14. Go for 'good enough' instead of 'best decision ever made on Earth': This is related to the previous tip. Perfectionists can be very unhappy people on earth.


15. Try mindfulnness/meditation/visualization: Whatever that brings your mind to a happy, calm place.


16. Keep a journal: Write down what happened, daily. How did that make you feel? And so on. It is quite cathartic, just getting it all out of you. You may feel lighter.


17. Think of something you use everyday, make sure it is the best quality you can afford, and maintain it at top quality


18. Act happy: Psychologists believe we can sometimes act ourselves into a frame of mind. They believe that when manipulated into a smiling expression, people feel better. So put on a happy face. Talk as if you are chock full of positive self-esteem, optimism and general exuberance. Going through the motions can trigger the emotions.


19. Practice the ADCDE technique:


A = Adversity - What happened (not your interpretation of it)


B = Belief - How you interpret the adversity. Separate thoughts from feelings (feelings are consequences). You can check the accuracy of thoughts; you can't check the accuracy of feelings--if you feel sad, you are sad.


C = Consequences - Your feelings, and what you did. Often you will feel more than one thing. Write them down.


D = Disputation & Distraction - These are the two ways we deal with pessimistic beliefs - Distraction (simply say 'stop', pinch your hand hard, shout 'easy fella', etc - just concentrate on something else, make it so that you are forced to pay attention to it) - Disputation is more aggressive. It attacks the negative thoughts head, checking for its validity (using facts etc.). Find alternative solutions to your problems. Even if the problem is real, think the worst-case scenario. So what? We can deal with anything if we put our minds to it - get into this mindframe. Even if your belief is true ('life isn't fair'), think how useful this belief is to you. Billions of lives have existed, 99.9999% thought the same, what use thinking about it? Get on with life.


E = Energization - Now that you have worked through your state of mind, time to put this fresh mind onto some positive projects, shall we?


(Source:'Learned Optimism' by Martin Seligman)


20. Hugs, hugs, hugs: Don’t text, poke or like, touch.


Thank you for reading.
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