5 Ways To Be Happier In Life

I, like most of you, know just how difficult it is not to get sucked into the day-to-day of life. I have been guilty of it so many times, and I will most definitely be guilty of it in the future. I went through a long bout of depression, starting at the age of 8, and it got bad at 14 and wors at 18. As difficult as it is for me to admit, I had thoughts of hurting myself, which eventually turned into a reality. More times than I’d like to admit, I even thought it would be better not to live anymore. Very few people actually know this about me. I was perceived throughout most of my childhood and young adulthood as the bubbly one, the one who is always happy. That just goes to show that you can never really know what is going on with anyone at any given time. I, in the last couple of years, decided (and I mean really decided) that I wanted to be happy. Here are 10 things that you can do every day to be happier.

 

  1. Smile.
    • Now, I don’t mean pretend to be happy, because I think that’s a lie. You’re lying to everyone who meets you that day, and you aren’t being true to yourself. However, in the morning, try that smile on, just to see how it feels. And if it wasn’t too bad the first time, try it on a few more times during the day, and you may just find that there actually is a reason for you to smile.
  2. Be Aware.
    • Who doesn’t walk down the street every day with their head down, watching their shoes pound the pavement? I know I do. Try looking out ahead of you. Observe the things that are going on around you, stand tall. Look at the sun rising, the beautiful colors of the sky. Notice the pigeon that has especially pretty colors, notice the mother with her child. The other day, I was walking home from work, and it was pouring rain. If I had had my head down, I wouldn’t have seen an old lady walking down the street with her cane in one hand and her umbrella in the other. Only the umbrella was closed. At first, I just thought it was odd. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that I realized that she had probably been caught in the rain and couldn’t open her umbrella with one hand holding her cane, and couldn’t let go of her cane without falling. Take these opportunities to offer your help to others! If they refuse, no harm done. If they accept, I guarantee you’ll be walking down the street with a smile on your face.
  3. Be Active
    • I know what most of you are thinking, but I’m not telling you to go out and be a sport junkie. Imagine your typical afternoon after work. You come home, maybe watch a bit of TV, play your video game, read your book, whatever tickles your fancy. You eat dinner, then resume these activities, then go to bed. By being active I mean do more with your friends, invite them over, go out for coffee (or, in my case, tea), go on a walk with your significant other, or play a board or card game. Or you could dedicate an hour to studying, working on whatever project you have on hold (yes, I’m talking to you writers out there). And of course, if you wish, you may work out. You never know, maybe you’ll like it! On the days when I go to bed without having done something that feels productive, I lay down thinking, “Wow, what a waste of my time. I did absolutely nothing today. I didn’t learn anything, and I was not my best self.” So I made this goal for myself: To be active.
  4. Do What YOU Like!
    • Make sure you do something that counts as a hobby of yours at least once a day, something you like to do. For me it’s writing and reading. Even though writing is hard, I make it a point to write something every day, or at least to edit something I’ve written. How am I supposed to keep deadlines, otherwise? 😉 All jokes aside, whatever your hobby, or your passion is, do it. Knitting, sewing, reading, writing, running, gaming, dancing, singing, playing. There are so many of them, and I’m sure you’ll have half an hour to spare, and you’ll feel all the better for it!
  5. Be Grateful
    • This sounds all mushy gushy, which some of us don’t like, but seriously. Look at your life. Do you have a roof over your head? Clean water to drink? Sufficient food every day? Someone to love? Someone who loves YOU (now don’t shortchange yourself here!)? Someone (or something) to take care of? All of these things and more are reasons to be grateful. So many people in this world have nothing. Be happy to have something. It’s more than okay to aspire for more, but don’t get down in the dumps by constantly thinking that what you have isn’t enough, because it can be if you want it to be.

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