The truth is, nobody walks around feeling happy all of the time. There's always going to be an ache, pain, fear, threat, or challenge. Plus, some of us are inherently happier than others based on our genetics and upbringings. However, these factors only account for roughly 60 percent of our total happiness. The other 40 percent of how happy you can be is completely in your hands, if you follow these nine simple steps:
- Sleep and eat. These are two things that can instantly make you feel happier. When you're not running on empty, you don't feel jittery or exhausted.
- Don't wallow in your anger. The longer you sit ruminating on how angry you are about something, the more you exacerbate your state of mind and amplify your negative feelings. Instead, voice your frustration, and then take a five-minute walk to calm down.
- Fake it 'til you make it. Smile even when you're feeling miserable.
Simply pretending to be happy causes you to behave in ways that actually make you happy.
- Challenge yourself. Our brains thrive on dealing with the unexpected. That's why people who try new things tend to be happier.
- Don't "treat yourself". Say no to that pint of ice cream, cigarette, or entire bottle of wine.
- Buy some happiness. Spend money on something that will further your ability to be in contact with family and friends, promote your health, work more efficiently, eliminate stress and irritation, help important causes, or have enlarging experiences.
- Let "good enough" be good enough. People who have an "it's good enough" mentality are happier than people who examine every micron of every option of every decision.
- Exercise. Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters because it increases all of the hormones that make you feel better. Even a brisk 10-minute walk can change your attitude.
- Stop nagging. Many people (especially women) think that if they cease nagging, the world will come to a screeching halt or that nothing will get done ever again. But it's just the opposite. Nagging diminishes productivity and increases your misery.