- UNITE Editorial
How to be Happy: 5 Tips
Before we begin on a journey to a happier self, let’s clear up a few things.
No one is ALWAYS happy.
Being happy is not a state you reach and stay blissfully in forever.
If we were always happy, happy would become normal, leaving us in a perpetual state of ‘meh’. ‘Meh’ is not good and not feeling. Hence in order to become a happy or happier person try these 5 tips.
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1 / Embrace Every “Joyless” Emotion
Jealousy, anger, sadness, the list goes on. All these emotions seem to act as an obstruction that is hindering us from feeling happy. The most obvious solution to this problem would be to ignore these emotions. If you ignore the problem, you can skip straight to the being happy part, right? Well no. You can’t put a plaster over emotions and expect it to get better by itself. So instead of ignoring them, learn to embrace and understand these ugly emotions.
The next time you feel bad, ask yourself why you’re feeling bad instead of just, well, feeling bad. When we are clearer on the source of these joyless emotions, we can work towards solving the problems for the long term.
Note: Try recording yourself talking about your emotions like a vlogger, sometimes you’ll find yourself giving your audience (you) the exact advice you needed to hear.
2 / Stop Dwelling Over What You Have No Control Over
You might find yourself in a ‘but I can’t do anything about that’ situation in some point in your life. Your “bad” emotion might seem to be caused by something you have no control over, like losing your wallet in a foreign country- it sucks and there’s probably nothing you can do to get it back.
So here’s Tip 2, if you have a problem and you can solve it, solve it. But if you can’t solve it, get over it.
Take a third persons perspective on your situation, identify what you can learn from that situation, allow yourself to feel a little bad for a while, and then move on. If you continuously invest yourself in that situation you won’t feel any better. However, if you find a silver lining through the experience, you can learn something from it.
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3 / Call The “Bad” Day An “OK” Day
Tip 1 and 2 works best when you have an identifiable problem, but sometimes you’re just glum and that’s that; Just a bad day.
This is perfectly normal, but don’t underestimate how draining it can be to simply wait for the day to end so you can go to bed and wake up the next day with a clean slate.
Bad days can spiral into days, weeks and months even. Why? Because there’s no such thing as a“bad” DAY. A “bad” day is as real as you make it. By over-simplifying your low emotions and labelling it as a “bad” day, you allow yourself to wallow in this state of ‘life sucks’ for no justifiable reason. Slowly every little inconvenience becomes another thing to justify this “bad” phase.
With that, the third tip that I have to offer is clear your slate.
Go for a walk, read a book or play with your pet. You won’t suddenly jump for joy and feel like the happiest person in the world, but you’ll feel neutral. Do something to remind yourself that the outcome of your hitherto “bad day” does not affect the outcome of the rest of your day. A day is just a day, so seize it.
Credit: Pexels / Pixabay
4 / Go Workout
Exercise if you want to become generally happier. Science has proven that that is true.
Dopamine, a chemical, is released when you exercise. It is a neurotransmitter that stimulates pleasure and happiness in our brain. As we grow older our stores of dopamine tend to decline. Hence, we have to bring it back by exercising.
So next time if you find yourself nose deep in a tub of ice cream moping over nothing, do yourself a favour and get up and go for a run.
5 / Fake It Till You Make It
This last tip seems a bit sketchy but hey, it’s pretty effective: Fake it till you make it… or rather till you feel it.
To understand this we first need to realize that action help reinforce our feelings. For example when I’m angry my natural action would be to frown. The frown reinforces my anger. So now, trick yourself.
Smile and keep your head up as you would when you are feeling happy. The relation of actions and emotions exists in a loop, so this time your emotions will follow your actions. Happy actions = happy emotions. Won’t work all the time, but hey if you need a quick fix, fake it till you make or feel it!
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