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Improving Happiness and State of Mind

According to experts, 40 percent of an individual’s happiness is controlled by his/her daily choices. The remaining portion is dictated by family, genes, behavioral patterns, and other uncontrolled life circumstances. 1 However, while this is a simplified number, there is merit in the idea of optimizing one's happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind, and it can be maximized with appropriate lifestyle choices and a willingness to adapt. Without this mindset, it's difficult to remain content with life and everything it brings with it. Let's take a deeper look into defining the concept of happiness and how it can be increased in your daily life.

girl looking back smiling


What is Happiness?


Research on the subject states that happiness is a unique emotion expressed when human beings feel satisfied. This can relate to any aspect of one's life, whether it's at work, at home, or a combination of both. Happiness is related to the idea of having a purpose in life and finding meaning, whether it's through one's family, career, etc. Over time, happiness becomes a source of stability sought by humans to avoid fluctuating feelings.

Increasing Happiness



picnic in front of city


Build Strong Social Relationships


Studies have shown that getting between six and seven hours of socialization each day has a profound impact on one's happiness, making one feel more content about life. Most individuals are reluctant to socialize and build these strong relationships, which is a concern. 1 Instead of avoiding this, it's best to keep working on it as much as possible.

This can be done in a variety of ways, whether it's developing new friendships, finding a partner, or going out to enjoy things in groups. All of these little changes will improve general happiness and keep you busy at the same time.

Happiness has to be seen as something to continue working towards even when things are going well. If the goal is to build relationships, then that's what you have to do. Once you make the change in your ability to socialize, it will have the desired impact over time.

sleeping woman


Sleep More


It's the simple changes that make a noticeable difference. Most people don't get enough sleep at night, and that has an impact on how their day goes. With time, a person will start to notice the impact of sleep on happiness.

Taking the time to sleep a good amount—eight or more hours a day—is essential. Reduced energy levels can ruin the ability to feel good during the day because the body slows down. A thing that can become irritating and doubly hard to do. With this state of mind, happiness may fall completely out of the equation because the body’s focus is on conserving energy.

Because of this, regulating sleep schedule is key. In fact, when it comes to getting a bit of rest, it doesn't hurt to nap during the afternoon if possible. Studies have demonstrated the body's willingness to nap during the long afternoon hours and how this can prove beneficial. 2

As long as your body is rested, this acts as a foundation for general happiness. You will find the time to focus on other things to keep yourself happy when the body is in good shape. Too many people look at other aspects of their life instead of paying attention to their sleeping habits. The more you sleep, the easier it will become to improve overall happiness.

Move Away From Materialism


One of the worst mistakes individuals make is looking at things like money for happiness. In fact, one of the first things people dream of is winning the lottery. In their eyes, winning the lottery would take care of their problems and make them happier than ever before. However, studies have shown this is not the case. Lottery winners are rarely any happier than they were before winning the pot. This has to do with things such as their life circumstances, the people around them, and the choices they make. 3

Sure, having a good amount of money does bring along with it temporary joys like a new sports car, a mansion, or a new handbag, but that happiness is short-lived. A lot of experts relate it to the sugar high from drinking a bottle of soda: it provides a boost for a few hours but then leads to a stronger crash. To avoid this, realize the beauty of ignoring materialism and not linking happiness to how many material possessions you have.

Yes, money has its place and helps pay the bills, but this is not the answer to finding happiness. In fact, the goal should be to look towards other things such as living through your experiences. Make use of this money to experience the world around you. It can be something as simple as going on a trip to your favorite destination, where you will be able to build on your life experiences and find more moments that make you happy.

woman with shopping bags


Understand the Value of "Me Time"


One of the toughest things for people to grasp is the value of "me time." This means spending time on yourself and understanding what makes you happy. A lot of people go through the motions or try to multitask without taking a break, which doesn’t really fix the problem.

Try going to the spa, taking a walk at the park or on the beach, reading a book, watching a TV show or movie, starting a DIY project, or working on a puzzle as ways of taking time to focus on yourself, your happiness, and relaxation.

Everyone deserves a chance to set up a schedule with some "me time" included. Take the time to focus on this part of your life and realize the value of making a change. You will want to spend time on yourself so you're able to do well in other aspects of your life—overall happiness starts with you, and being the best version of yourself requires some “me time.”

jump rope


Stay Healthy


Without good health, you're never going to be as happy as you want to be because poor health will ultimately drag you down. Of course, there are certain things you can't control, but other preventative solutions are in your hands.

One of the most obvious examples that should be on everyone's mind is a willingness to exercise and eat right. Are you ready to get fitter and leaner? Are you ready to make a lifestyle change where you keep the heart and body healthy? If so, you will need to start creating a customized exercise regimen and diet plan that will lead to positive results.

Most people aren't as happy as they should be because of what they see in the mirror. If this is something that is bothering you, then it's time to make a change. Start by creating a simple plan and stay as committed as you can be to get results. If you think that you don’t have time, make it. There’s is never too little time to take your health and happiness into your own hands.

In addition to physical health, mental health is an important aspect of improving happiness. Like physical exercise strengthens the body, meditation strengthens the mind. By meditating, you disconnect from some of the things in life that make you unhappy.

Live in the Moment


Living in the moment is all about perspective and appreciating what is in front of you. Happiness can be found by ignoring some of the fluff that comes with the past or your future. Yes, planning for the future and remembering the past matters, but those don’t have to be the only things that linger in your mind. Remember, the present was once your future, and now it's time to enjoy it.

If you are refusing to revel in what the present has to offer, then you will never be content. The future is going to be a dream you continue to chase without ever getting there. This is why you will need to live in the moment and gain as much happiness from it as you can. The more you do this, the happier you will feel about life.

Take the time to appreciate the little, seemingly-mundane moments throughout your day because that is the present, and tomorrow it will become the past. So live in the present, be grateful for those little moments, and don’t let your mind wander too far forwards or backward—be content exactly where you are in time.

Follow Your Passion


Everyone has something they love to do. It doesn't have to be something related to your work or even something that has "value" in the world. Keep this passion close to stay as happy as possible—pursuing your passion is so important for your happiness.

Act The Way You Want To Feel


If you want to feel happy, then it's time to act like it. This can be done by smiling at a loved one or saying something nice to someone. If you are willing to relax and simply be happy, then it will start to come into fruition in every aspect of your life.

If you aren’t happy or think that you could be happier than you are, do some soul-searching to see what is keeping you from being where you want to be. Once you’ve identified this, eliminate whatever that obstacle is from your life, and bring yourself closer to improving your happiness.

Gratitude goes hand in hand with being content, and you need to be thankful for what life offers you. This way, you will be focusing on being grateful for what you have, rather than being fixated on what you don’t have.

man holding tie


Take Charge


At the beginning of this piece, it was noted that more than half of our happiness comes from factors we cannot control. However, we need to take charge of the other half. Passively standing by and hoping that happiness will eventually come to you will never allow you to actually be happy, rather happiness is something to actively work for. Take your time, reflect on your choices and life steps, and you will identify what you need to do to make yourself happy.

Conclusion


Happiness is a state of mind and remains an integral part of living life.

If you're unhappy, it's going to have a trickle-down effect on everything else in your life. This is normal and something the majority of individuals struggle with and often put off in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, however, why not start incorporating changes to make yourself happy in your daily life today?

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