There’s not a single person on the planet who couldn’t use a little more happiness in their life. In this day and age of gloomy news headlines, social media, and advertising that makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s becoming harder and harder to be at peace.
When asked to rate their overall satisfaction in life on a scale of one to ten, the average result was 6.5. Considering this is the only life you have, this seems remarkably low. What will it take to boost that score up to a perfect ten? Of course, everyone has things going on in their life that they can’t control. People suffer from illnesses, experience family tragedies, and struggle with their finances. Not everyone can have that perfect life they dream of, but it is possible to learn to love the life you have.
By making some small changes and adopting new habits, it is possible for everyone to be happier and more satisfied with their life. To help you kickstart your quest for positivity, here are three steps to living a happier life.
Opt for experiences over things
When you’re on your deathbed and you look back on your life, what are the key parts of your life you’re going to remember? It will, of course, be different for everyone, but there’s a good chance it won’t be your designer clothes or brand new iPhone. It will be the time you spent with loved ones and the amazing experiences you had travelling the world. It’s easy to feel in the modern world that we need to own the latest gadgets, cars and clothes in order to fit in. Advertising and social media influencers make us feel that materialism is something to aspire to, when in actual fact they don’t improve our lives in any meaningful way. You can be just as happy wearing a shirt taken off the rack in Tesco as a £300 designer label. And you’ll have more money to spend on the things that matter.
So next time you get your monthly paycheck, think twice before splashing it on a fancy Rolex or some flashy new mags for your sports car. Instead, devote your time and money to having experiences and making memories. Spend time with your kids and your partner. Go on as many holidays as you can and travel around the world. Say yes more and escape your comfort zone at every opportunity. Do the thing that scares you and don’t be afraid to fail or embarrass yourself. These are the moments you will look back on in years to come and make you a happier, more fulfilled person.
Spend less time online
We can’t deny that technology has become an integral part of our lives. We use it for everything from keeping in touch with family to dating to tracking our morning runs. There are loads of positives to enjoy, but it also has its drawbacks. Walk down any street or enter any bar in the world and you’ll see dozens of people with their heads down in their phones ignoring the people and places around them. More than half of all people claim to be addicted to their phones, and that’s not counting the ones who are in denial.
Spending too much time online and using devices can have overwhelmingly negative effects on several aspects of your life including your physical health, mental wellbeing, cognitive function, and relationships. Social media can make you stressed and anxious, advertising gives people body image issues, and the days of having a meaningful conversation with someone without them checking their phone every few minutes are but a distant memory.
No one is saying you should throw away your devices and live like a hermit for the rest of your life, but making an effort to spend less time online will certainly make you a happier person. It will take a while to break the addiction but before long you will find yourself feeling liberated. Your stress and anxiety levels will plummet, your memory and concentration will return to their original levels, and you’ll have more time to spend on meaningful activities like talking with family, exercising, or reading books.
Make time for exercise
Everyone knows that exercise is important for our health. But some people struggle to muster up the motivation to get up and go for a run or buy that gym membership. Physical activity is hugely beneficial for so many reasons. It makes you fitter and stronger, and less prone to injury as a result. People who exercise regularly also tend to live longer and are less susceptible to stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. Crucially, it will make you happier. All it takes is thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day to experience the benefits.
If you are the kind of person who struggles to get out of bed in the morning, there are some ways to find the motivation you need. The best solution is to find a sport or physical activity that you enjoy and focus on that. If you hate running, don’t feel you need to run. You could have a guy at anything from cycling to yoga to kickboxing. The choice is yours.
Once you have found the right activity, the next step is to set yourself a goal. Merely deciding to go for a run whenever you can be bothered gives you little motivation and is not likely to last very long. But if you have a time-sensitive goal to aim for, you will have something to get you out of the house each day. This could be signing up to and training for a 10k race, or entering a martial arts tournament. It could be cycling 100 miles in a month or bench pressing a certain weight. As long as your goal has a time deadline and you can easily track your progress, you will have more incentive to improve yourself and experience the physical and mental health benefits.
In conclusion, there are so many ways that you can improve your level of happiness in life, but these three habits will give you a huge push in the right direction.