The age-old answer to ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ or ‘where do you see yourself in 5, 10 or 20 years?’ is very often ‘to be happy’. Essentially, we all want to be happy and achieve happiness throughout our lives. But is it actually possible? Keep reading to find out how to gain more satisfaction and overall joy in your day to day life, long term.
When you think about the facets of your life that make up your idea of ‘happiness’, what does it include? Maybe success, power, love, wealth, or the ideal body? But are these the absolute keys to happiness?
Generally, the research doesn’t agree with these societal based ideas of happiness and positivity in one’s life, especially when it comes to long term, ongoing happiness. Think about a time in your life when maybe you’ve received a promotion, an award, started seeing someone new or lost a few kilos… did the thrill and ecstatic feelings from these exciting life moments last very long? Of course, they are great momentous times in your life, but the thrill is relatively short-lived, right?
Since as humans, we are designed to adapt quite quickly to new experiences or circumstances in our lives, it is normal for this to often be the case. It means that the really exciting things that occur in our lives can more quickly than we’d like, become the new normal, and don’t provide those heightened feelings of happiness for too long. Instead, we go back to our idea of our normal, ‘base’ level of happiness.
Okay, great… so what does it take to actually achieve longer-term, increased and sustained feelings of happiness? It doesn’t take winning lotto or getting to your goal weight (even though these are pretty fab!) In fact, all it takes, according to researchers, is a change in attitude and perspective and an increase and greater focus on gratitude. Check out the following life hacks to achieve that amazing feeling of happiness for life!
#1: Focus on greater positivity
Ultimately, to focus on the positive, we need to move away from our predisposed nature of seeing the negative as a means of survival and keeping ourselves safe. In the world we live in today, we tend to be overall quite protected and ‘safe’, but naturally, it is easy to see the bad before the good. We can’t change this nature we have as humans, but we can try and see more positive in every day, especially in situations where it is not so easy. We are definitely not saying you need to walk around with a smile on your face 24/7, ignoring the tough things going on. But aiming to simply notice and appreciate the small things that provide joy, such as a stranger saying ‘good morning’ to you on your daily walk or when your friend offers to treat you with a coffee date, can make a huge difference!
One of the most effective ways to improve your overall happiness is to express and practice gratitude on a daily basis. We have a whole blog on the importance of gratitude, which you can check out here! It really can do you a world of good. Here are some simple ways to easily practice it:
- Give genuine thanks to others
- Write down what you are grateful for
- Keep count of and reflect on your blessings
- Write to someone a letter of gratitude
- Find the positive in something deemed a more negative experience
#2: Take care of and appreciate your relationships
It is a known fact and something I’m sure we can all agree on, that relationships in all their varying forms provide us with one of the most significant sources of happiness in our lives. The happier a person, the more likely they are to have a thriving and close circle of loved ones, whether it is family, friends, marriages, or colleagues.
Because this connection is so strong, the importance of taking care of and nurturing these relationships is so important to ensure your happiness over your lifetime is secure. When you invest in relationships, you will see just how much of your happiness comes from the people around you. It won’t and shouldn’t make up for all of it, but a big chunk! It will also allow you to attract similarly happy and positive people moving forward.
Here is how you can ensure your relationships stay a priority in your life:
- Keep connected
- Make time for quality time together
- Genuinely tell people why they are important to you
- Keep the positive people in your life, and remove people who bring you down
- Be happy for your loved one’s positive news, as you would for your own
#3: Be more selfless, and live with more purpose
Finding time to give back can be difficult when you live a jam-packed busy life. But it doesn’t have to be complicated! There really is something so fulfilling and affirming about making a difference in someone else’s day. Often people who assist those in need and give back to their community are happier, demonstrating higher self-esteem and psychological well-being. Here are some great ways to live with purpose:
- Volunteer in your community. It could be at your local library, nursing home, or charity. The options are extensive!
- Practice kindness. Simply smile at a stranger or pick up a loved one something you know they love just because!
- Use your skills for good!
- Donate to your favourite charity… a little often goes a long way!
#4: Live in the moment, not in the past or the future
Often when we feel a sense of unhappiness, stress, or worry it comes on because we were dwelling on something that has happened in the past or something that might be happening in the future. Of course, it is much easier said than done, but moving your thoughts and focus towards the present moment is much more likely to provide more centered feelings and a sense of calm and contentment. It is also more likely to provide more awareness for the less observed things going on around you in your day to day existence.
Here are some super simple ways to find yourself living more in the moment:
- Practice mindfulness – click here to find out a few simple mindfulness tricks to try today!
- Have more ‘off’ time, whether it be time off your phone, quick walk breaks at work, or more self-care time.
- Notice small pleasures in day to day life – this could be done through keeping up daily routines, replaying happy moments, and reducing multi-tasking (we know, this is tough!)
#5: Place your health as a top priority
For us, focusing on your overall health and wellbeing is something we can absolutely vouch for when it comes to providing yourself with long term happiness. It is what we here at SuperFastDiet are all about, and love sharing our passion with others.
Your mental health, overall mood, and happiness are almost sure to improve tenfold when these crucial, yet simple changes are placed into your daily health routine:
- Feeding your body with a wide range of nutritious food.
- Making regular exercise a habit, whether it be a daily walk, pilates, or a HIIT class.
- Getting the right amount of sleep you need each night, with 7 – 8 hours being the general rule.
- Providing your body with enough water each day, with 2 – 2.5 litres each day is also a general rule.
It’s not rocket science, but if these healthy habits are made a priority, your happiness will benefit long term dramatically!
For a whole tonne more awesome tips and tricks, mental health and happiness focused content, tonnes of ideas on low calorie, healthy snacks, and meal options, as well as constant support, join our SuperSquad today! Click here to learn more.