- Be Yourself
- Surround Yourself with People Who Make You Happy
- Follow Your Gut
- Use Your Gifts
- Find Your Purpose
- Stick to Your Values
How to be happy is searched on Google almost 50,000 times per month. At that rate, it seems like people want to be happy almost as badly as they want to keep breathing.
The common suggestions on how to live a happier life include: Go after your goals, try yoga, meditate, use essential oils, journal, recite affirmations, take breaks, exercise, and so on. All of those activities have the ability to reduce stress and improve your quality of life, but the real secrets of living a happy life do not lie within external activities. Instead, they lie within internal self-love.
Below are easy ways to be happy:
1. Be Yourself
Have you ever found yourself wanting to be part of the “cool” crowd, or simply wanting to be viewed as “normal?” Have you altered the way you act in attempt to do so? Have you done this for so long that you can’t even remember who you truly are and what makes you happy?
I remember being in high school and doing anything I could to be viewed as popular by others. But when I hung out with the popular kids, I didn’t feel good about myself. I was constantly comparing myself to them and felt inadequate. I was nothing like them, yet I wanted to fit into their group so badly. So why do we do this?
External factors play a major role in our lives. Family, friends, mentors, and society as a whole place massive pressures on us to act a certain way.
In Untamed (a book that could also answer the question “how to be happy”) the author Glennon Doyle mentioned that we start losing who we are by the age of 10. By that age, we are taught what is normal and “right” in society. We are taught that if we act a different way, we will be viewed as weird and have many struggles. We then conform ourselves to societal expectations and continue to act “properly” year-after-year until it becomes “who we are.” But is this really who we are, or have you trained yourself to believe this is who you are?
Reflect on that and ask yourself, am I doing what I want and what I truly believe is best for me, or am I conforming to societal norms and expectations? Dig deep down inside of yourself to find the answer and figure out how to be happy with yourself.
If you aren’t being completely yourself, you are going to burn yourself out from the excessive amount of effort you put into being someone else. Plus, we are all created uniquely to give contribute something new and different to the world. Embrace your uniqueness!
Search for things you enjoy and integrate them into your life every week. Stop trying to conform to what everyone else says you should do or how you should act. Be yourself. Post what you like on social media. Stop worrying about what others think or how many likes or followers you get on social media.
There are people out there who love you for you. Those are the people you should aim to place in your life, regardless of their perceived popularity. Let’s take that thought into the next point.
2. Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Happy
To be truly happy, you must surround yourself with people who love you for you and support your goals, dreams, and life choices. Make the people who allow you to be yourself without judgement the robins to your batman.
Picture yourself in a moment when you set yourself free. Imagine a time when you were filled with endless joy and happiness. Who were you around? What were you doing? Do you want to feel like that more often? Spend more time with those who make you feel free and confident. Eliminate the people who judge you and make you feel small.
3. Follow Your Gut
Remember when you were a little kid and you did things that you found fun without thinking twice about it? You were following your gut feeling without questioning it.
Then you got to high school and college and realized you had to take life more seriously. You “needed” to pick a major with a high job placement rate and would create financial stability. The cognitive/rational part of your brain told you to do that. But what does the emotional part say? The emotional part of your brain gives you a “gut feeling.” Your gut will likely allow you to utilize your unique talents because your emotional side knows what you’re naturally good at.
You can be successful in anything you do. Think of the people who go to college for fashion design. Fashion design has an employment growth rate of 3% over a 10-year period, which is much lower than the average occupational growth rate. The cognitive part of their brain likely says that’s not the sensible thing to do, but they decided to follow their gut instead. Every person I know that went to school for fashion design found a job because their love for design drove their dedication to being successful in that field. They are incredibly happy and satisfied with their careers. You can beat the statistical odds. From now on, pay closer attention to your gut to drive happiness.
4. Use Your Gifts
Your gifts are what makes you unique. They are things that you naturally excel at. For example, my gift is talking and networking. I spread my knowledge with others through my voice. The strong network I create instills trust in the knowledge I am providing.
When I use my gift, I am truly thriving. It makes me genuinely happy to be able to help others learn and grow through strong communication!
What are your gifts and how can you utilize them to make the world a better place? How can you share what you know, your skills, and talents with the world. Knowledge is meaningless until you share it with the world.
5. Find Your Purpose
I was once told to find purpose in everything I do and I will always live a happy life. Many times we are told to pursue our passions, but I will advise you to pursue your purpose instead. Passion is what the world can give to us, and purpose is what we can give to the world. We receive the greatest amount of life satisfaction from giving, not receiving. Therefore, to be truly happy, we must discover what we can provide to the world.
Throughout your life, you may discover that you fulfill your purpose in many different ways. Look at your career, whether it be your college or professional career, and ask yourself why you are doing it. How are you fulfilling your purpose? How are you contributing to the bigger picture? When you discover this, use it as your driver for your actions. I can guarantee this will be a major contributor to a happy life.
6. Stick to Your Values
Your values are part of who you are. As stated previously, being authentic is the number one answer to how to be happy. If you allow someone or something to change your values, you aren’t sticking to your true self. You will be adhering to expectations of others or societal norms.
Be aware of your values and find people and places that have similar values. Find friends and a significant other that shares the same values as you. Find a company to work for whose vision, mission, and purpose coincides with your own. If the values of the relationships you have or company you work for don’t align with yours, you will experience cognitive dissonance, which is internal frustration created due to your values being misaligned with your actions and behaviors due to external influences.
Comment below with any questions or if you found this article helpful!