To feel happier than you do now, pay more attention to these 10 things

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These things all affect how happy you can be.

Do you want a happy life?

Of course you do! Everyone does.

Your idea of a happy life may be different from the next person, but it’s still a goal that everyone wants to accomplish.

To achieve it, there are certain things you need to figure out, ideally sooner rather than later.

Here are our top 10 suggestions for you to consider:

1. Your core values.

Core values are your fundamental beliefs about how you should interact with the world.

People who behave in ways that contradict their core values often find themselves listless, unhappy, or angry because they are living out of tune with what’s important to them.

However, not everyone immediately knows what principles matter most to them. It can take a while to figure it out.

But once you’ve identified your core values, you’ll find life runs much more smoothly if you live in alignment with them.

2. Your purpose.

‘Purpose’ can be a misleading word in the grand scheme of things.

Many people imagine it’s something that requires huge effort and will be world-changing for themselves and others.

But that’s not necessarily true. Not everyone is destined for some great purpose. In fact, the majority of people aren’t. They can’t be.

There are seven billion people in the world and it would be a pretty dysfunctional place if every one of them did earth-shaking things.

For many, purpose is something as simple and ‘small’ as giving to their community, helping someone out who needs it, or raising happy kids.

The key is to figure out what inspires you and act on it.

3. Cultivating healthy relationships.

Relationships have a huge impact on our long-term happiness.

We all know that loneliness has a dramatic effect on our mental well-being and that supportive relationships improve our mood and help us regulate our emotions.

But the equation is not as simple as: relationships = happy.

Emotionally draining relationships can fuel depression and anxiety by sapping our ability to handle stress, and negative or toxic relationships can crush our self-worth and self-esteem.

So the key thing to figure out is how to identify and maintain healthy relationships, and how to avoid or escape the ones with the raging red flags.

4. Maximizing your physical and mental health.

Few things are more important to your quality of life than your health.

For example, if you live with depression, your quality of life is less because you aren’t experiencing happiness and joy like others. You may also not have the energy to do the basics like hygiene, self-care, or cleaning.

How you maximize your physical and mental health will look different to each person.

Genetics, upbringing, culture, living conditions, and so on can all play a role in your ability to take certain actions and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

But what we can all do is make small lifestyle changes that work within our circumstances. We just need to figure out which ones are achievable and make them happen.

5. Self-awareness.

Self-awareness allows you to slow down and make conscious decisions about your behavior rather than being dragged along by your emotions and impulses.

To develop self-awareness, you need an understanding of your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, whether good or bad.

Identifying the positive ways you think, feel, and react will help you to lean into these strengths.

Understanding your negative responses can help you start to unpick them. With this knowledge, you can then avoid triggers where possible, challenge your impulses, and figure out healthier ways to cope.

6. Finding the right fuel for your personal growth.

Stagnation is counterproductive to a happy, satisfied life.

Things may be great right now, but they won’t be forever.

Sooner or later, you’ll experience setbacks that will undermine your current quality of life.

And the best way to minimize the hurt caused by these setbacks is through personal growth.

Whether through formal education, skill development, or new experiences, personal development contributes to your ability and confidence to cope with life’s challenges.  

Learn how to treat every situation, whether positive or negative, as an opportunity for personal growth.

7. Your work-life balance.

It’s so important to figure out a healthy balance between your work and personal life.

Everyone needs time for leisure and personal responsibilities. If you have the opportunity, or it’s within your means to find the time, it’s vital to learn to prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Granted, work-life balance is not a luxury that everyone can afford.

In an ideal world, we would all have the appropriate time and energy for everything we need to do. But in reality, often we just have to make do with what we have and relax the best that we can.

Wherever possible though, leave the work at work and figure out how to switch off and relax when you get the opportunity.

8. Living within your means.

Learning to manage your finances responsibly alleviates stress and provides a measure of security.

Budgeting, saving, and investing wisely if you can, contribute to long-term stability and peace of mind.

No one wants to be poor or live in poverty. It’s soul-crushing to not be able to afford food or provide for your family.

Whilst poverty is a harsh and unavoidable reality for some, there are many people who could increase their financial stability by learning how to better live within their means.

The good news is that in this age of technology, financial literacy is something that almost anyone can learn and there are millions of resources, tools, and apps to help you do just that.

9. Finding your unique and meaningful way to contribute to the world.

Contributing to something bigger than yourself provides so many benefits.

Not only does it improve your physical and mental health by offering fulfillment, but it helps with your relationships too, because it allows you to meet people who share your values and beliefs.

Taking up local politics, supporting a worthy cause, or even helping out a neighbor is an easy way to make a positive impact in the world.

A seemingly minor contribution can make a major difference to someone else’s life, and your own.

10. Being more grateful more often.

Gratitude is such a powerful tool for creating a positive outlook and enhancing your well-being.

We often spend too much time in the past or the future, regretting things we’ve done or worrying about what’s to come.

But, truthfully, all we have is the present moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised.

Gratitude is about focusing on what you have right here, right now.

Granted, it may be hard to find gratitude if your life isn’t going well. Still, at minimum, you’re alive which provides at least the option to thrive.

Sometimes, gratitude for simply existing is the best thing for you, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

About The Author

Jack Nollan is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspectives from the side of the mental health consumer. Jack has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.