Looking for tips on how to be happy may seem tacky at first. But on second thought, why should it be? Many people in the world are actually living in bliss; so we know that happiness is not a myth. For something worth having as the elusive H, it’s best to have up-to-date information!
We know the basics: Approach life with gratitude. Smile constantly. Commune with nature. Engage in charity work. Nurture a social network. But can there be more?
Yes! Below are some of the lesser known, but arguably effective, answers people give when asked how to be happy:
1. Milk the good times for all they’re worth.
A recent study has revealed that people prone to depression are not people who never experience happiness. In fact, the opposite is true! Clinically depressed individuals experience happy moments a lot --- they just tend to easily forget about them!
If you want to develop the capacity to drag yourself out of the blues, make sure you create ways of making good times appear in High Definition. Soak in your moments of blessedness. Amplify each positive emotion that comes your way. Document how a long-awaited trip feels like --- and take pictures! What you want is for happy times to hit you with the force of Mack Truck, so that good memories are accessible when you’re down.
2. Debate with that little voice in your head.
Give the more resilient side of your personality some fire in its belly. When you hear yourself say “Kathy, you’re the worst person on the planet!” immediately answer back: “Surely not! There are way worse people than me!” (Yes, it’s a bit Jekyll and Hyde. But don't we all have a little duality inside?)
Think of yourself as the recrimination police. Get snarky; start fighting back! If you can nip bad thoughts in the bud, then you can destroy that powerful demon always whispering from your shoulder.
3. Have a chat with the cab driver.
And with the restaurant waitress, the newspaper delivery boy, your office receptionist and the guy who delivers your pizza. Your conversations need not be long and earth-shattering; what’s important is that you exert the effort to show those around you that you see them as more than uniforms.
When you’re able to spread some human touch in our consumerist planet, you make the world a warmer place to live in.
4. Release your hatred to the universe.
Too many reality shows have glorified diva tantrums (Yes, America’s Next Top Model. I’m looking at you.) But there’s more to life than always saying what you feel. In fact, half the time the best way to deal with a grievance is to shut up about it. When you nurture hate, or even start an argument, you just extend hatred’s life span, when it could just as easily die a natural death.
When you’re feeling hatred, release the negativity to the universe. Hug a tall tree, or play with fine sand for therapeutic release. Think of it as emotional purging. It can be the most liberating experience you’ll ever have.
5. Fake it ‘till you make it.
And if happiness is playing hard-to-get, well then, it’s time to put on the mask. While some people will argue that pretending to be happy is hypocrisy, there are those who swear that it’s the best way to be happy for real. When you live your life as if all is well, eventually all will be well. Whether it’s because you begin to feel more in charge of your life, or you start to spread some positivity around, or the universe is responding to your glad vibes, doesn’t matter. If it works, don’t analyze it too much!