If you want to be happy, start doing these 14 things every day

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Are you in a slump you can’t get out of? Do you often feel like a drone that’s only working, sleeping, and not much else?

Well, that was me only a couple of years ago. However, I’ve managed to turn my life around and be happier than ever. 

Here are the things I did every single day that helped me make a 180. 

1) Dance or listen to music

Music has a powerful impact on mood. Put on your favorite music and dance like no one’s watching. 

Now, I won’t lie to you and say that I danced every day. Or ever. Dancing isn’t my forte. 

But I did listen to music that lifted my spirits and inspired me to take on new projects. Apart from that, there are so many motivational videos you can listen to that will help you get moving if you’re stuck in life. 

The thing is, you should do this every day. Don’t wait for the time you need it. Simply make this a routine. 

2) Have self-compassion

If you’re anything like me, you’re often your harshest critic. You’re never satisfied with your work, interactions with other people, or your life in general.

That’s, of course, a big mistake. It’s also a surefire way to never get ahead in life and stay deeply unhappy. 

Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. When facing challenges or making mistakes, remind yourself that it’s okay to be imperfect. 

Self-compassion encourages a healthier relationship with yourself and reduces self-criticism. 

Ultimately, why make your life even harder than it already is? Why be a starving artist if you can be a thriving one? 

Here’s another thing that will help you feel better and happier

3) Lift your spirits with positive self-affirmations

Positive affirmations help you reinforce positive beliefs about yourself. Repeat affirmations such as:

  • “I’m capable,” 
  • “I can do this,” or 
  • “I’m resilient” 

to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Pump yourself up or have a pep talk in the mirror each morning if you have trouble going through the day. 

The key is to be specific in your affirmations. Instead of using broad statements, narrow them down to address individual aspects of your life. 

For example, if you’re working on self-confidence, say, “I’m confident in my abilities in…”

4) Embrace a minimalist lifestyle

Minimalism is about simplifying your life by decluttering your physical and mental space. 

Start by decluttering your home, then consider simplifying your daily routines and commitments. The goal is to create more space for what truly matters to you.

I started my minimalist journey by throwing away, recycling, or giving to someone around ten items per day. 

It’s an easy way to declutter without really doing the hard work or seeing any drastic changes that might make you think twice about doing it. 

Once you get to a level of minimalism you feel is right for you, simply maintain it and don’t fall into the consumerism trap again. 

5) Connect with pets and other animals

Whether you have pets or visit animal shelters, spending time with animals brings enormous joy. 

The unconditional love and companionship of animals give you comfort and happiness. I have two cats of my own I love spending time with, and petting them really helped me calm down. 

We have had them for 14 years already, and they’ve moved with us across the continent. 

For some people, however, a dog is a better choice as they’re more active, and you can take them on your adventures. Plus, they encourage you to move more. 

But even if you can’t have pets, try spending as much time as you can with animals. 

6) Practice mindful breathing

Mindful breathing involves taking a few moments to focus your attention solely on your breath. 

Here’s how:

Find a comfy place to sit or lie down, shut your eyes, and take slow and deep breaths. 

Pay attention to the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. 

This practice can help reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and bring a sense of calm to your day.

I also recommend Yoga and similar practices that make you focus on breathing and incorporate breath work

7) Read inspiring books

If you take away anything from this article, I hope it will be the importance of reading books. Especially inspiring ones. 

But reading, in general, is a gateway to new worlds and perspectives. Consider choosing books that inspire personal growth, resilience, or creativity. 

Biographies of successful people, self-help books, or novels with profound themes can all be sources of inspiration.

I personally love reading biographies and autobiographies of people I admire. Like Marie Colvin, the American journalist and foreign affairs correspondent. 

8) Embrace a hobby

Hobbies provide an opportunity for joy and self-expression. Whether you’re drawn to painting, gardening, playing a musical instrument, or crafting, dedicating time to your hobby can be a fulfilling escape from daily routines.

For me, this is videography, but also building and messing with R/C cars. 

The first one gets me out of the house, and the other one lets me work on my patience and helps keep my brain engaged. 

9) Do random acts of kindness

Random acts of kindness are simple gestures that brighten someone else’s day. This could include buying a stranger’s meal, holding the door for someone, or leaving uplifting notes in public spaces. 

These acts not only spread positivity but also increase your own sense of altruism and happiness.

Here are more suggestions:

  • Compliment a stranger on something you genuinely appreciate about them
  • Offer to help someone struggling with heavy bags or luggage
  • Donate food items or toiletries to a local food bank or shelter
  • Visit and spend time with elderly neighbors who may be lonely or isolated
  • Send a heartfelt message or letter to a friend or family member, expressing your love and appreciation
  • Participate in tree-planting initiatives
  • Offer your seat to someone in need on public transportation
  • Take a walk in your neighborhood or a local park and pick up litter to keep the environment clean

10) Journaling

Keeping a journal has been a therapeutic practice for me. I simply write down my thoughts, feelings, and experiences regularly. 

With this, I gain clarity, process emotions, and track my personal growth and achievements. But, most importantly, it helps me express gratitude for the things and people in my life. 

It’s a way of not taking things for granted and deeply appreciating how beautiful life can be. 

Self-reflection is also a basis for understanding ourselves and finding out what makes us tick.  

It also helps us work on the following:

11) Deepen relationships

Building and maintaining strong relationships is one of the most important building blocks of happiness. Plan quality time with loved ones, especially friends, and express your appreciation and love for them regularly.

It turns out friends are even more important for happiness than family. But there is a catch.

You see, we do more meaningful activities with friends and more mundane ones with our family. 

So, the key is to have more enjoyable experiences and activities with people in general. One of them should definitely be:

12) Volunteer in your community

Volunteering can be as simple or as complex as you make it. You can volunteer with animals, the elderly, the homeless, kids, nature, and so on.

Find volunteer opportunities in your local community that align with your interests and values. 

By helping others, you create a sense of purpose and connection, which in turn makes you even happier with life.  

13) Unplug from technology

If you don’t use technology and social media with a clear purpose, it will make you unhappy. For example, mindlessly killing time by scrolling the news feed. 

It’s also essential to take breaks from screens. That’s why you must designate specific times each day to unplug and engage in analog activities like reading a physical book, taking a nature walk, or having face-to-face conversations.

14) Set boundaries

And lastly, establishing healthy boundaries is also crucial for your well-being. Learn to say no when necessary to prevent overcommitting and feeling overwhelmed. 

By setting clear limits in your personal and professional life, you reduce stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

With so many jobs available these days, there’s really no need to be someone’s slave. And if you’re over 50, don’t worry. You’re a hot commodity now because of your reliability, strong work ethic, and experience. 

But also…

The basics. You know – exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep. Without this as your foundation, you can do ten other things and still never be content. 

If you’re unhappy, start with these. Exercising alone will make you feel better (after the initial shock to the body). 

Break a sweat each day and get your heart rate up.

Find something you love doing, like playing sports, hiking, mountain biking, ultimate frisbee, or jumping rope, and stick with it.  

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Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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