12 things to remember if you want to be happy

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Happiness – it’s something we’re all chasing yet never seem to keep a hold of for long. 

Because the truth is, happiness doesn’t come through material possessions like having the latest iPhone or a flashy car. Nor does it come from looking good or having an attractive partner…

Happiness is actually all about your mindset! So, if you’ve been feeling the January blues, don’t worry, I’ve got you.

Here are 12 things to remember if you want to be happy…Let’s jump straight in:

1) Life is short 

We hear this expression all the time, yet it’s something I think we could do well to remember more often…

Life is short and time certainly has a way of passing us by!

So, if you want to be happy, this is my message to you:

Stop delaying.

Go for that dream job. Ask out the guy you’ve been crushing on for months. Say sorry to your dad for the time you disappointed him.

Don’t wait for tomorrow…don’t wait for the “right” timing. Seize the day and you’ll be much happier as a result! 

2) Count your blessings more than your losses

I know that when you’re down and in the dumps, being told to “look on the bright side” doesn’t always help (in fact, it can be downright annoying!).

However, studies have shown that showing gratitude can increase happiness levels

So, rather than minimizing the rough patch you’re going through, acknowledge that yes, life can sometimes be a load of B.S., but count your blessings anyway.

This will help you to put things into perspective. 

I’ve found that keeping a gratitude journal has been great for helping me move on from the “tough times” much quicker than usual; I’m reminded every day that no matter how difficult life gets, there’s still so much to be happy about! 

3) Nothing is worth your mental or physical health 

Next up on important things to remember if you want to be happy is that nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING is worth compromising your health for.

Whether it’s a:

  • Job or career
  • Relationship
  • Lifestyle 
  • Societal pressure 

Your health absolutely should come first. Think about it this way:

For you to be “happy”, you need to have the basics covered. That’s a roof over your head, food, and good health. 

These are the basics, the foundation if you like. If the foundation is cracked; lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, etc, it’s much harder to find your happiness!

So, once you make yourself a priority in your life, you’ll find that true inner happiness becomes much easier to attain!

And if that isn’t reason enough to cheer up, this next point might help:

4) Life gives second chances 

Often, we can feel sad when we fail at something in life. It could be a project you’ve worked really hard on, a relationship in the midst of a breakdown, or even a lost opportunity.

But here’s the beautiful thing about life:

We all get a second chance. 

It’s never too late to try to rectify a situation or start afresh! 

If you remember this every time you “fail” at something, you’ll have a much happier outlook on life.

5) People are, in general, good 

Doom and gloom are what’s served up on the news…crime series and documentaries fill our screens in the evenings…it can feel like we live in a world full of war and psycho serial killers!

But rather than dwell on the minority who do cruel acts, why not focus on all the good people?

The truth is, there are billions of them!

In today’s day and age, it’s really easy to feel down about the state of the world. But people are, in general, good. The next time you feel your faith in humanity faltering, head on down to a local charity, school, or hospital. 

Remind yourself that there are people out there who fight for humanity, every single day!

6) Comparison is the thief of joy

Aptly stated by the late Theodore Roosevelt, comparison really is the thief of joy. 

When we start looking at what others have, rather than our own good fortune and blessings, we start a never-ending competition that we’re doomed to lose.

You see, there’ll always be someone who has more than you…

But on the other hand, there’ll always be those who have less! 

So, quit comparing, and start appreciating. When we take this view, it’s much easier to find contentment in what we have, rather than becoming bitter for what we lack!

7) Enjoy the present, think less about the past or future

And while comparison steals joy, worrying about the past or the future robs you of enjoying the present moment.

The truth is, the past has gone. Dwelling on won’t change anything. 

And the future?

Well, we can all dream, but being fixated on what’s to come in life won’t allow you to see all the wonderful things that are happening right this minute!

So, if you want to be happy, focus on what’s happening around you. Play with your pets, hug your family members or simply enjoy the view from your window. 

Learn to find happiness in the most mundane moments of life!

If you struggle with that, my next point might help:

8) We’ve all got an inner child to nurture 

As we get older, we forget how to be silly, dance like nobody’s watching, and sing at the top of our lungs…

Quite simply, we get self-conscious! 

But we’ve all got an inner child who still loves to run in the rain and splash in puddles, who loves to be mischievous and take risks.

If you started paying attention to that inner child, you might find you have a lot more fun. 

After all, adulting isn’t always all it’s cut out to be…so why not add a little sparkle and magic into the mix?

By doing this, you’ll find yourself taking life a lot less seriously, and you’ll be happier for it in the long run!

9) A problem shared is a problem halved 

But on the subject of being an adult, let’s not pretend we don’t all have bills to pay and issues to worry about.

That’s why another key thing to remember if you want to be happy is that you’re not alone!

We’re all in this sinking ship together, and by talking to a friend about what’s troubling you, you’ll realize that support is out there…and people truly do understand. 

Even if they can’t change your situation, venting and getting those heavy weights off your chest will undoubtedly make you feel better!

10) It’s never too late to change 

Whatever reason brought you to this article, I want to remind you that it’s never late to change.

Whether that’s your mindset, behavior, or external factors like a job or relationship; human beings aren’t static. 

We’ve got the drive and determination to carve our own lives out, so if there’s something that’s making you unhappy, don’t give up just yet.

Sit down, think long and hard (maybe with a friend like I mentioned in the point above), and create a plan of action.

Every time you feel like packing it all in and “staying stuck” in this unhappy life you find yourself in, remember that it’s never too late!

11) Money doesn’t equate to happiness 

Now, if you read the last point and thought, jeez, how can I make significant life changes without money?

I completely understand. I used to think I needed to have my finances in order and then some, just to start the process of chasing my dreams.

But then I realized; there are so many other things that bring happiness in life. 

Yes, money makes things easier, but actually, good friends, good health, and a good, balanced lifestyle are what really matters. 

So don’t pin all your happiness on money – it comes and goes.

Focus more on yourself and what makes your soul feel alive; that’s where you’ll find true happiness.

12) Happiness is a choice

And the last thing I’d encourage you to remember is this:

Happiness is a choice.

We can choose to focus on the negatives in life and trust me, we’ve all got plenty of reasons to feel sad and hard done by.

But we can also look past those negatives and focus on all the good. 

And when we do that, boy, does the world suddenly seem a better place! 

So, the next time you feel yourself falling into a state of sadness:

  • Re-read this list (obviously)
  • Check your gratitude journal or write down your feelings to put them into perspective
  • Be present in the moment and stop fretting over the future or worrying about the past
  • Do something that makes your inner child happy, even if it’s buying some chocolate or taking your bike for a ride
  • Speak to a friend and allow people to support and uplift you
  • Remember that being happy doesn’t always come naturally, but we can choose to focus on the positives in the hope of feeling more content. Eventually, happiness will follow! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a foodie, writer and traveler. She considers herself a citizen of the world, who gets her inspiration from the people she meets along her journeys. She's currently living in Spain, where she spends her time writing, watching the shepherds and eating tapas in the mountains of Andalucía.

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