Happiness is a state of mind that almost everyone desires, but many people either find it too fleeting or consider it an unattainable goal due to different reasons and circumstances. Being happy can be especially difficult when you are recovering from an illness or dealing with grief. By being a state of mind, happiness also requires the mind to be in a state to process and indulge happy feelings. But contrary to what you may have been told, true happiness is achievable and only requires a committed effort towards making the necessary adjustments to attain it. This article will provide you with some practical and science-based tips on how to be happy again when nothing seems to be working.
1. Sleep More
It is easy to lose sight of the importance of a good night of sleep when faced with multiple challenges – sometimes, all one can do is stay up at night, thinking. However, people who sleep well are generally happy compared to those who don’t sleep well and are less sensitive to negative emotions. Sleeping well is not just about sleeping early or at a specific time of the day, but it is rather determined by the quality of sleep you have. Regular sleep is a vital component of a healthy life, and it is known to bolster productivity.
The ideal sleep range, as recommended for adults, is between 7 to 9 hours every night. Learn to switch off mobile phones or similar devices when you are in bed and ensure your sleeping posture and environment are comfortable. If you are consistently having problems when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, it may be as a result of a sleeping disorder, and you should get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible.
2. Define Your Happiness
Happiness, like most things in life, is a feeling that means different things to different people. For some people, happiness is the warm taste of chocolate in their mouth, while for other people, they derive happiness from paying the bills. Happiness to you could be seeing your loved ones safe or when you achieve a personal goal. When seeking a happier life, knowing what makes you happy and choosing the kind of happiness you need goes a long way to providing you with the clarity of mind you need when seeking to be happy again.
One of the ways you can do this is to make a mental note of all the times you were happy, examine why you were happy in those moments, and plan how you can experience more of those moments. Happy people know what makes them happy and why which helps them feel happy on a more consistent basis. On the other hand, acknowledging situations most likely to make you unhappy will also enable you to make a deliberate effort to avoid those situations.
3. Make Time To Exercise
Exercising is a form of therapy in itself, a process in which the body takes in positive energy and converts it to physical strength. A recent study that touches on how to be happy again shows that a few minutes of physical activity once a week is enough to trigger an increase in happiness. Exercise stimulates the brain to release feel-good hormones like dopamine, endorphin, oxytocin, and serotonin, the four primary chemicals responsible for happiness.
Interestingly, you do not need to be engrossed in any rigorous physical activity to trigger these chemicals. Physical activities like walking, swimming and dancing improve physical well-being, leading to increased self-esteem and anxiety reduction. The physical benefits of exercise are enormous, but its positive impact on the emotional well-being of happy people makes it an essential habit to cultivate. Exercises like yoga, which deals with physical and mental harmony, have been proven to be a genuine aid in attaining happiness.
4. Watch What You Eat
It is a common saying that happy people eat happy foods, but what we eat matters just as much as why we eat. Rarely do people associate nutrition with mental health, but the thought, sight, smell, or taste of certain meals can stimulate pleasant emotions that can positively alter your mood. The negative effects of overeating are well documented. Though there is still a debate on what qualifies as healthy food, eating fruits and vegetables is an excellent investment in your long-term mental well-being.
Amino acids like tryptophan, which is necessary to produce the good-feel chemical serotonin, can be found in protein-rich meals; in the same way, meals containing a high amount of tyrosine and quercetin help improve dopamine levels. Some of these amino acids can be found in everyday snacks like fruits, chocolate, seafood, nuts, dairy products, and vegetables. If you find yourself feeling unhappy regularly, then your kitchen may be an excellent place to start in your quest to be a happier person.
5. Change Your Routine
Doing the same thing every day can be a stumbling block when looking for how to be happy again. Unhappy people tend to lack excitement in their life, which often erodes their ability to be creative or optimistic. But beyond changing your routine, you may also need to change your environment if you want to be happy again. Traveling is a great way to escape the routine of an environment that is making you unhappy.
Traveling broadens your perspective and general exposure and can be an enriching experience that helps you discover your happy place. Travel also helps you gain a more definite sense of self, enhances your creativity and confidence, and improves your ability to form deep emotional relationships. A recent study on the impact of travel on mental health reveals that most people experience a great increase in happiness before going on a trip and maintain a less anxious outlook on life afterward. However, keep in mind that happiness is not a destination; it’s a journey.
6. Be Grateful
It may seem like a cliché or a myth sold by motivational speakers as an antidote against despair, but a thank you a day can keep the doctor away. People who exhibit a high sense of gratitude are more likely to be optimistic and tend to feel better about themselves, unlike people who believe they have no reason to be grateful for anything. Gratitude helps curb the rise of negative emotions like frustration, guilt, envy, anger, and regret.
Many people find it difficult when looking for how to be happy again because they often devote too much time and energy to judge themselves by the realities and expectations of other people or to compare the past to the present. Gratitude boosts your self-esteem, which ultimately enhances your confidence, and adds up to make you a more productive and amiable human being.
7. Surround Yourself With Happy People
A happy person is at greater risk of feeling unhappy when in the company of unhappy people. One of the major contributing factors to living a happy life is by associating with people who have a positive attitude to life. From merely engaging with people who have a pleasant and optimistic outlook and paying attention to how they handle adverse situations, you can learn a lot on how to be happy again.
Happy people are often supportive, selfless, realistic, purposeful, cheerful, empathetic, creative, and energetic. While unhappy people are not always bad people, their negative disposition to life often makes it difficult for them to form or sustain healthy relationships. According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, one of the world’s leading experts on emotional intelligence, constant exposure to negativity can affect the neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that regulates learning, emotion, memory, and motivation. If you happen to have family and friends whose mindset can make your life happier, then, by all means, endeavor to spend more time with them.
8. Seek Professional Therapy
If you suffer from chronic or acute mental health issues like anxiety and depression, you may need some professional guidance on being happy again. However, therapy is not only for people suffering severe psychological issues or mental disorders, as it can be an effective medium to deal with behavioral concerns that hinder your ability to be a happy person.
Therapy involves speaking to a specialist on personal issues ranging from but not limited to stress, anxiety, despair, abuse, trauma, addiction, and stigma. Therapy aims to address your experience with some of these issues and how they influence your relationship with people and your perception of yourself. The primary objective of therapy is personal development, which may improve your mental and emotional well-being. The impact of therapy on happiness has been estimated to be more effective than material resources, and it can help you avoid other health problems.