Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
So you say you want to be happy? Well, evidence has identified many ways that we can increase our happy quotient. Here are the top “Happiness Hacks” that that will not only provide you with an emotional sense of happiness but will give your life greater meaning and purpose:
An Attitude of Gratitude
1) The “Attitude of Gratitude” encompasses the grateful thoughts we have as well as the gratitude we show to others. One of the most effective cues that my yoga instructor taught me about gratitude is in the middle of a difficult and painful stretch; “Name 5 things you can be grateful for this very moment.”
I have taken this small discipline out into the “real world” and applied it when life becomes difficult. I ask myself “What 5 things about this situation can I be grateful for right now?” This is the question that makes me present and allows me to recognise alternatives that an emotional mind can tend to limit.
If we can develop gratitude in difficult circumstances, then gratitude will be more easily conjured during a random act of kindness experienced by a stranger or the gratitude we feel when the sun warms our face. Nurcha encourages our customers to experience gratitude by beginning their own Gratitude Daily Journal.
A Growth Mindset Can Lead To Happiness
2) A “growth mindset” holds the belief that we can grow as a person and improve our quality of life. Life is a long game made up of small incremental steps of improvement and practice. Consistency and persistence will make it appear to others as though we magically arrived at the desired destination. However, it’s actually that we were honest enough with ourselves to learn what it truly takes for us to be happy and/or achieve goals we set for ourselves.
A “challenge mindset” is when we view difficult situations as challenges that we are equipped to handle or maybe even excited to take on.
If we have a “threat mindset”, we view challenges as these giant obstacles that we don’t think we can overcome.
By having a challenge mindset, we stay positive in the midst of a challenge, and as a result, we are more successful.
Happiness and kindness go hand in hand.
3) Be happy by being kind. Research has shown that one of the most surprising and easiest ways to increase one’s happiness is by being kind. A selfless act without any expectation of return such as, buying gifts for others for no reason at all, donating time and energy to a charity, or volunteering to something that aligns with your values is a sure way to increase happiness.
One way to cultivate kind-heartedness is through a “loving-kindness” meditation. This activity involves generating love and compassion toward yourself, loved ones, acquaintances, strangers, and all living beings. By slowly building love and mentally imagining it spreading outwards, we can develop a kind spirit, which may have numerous benefits for our
physical and mental health. All in all, the research suggests that being happy means being kind.
Finding meaning can lead to happiness.
4) Those who live a life with meaning also seem to enjoy a life of happiness. So what are some things that give our life a sense of meaning?
- Valuing life: This requires a cognitive shift to focusing on the inherent value of life. It may involve being grateful for life or the people, occupation or things you have in life.
- Living by principles: This requires having a personal philosophy or values that guide you through life.
- Purpose: This involves having clear and meaningful goals that feel good to both pursue and achieve.
- Accomplishment: This requires completing some of the goals you’ve set for yourself and recognizing that you have the power to change your life.
- Excitement: This requires engaging in things and having the perspective that life is exciting or interesting.
Working on any of these can help you increase a sense of meaning in your life and be happier.
No Man Is An Island…
5) Meaningful relationships and strong social connections have been shown to be the most important determinant to enhancing one’s longevity by generating physical and emotional well-being. That’s why investing in our existing relationships, and building new relationships, is so important.
Strengthen existing bonds through the power of vulnerability. Tell friends how much their friendship means to you and always be authentic. Self-disclosure, which is the act of revealing personal information to others, can help establish mutual understanding, intimacy, and trust, all things that can improve your relationships. So do your best to be honest and genuine whenever possible.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness; Or Can It?
6) Be happy by spending money more thoughtfully. Take it from me, more money does not equal more happiness! But spending money in certain ways can increase happiness. For example, spending money on time-saving purchases can lead to greater life satisfaction. Yes, that sounds like you just got permission to buy that watch you’ve been wanting for a while.
Maybe hire someone to babysit the kids or some other strategy to allocate money for time better spent. The goal is to free yourself up to spend more time doing more things that make you happy. Another way to use our money to increase happiness is to spend money on the people in your cherished social network.
Buy someone a gift that keeps giving, a song bowl, a piece of jewellery, art, something that moves them spiritually and emotionally. Or purchase a vacation for yourself and your significant other. Why not take a friend to the amusement park? Or go out to dinner with the family.
Personal and/or experience purchases will increase both our happiness and the ones we care about, further deepening the relationship.