What could make you happier? For some it’s the prospect of getting a better job, higher salary, a few extra hours of sleep at night, good food or companionship.
Different people value different things in life, and therefore attach different meaning to the word ‘happiness’. Those who say that money doesn’t buy happiness are pretty much speaking for themselves, because there are plenty of people out there who are perfectly content with a large bank balance, a big mansion and expensive cars.
So, while it’s true that different things make each of us happy, there are some practices that can boost happiness in almost everybody. Here are five to begin with.
If you want to be happy, you need to be content with what you have now, count all your blessing and be thankful for the good things in your life rather than complaining about what you don’t have.
When it comes to money, a popular research conducted at Princeton University eight years ago showed that happiness is actually quantifiable because people who earned $75,000 or more per year had a higher ‘life satisfaction’ level than those who earned less.
In today’s age of consumerism, it’s almost impossible to be content with what you have. There are new phones and smart gadgets coming out all the time and almost everyone wants own a pair of thousand-dollar Gucci shoes to show off to the Gram. We lead expensive lives, with a never-ending desire to own more and more things – it can get exhausting at times.
Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting better things, but the constant desire can turn into a vicious cycle where we end up losing more than gaining. But happiness experts say that by adopting an ‘attitude of gratitude’, you can achieve a better sense of satisfaction in life.
Envy – it is that painful awareness that someone else enjoys a benefit that you’d like to possess. Most of us have experienced envy when someone posts on social media that they got a better job or a raise. It’s the stinging feeling you get when a friend gets engaged or starts a successful business, and you often think to yourself, “Why can’t that be me?”
There’s nothing wrong with some healthy competition in life, constantly obsessing over being better than others can make you bitter and resentful. The only person you should be competing with is yourself and be the best version of yourself. But if someone else is better, be happy for them. Because not only will that make you feel better about yourself, but they will also feel better about you and give you support when you need it.
It always feels good to give to others. Try it if you haven’t so far. Maybe you have a coworker that you don’t really get along with. Why not take them out for lunch? You’ll be surprised to know how much you have in common. We often paint an inaccurate picture of a person in our minds without really getting to know them.
But if you give them a chance, you’ll see them in a different light and understand where they are really coming from. So give as much as you can. Give chances, give love, give hope and your heart will be filled with happiness.
Holding on to resentment, whether it’s against yourself or someone who has hurt you in the past, can be painful. Of course it seems unfair to let go without getting revenge from an enemy, but holding on doesn’t really give you a chance to heal.
And at the end of the day, we’re ones who lose the most from it. So why not forgive and move on with your life? It’ll really make a difference in how you feel.
Last but not the least: true happiness starts from self-love and self-care (not in a narcissistic or conceited way, of course). Know that you’re a really special person, and there’s no one else in this world like you. Viewing yourself in a healthy, positive light is the first step towards achieving happiness.