Have you ever looked at an old picture of yourself and thought wow, I was thinner and younger and I still don't remember being happy? Happiness is a funny thing. Sometimes we look for reasons not to be happy. When we accomplish our goals we move right on to the next goal without a lot of happiness. In the last 20 years, there has been a lot of research on happiness and there are some things we can do to experience more happiness in our lives. About half of happiness is actually based on your genes and is out of your control. The funny thing is that very little of happiness actually has to do with your situation. For the most part, people experience great and terrible things with appropriate emotional responses but they tend to come back to our baseline quickly. As a therapist, the number one goal I hear from clients is that they want to be happy. More often than not, this happiness has something to do with money. Does money bring happiness? The answer is that some money does bring happiness when it buys security and basic needs. However, more money like mansions and fancy cars do not tend to bring happiness. Here are some tips to help you recognize and embrace your happiness. Try these 4 tips for feeling happier and see if your perspective changes.
Concentrate on helping others or the world around you
Helping others and being concerned with their wellbeing has been proven to make you a happier person. Try to help someone else at least once a week.
Keep a gratitude list
Being grateful for what you have can shift your perspective. Try keeping a gratitude journal and review it at least once a week.
Try new things
Your brain responds better to novel experiences so try to vary your routine a little. Walk or drive a different way and challenge yourself with new experiences.
Lower your expectations
Sometimes our expectations are too high and they make feeling happy difficult. Lowering your expectations can help you experience more happiness. However, this is not the same as feeling hopeless or not setting goals.