What if you could feel happy right now? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if happiness was something that you could create on-demand? Well, it is. Here are five ways that you can feel happier every day.
Things to Give Up If You Want To Feel Happy
Stop comparing yourself to others. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses and our own blessings and challenges. Comparing yourself to someone else only makes you focus on what you think you’re lacking. It really doesn’t help you at all. The only person you should ever compare yourself with is the person that you were yesterday and the person that you want to be tomorrow. By focusing on yourself, you regain the power to create the life you want.
Let go of the negativity. Your thoughts and your emotions are connected. When you think a negative thought, you trigger your body to feel negative emotions. The more negative thoughts you think, the worse you start to feel.
Let go of the past. Notice how much of your time and thought energy is spent on remembering and thinking about the past. Do you replay old wounds and grievances? Are you still punishing yourself for mistakes you made years ago, or even yesterday? Are you carrying with you old painful emotions? As long as you are living in the past, you are continuously recycling those old stale feelings. To fully embrace happiness, you need to release the past and become more mindful of the present.
Identify the things that bring you down and either change or avoid them. In any given day, keep track of the things that upset you or drain you. Does your social media feed leave you feeling less than, insecure, uncomfortable or angry? Try a social media detox. Is rush hour stressing you out? Listen to an audio book or a favorite podcast. Small irritants may seem like nothing, but when you get enough of them, they really add up and drag your mood down.
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5 Ways to Feel Happier Right Now (How to Make Yourself Feel Happy)
If you haven’t been happy in a while, how do you make yourself feel happy again? Happiness is more than just an emotion. It’s also a state of mind. Here are a few ways to feel happier that you can start adding into your life today.
1. Give Yourself Permission to Be Happy
First, you have to give yourself permission to be happy. It sounds strange, doesn’t it? After all, everyone wants to be happy. Or do they?
How do you view yourself? Are you a generally happy person? Or are you a cynic or sarcastic or suspicious of happiness? No judgement. We’ve all been there at one time or another. For different reasons, we may have labeled ourselves at some point in the past and now feel connected to that persona.
But there’s more to you than just being a narrow label. You’re human. That means that you have a wide range of feelings and happiness is allowed, as well as peace and joy and love. You’re don’t have to place limits on yourself and your enjoyment of life.
2. Embrace the Present Moment
Live right now in this moment. Many of us spend most of our day either thinking about the past or worrying about the future. It’s a habit of thinking, one that’s so familiar that you may not even realize that you’re doing it.
Try this. Pay attention to how often your thoughts drift away from the present moment. For one minute, one hour, one day, one week, stop ruminating on the past. Whenever you catch yourself thinking of the past, stop and focus on the present moment.
Practice mindfulness. Notice where you are, what you are doing, what you are thinking and feeling and wake up into right now. This allows you to experience your life as it happens and experience real feelings and emotions instead of just memories of them.
3. Be Grateful
One of the quickest and easiest ways to feel happier is to be truly grateful for something. It’s about accepting and appreciating the value of what we have now and opening up our heart to give thanks.
One of the hidden side effects of gratitude is happiness. It shifts our mindset from lack and fear and worry and it moves us into a state of wonder, peace and grace. From there, we’re open to happiness almost without realizing it.
The key to gratitude is to allow yourself to feel it. Think of what you’re grateful for, but then get out of your mind, open up your heart and feel grateful and notice how the happiness creeps in.
4. Move Your Body To Change Your Mood
Your body responds to your thoughts and emotions. It’s all connected. You can’t separate out just one and expect the rest to change. This is one reason many people have difficulties with affirmations and positive thinking. They may think the thought but if they don’t feel it emotionally or have a supporting response in their body, they can’t sustain it and it falls flat.
Try This Quick Experiment
Notice your posture right now. Don’t try to correct it, not yet, just freeze and notice how you’re holding yourself right now. Are you hunched over? Are your shoulders tight? Does your back hurt? Do you feel any tightness or tension in your body? Are you frowning or squinting? Is this your usual posture? If so, how do you feel?
Now slump down in your chair. Hang your head down. Tighten up your shoulders. Say, “I am happy.”
Do you believe it? Can you feel it in your body? Do you feel happy, lighthearted, at peace? Not so much?
Now sit up straight. Raise your head and roll your shoulders back. Smile and relax. Say, “I am happy.”
Feels better, doesn’t it? Your body, your posture and your stance, all mirror what you are saying. Your body and your mind are now in agreement.
Now, make it even stronger.
However, if you want to make this even stronger, bring in the supporting emotion to lock it into place. How would you feel if you really were happy? You’d feel happiness or joy, wouldn’t you? Feel the feeling of happiness. Feel the emotion and allow it flow throughout your body.
Take a few minutes and allow yourself to experience the feeling of happiness, the open, relaxed stance of your body and the thought of being happy. And smile, a real smile.
It’s so much easier to do when you put it all together, mind, body, and emotion.
5. Cultivate Happiness
Make it a practice to cultivate happiness. If you have a hard time experiencing positive emotions, chances are you’re out of practice. It’s easy to get into a rut, especially when you go through tough times.
Take worrying, for example. Something unexpected happens and it throws you for a loop. In order to protect yourself and others, you get into a habit of worrying. Over time, you find yourself worrying more and more about a lot of different things. Before you know it, you’ve gone from being an occasional worrier to a constant one.
You can cultivate positive emotions in the same way. It takes a bit of conscious effort, but the effort actually feels good, which is one of the reasons it can be so hard to do. It’s a form of self-care and loving yourself which can feel uncomfortable at first.
Start small. Allow yourself to enjoy and appreciate little things, like the sight of a cat napping in a sunbeam or the softness of your favorite shirt. Luxuriate in a long hot bath. Stretch and feel your muscles move.
Welcome the wonder in your life and savor it. There are many ways to feel happier right now, but they all start by allowing yourself to feel it, then embracing it once you do.