What is the definition of happiness?
Let's start off with the obvious question. What is happiness? What does happiness mean to you? How can you become more happy? Is it a feeling? It is a voluminous token of one's state of mind? Or is happiness defined in relative terms defined only by an individual metric? What is the definition of happiness in psychology, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica " Happiness is a state of emotional well-being that a person experiences, either in a narrow sense... or more broadly, as a positive evaluation of one's accomplishments overall..." However you define happiness whether it is broad or narrow, here are our 10 Secrets to a happy life in 2023.
Secret # 1: Establish a set of principles or criteria for living a happy life
In order for you to achieve a happy life, first you need to establish a set of criteria or principles for living a happy life. These will set the stage for allowing you to understand and test the happiness that you seek for yourself. So here are some good principles that you can follow:
Make Goal creation and execution a priority
It is not only important for you to set goals for yourself but it is even more important for you to believe that you can actually achieve your goals. And as we always talk about here on NLG, don't just set any kind of goals. Set what we call SMART Goals. To see SMART Goal examples, take a look at our blog post: How to create your personal playbook for 2023. You can also follow our personal playbook template to help you out.
The way you see yourself and your life is paramount to how happy you will become. Having a positive outlook will only invite positive things into your life and help you to define or redefine what makes you happy. If you are looking for ways to change your overall outlook, read this: 5 Ways to shift your mindset and embrace a positive outlook.
Establish clear boundaries for yourself
Are you one of those people who don't know how to say no? Well this might be why you are unhappy. You need to establish some clear boundaries around what you will do for others and what you MUST say no to. The art of saying no is a skillful exercise in good mental health. Here are questions to ask yourself when you get a request:
- Will saying yes cause me more overall stress?
- Can this request be delegated to someone else?
- Will I regret this if I say yes?
Setting boundaries is a great way to protect your mental health and elevate how you value yourself overall.
Realize that self love and self care is not not SELFISH
As a wife and mom, I am very guilty of neglecting my self-care. I am pulled in so many different directions and sometimes I forget to take care of myself. It wasn't until a friend of mine sat down with me one day and said to me that she goes to get a pedicure every two weeks because as she puts it "I AM FREAKIN worth it." And you know what, so are you. Take time to take care of yourself. It is not a selfish act, it is a necessity. It creates a happier you.
Secret # 2: Pursue Inner Peace
This secret is HUGE... pursuing inner peace is a game changer if you want to be a happy person. Figure out what you think creates peace in your life. Is it meditation? Is it setting apart time to pray daily? Is it taking long walks on the beach? Or is it that kick boxing class that you always wanted to try? The point is to lean towards the things that will grant you greater inner peace. What is peaceful for one person is not always peaceful for another person. So find your peace.
Secret # 3: Be more Grateful
When was the last time that you felt grateful about the people you have in your life or what you have? Being grateful is an intentional state of existence. It is a purposeful desire to be thankful for where you are and what you have. Gratefulness is first cousin to Happiness and are so closely related that when they embrace it becomes magical.
Secret # 4: Realize that money is not the secret sauce
Dr. Jorge Yamamoto, a University professor found that rich countries are less happy. Why is that? In this article, Why are rich countries less happy?, this very concept as to why money does not make you happy is explored. And we are saying it here too. What is the magical number in your mind of how much money you think would make you happy? Would having money create a permanent state of happiness in your life? Don't get us wrong, money is nice to have but it should never be used as your litmus stick for your happiness. Instead pursue things that will create inner peace as we have said before.
Secret # 5: Be of service
A lot of people think that true happiness is based on what they receive. But, true happiness stems from what you give. So be of service. Get out there and help others. Here are 5 benefits of helping others.
A sense of gratitude- You will recognize and appreciate how blessed you are. A true feeling of thankfulness will come over you.
A sense of belonging- Volunteering will help you feel like you belong to a broader community.
A sense of accomplishment- It is a great feeling to know that you helped someone else achieve something they couldn't have done without you.
A sense of purpose- you will feel a better sense of who you are as a person.
A broader network- you will meet new and different people. People who you might not have met before if you were not volunteering your time.
There is truly no other feeling like helping others and giving of yourself.
Secret # 6: Explore deeper connections
This one piggybacks off off secret # 5(Be of Service). When you open up your world to more experiences and more people and search for more meaningful connections, you will feel like a happier version of yourself. A lot of people, especially in North America, don't connect with others on a deeper level, which often leads to loneliness and isolation. To feel happy in 2023, you will have to start to form a village of people through exploring deeper connections. People who can elevate your spirits and help you feel better about yourself. It is not about having hundreds of people in your circle or life. The key is to focus on having about 5-10 good quality people in your village/ inner circle. People who have the same values as you and will be there for you throughout your life journey.
Secret # 7: Ask for help
Suffering in silence is not cool. Ask for help! What are you struggling with? Who can you reach out to for help? What resources are available to you? Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is probably the bravest thing you can do. Why? Because whatever you are struggling with, we can guarantee you that someone else had that same struggle before and can probably help walk you through it. If you have been asking for help within your family or friendship network and they are not helping, then reach out to anyone who can help you. Sometimes objectivity is what you need to take you from a place of darkness into a place of light.
Secret # 8: Eliminate negative forces
Okay, so this one is huge when it comes to happiness and just as important as another other secret to happiness. Eliminate negative forces from your life. Is it a friend? Is it a family member? Is it your job? Whatever it is, you will have to let it go in order for you to realize better happiness. To figure out if something is too negative and should not be in your life. Ask yourself the following three questions:
- Is this person or situation causing me to lose sleep?
- Am I a different or worse version of myself when I am with this person or in this situation?
- If this person or situation was not in my life, would I be better or worse?
The answers to these questions will really help you to move on from any negative forces in your life. As a rule, if something is hurting you or causing you stress, then it is also affecting your overall happiness.
Secret # 9: Eat better(food and mood)
The kind of foods that you eat and your happiness are also linked together. Certain foods such as junk food that have zero to no nutritional value affects your mood and how you feel. Try to incorporate foods that are rich in color and rich in vitamins. Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. It sounds basic enough, but it is surprising how often food and mood is overlooked. Here are 5 Mood Boosting Foods you should get to know. Number four is tropical and delicious!
Secret # 10: Laugh more than you cry
When was the last time you had a good laugh? Laughing has been proven to be one of the best medicines for your mood. In the article Stress Relief From Laughter? It's No joke written by the Mayo Clinic outlines the short-term and long-term effects of laughter. Such things as soothing tension, stimulating your organs and even improving your immune system. It is a good read, check out the full article to see why it is important to incorporate laughter into your daily life. Don't take everything so seriously. Laugh often and sometimes even laugh at yourself. Laughing can also help to reduce the power the situation that you are going through has over your life. Take back the power and your happiness by seeing the upside to things. Kind of like the glass half full concept. Laugh more than you cry!
Happiness is like anything, it is on a spectrum and some people experience it more than others. The 10 secrets that we talked about in this post will not only help you to see your life in a different way but they might also help you to take more control of your happiness.
Establish a set of principles to help you figure out what makes your life happy: You do this by changing your mindset, establishing boundaries for yourself and setting clear goals for yourself. You also embrace self-love, realizing that it is necessary and not selfish.
Pursue inner peace: Make this an active pursuit in your life and it will always lead you back to a happy place.
Be more grateful: There is always something to be thankful for. Find out each day what you are grateful for and use it to fuel your attitude.
Focus on non-material things: If you make money the secret to happiness, you will be disappointed. Focus on finding happiness in what money can't buy. Such as inner peace and deeper connections
Be of service: Get out and volunteer your time. Expand your network and create a sense of community in your life.
Explore deeper connections: When you open up your world to new things. Great things can happen which will only define happiness and what it means to you.
Ask for help: Strength is asking for help! Reach out and get the help you need to feel happier.
Eliminate negative forces: What things should you remove from your life to make you feel more content?
Eat better: Make the connection between food and your mood. Incorporate better eating into your happiness toolkit.
Laugh more: Find out why laughing is not only good in the short-term but has overall long-term benefits. Benefits such as the reduction of stresses and improving immune function.
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