If you’ve asked yourself how to become a happier person, this is already a very good sign. Happiness is not something that happens to us by chance. Being happy is an achievable and learnable skill, which requires constant work on your attitude and depends on how you interpret your life situation. Happiness is largely a matter of choice. And it is probably the smartest life choice you can make. Recent studies show that happy people are 35% less likely to die early than unhappy ones!
So, what do you need to remember if you want to be truly happy?
1. Never dwell on the past
Your past is just a story. Everyone has a past – often full of pain, disappointment, missed opportunities, and unfulfilled expectations. No matter what your past looks like, it’s just a story – so don’t let it influence you. Make the present meaningful.
2. Never focus on what’s missing; look at what you actually have.
Be grateful for what you have. You could waste hours counting the things you would like to improve, which would only take you away from appreciating your real life. Gratitude puts situations into perspective and rewires your mind toward a positive direction.
3. Never underestimate quality time with yourself.
Don’t confuse happiness with excitement; a lasting joy of life grows when your mind is in peace. Making time for yourself is as important as devoting time to your everyday duties. Regular meditation, sport, contact with nature, and quality (offline) time spent reading will help you reconnect with yourself and hear your intuition again.
4. Never stop improving yourself.
We are all different, and there is no perfect direction or path to our personal evolution. The whole point is to become the best version of YOU, and never stop taking lessons from your own life experiences.
5. Never be too harsh on yourself.
Many of us are our own hardest critics, constantly diminishing every success. Accept that you will never be ideal – and see this as okay. In the process of self-development, embracing your own vulnerabilities has been scientifically proven to be a key component of happiness.
6. Never lose a sense of purpose in what you are doing.
Your time and life power are limited, so spend them wisely and target your energy towards something meaningful. Finding a purpose helps you live a bigger life.
7. Never treat your body badly.
A truly happy soul can only live in a healthy body. Your body will “send you a bill” for the trash you’ve eaten, the sports classes you’ve skipped, your long nights of partying, and your long hours of stressful work. Treat your body as your biggest investment; it will have to serve you your entire life.
8. Never value material things more than experiences.
Experiences bring people more happiness than possessions, which never keep you satisfied. Experiences will last in your head forever, nourish your mind, and become a memory which will light up your face with a smile on a bad day.
9. Never compare yourself to other people.
Everyone lives life at a different pace, which makes us each special and beautiful. The sooner you embrace your uniqueness and the differences between you and other people, the happier you will be. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you really are without trying to change you or reframe you.
10. Never let your bad thoughts grow.
Being judgmental, jealous, or angry will at some point turn against you. A bad thought can trigger bad speech, just as bad words provoke bad actions. Don’t let your mind initiate anything you’d be ashamed of later.
11. Never fear to embrace change.
As you accept the laws which change our life, our bodies, and the way we evolve, you will see the unique beauty of every moment in life with all its natural flow. Be open to new opportunities and humbly accept changes you can’t influence.
12. Never blame others for your own failures.
Be responsible for your actions and their outcomes. Taking responsibility gives you a sense of power over your life; blaming your life on circumstances can make you feel powerless.
13. Never tame your curiosity.
Be curious and ask a lot of questions. Travel, observe, read, watch, and talk with smart people to open your mind and explore the world. Inquisitive thinking and a passion for exploring will nourish your mind.
14. Never stop being mindful.
Learn to mindfully observe, smell, hear, and fully appreciate every minute of your life. Those who can’t conscientiously notice and appreciate the present moment aren’t able to be fully happy.
15. Never forget about your loved ones.
Care about those who are happy to see you succeed in life and support you in difficult times. Avoid harsh critiques and make sure these people know how glad you are that they’re a part of your life.
16. Never worry about the things you cannot influence.
How many times has a situation you’ve worried about not come true? Worrying about things you can’t influence is a waste of time and makes you feel unnecessarily miserable.
17. Never attach happiness to something in the future.
Many people live like they’re waiting for something – to find a perfect love partner, to get promoted, or to retire with a good pension. Don’t postpone your happiness to a moment in the future; life is all about enjoying the journey.
18. Never stop meeting new people.
Surrounding yourself with happy people makes you happier. Meeting new people nowadays is easy, due to open lifestyles, new technologies, internet forums, popular mobile apps. It would be a waste to not make the most of this opportunity. Even people who enter your life for a short time can teach you important lessons and make your life more colorful.
19. Never let your ego win.
Acting with anger and following your insecurities can only complicate your life situation. Instead, act with compassion and humility towards others. Showing maturity will make your relations with others more joyful and fulfilling.
20. Never voluntary harm.
Every choice you make, every word you say, and every purchase you make impacts someone’s life. Choose to be a good person.
21. Never stop living life to the fullest.
Live intensely. Do what you want and enjoy it with all your senses. Start working on fulfilling your dreams as soon as possible. “Hug harder. Laugh louder. Smile bigger. Love longer.”
22. Never forget to smile.
You don’t know what the person in front of you is going through. Be kind to others and share your smiles and positive words. Isn’t it amazing to make someone’s day a little better in such a simple way?
23. Never be afraid to completely change your life.
It is never too late to completely change your life and make it more meaningful. Let your mind be free and surprise you from time to time. Go with the flow and open yourself up to different possibilities.
24. Never be afraid of being alone.
Don’t be afraid of being alone. Happiness is internal, and you don’t need anyone or anything to be happy. Learn to have fun on your own: walk, travel, eat good food, etc. Being alone doesn’t mean to you have to be lonely. Look at monks for example – being happy in solitude is a virtue.
25. Never stop organizing your own happiness.
Happiness appears where dreams meet preparation. Make a conscious everyday effort to shape yourself and your life the way you want.
26. Never stop loving.
True love doesn’t lose value over time; it multiplies and comes back to you the more you give it away. The meaning of our whole existence would be much simpler if love meant only romantic love. Love everyone who you think deserves and needs your love. Love the Earth and the people who have helped you become who you are. Love your own life.
Marzena Bielecka is a Berlin-based writer and travel addict. She has visited over 50 countries and traveled thousands of kilometers just to see how people live there. During her free time, she likes to lie on the grass and look up at the sky. She also writes for Wingman Magazine.