How to be Happy: 8 Proven Tips To Live A Happier Life

Updated May 12, 2016

It’s common to feel unhappy with life from time to time. Unhappiness can be triggered by an event such as a tragic accident or the loss of a job. Unhappiness can also come from boredom, helplessness, or just feeling lost.

The question is, how do we change these feelings once we start feeling them? How do we become happy?

Here are eight proven ways to get happier:

1. Sleep If you’re stressed out or otherwise not feeling great, it may seem counterintuitive to go to sleep. However, if you’re not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night your body and mind will start to wear down and you’ll feel worse. Even a slight ache or pain can ruin your day, and if you’re moody from lack of sleep you’ll find that you are making yourself (and others around you) unhappy.

2. Eat nutritious food. Your body uses the food you eat to give you energy throughout the day. If you’re eating junk food, your body will let you know it’s not getting the energy it wants by making you feel tired and moody. Although the high-calorie meal looks good when you’re hungry, you’ll instantly regret it once you’re done eating, and this is a recipe for unhappiness.

3. Exercise. Moving your body can have a huge impact on your happiness. A long, slow run can help you focus on the problems you’re facing and come up with a solution. A quick, high-intensity workout can clear your mind of all thoughts for a few minutes. Either way, you’ll be proud of yourself once the workout is over and this will help boost your short and long-term happiness. Here is a Youtube video of a popular workout you can do at home with no equipment.

4. Take action. Many people struggle to feel happy because they are mulling over a difficult decision. Oftentimes, you’re better off jumping in to one of the options instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity to show itself. Taking action gives you a sense of control over your life which can make you feel happier.

5. Think positively. Your thoughts become your words and your words become your actions. If you start with negative thoughts, you’ll end up with an unwanted result. Changing your thoughts is easier said than done, but there is an element of “faking it until you make it” here that can help you. If you focus on the positive in your life and try to approach the negative in your life with positive thoughts, you will find yourself feeling happier even though nothing has changed.

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6. Be thankful. Whether it is an extravagant gift someone gave us, a smile from the cashier at the store, or just simply having a hot meal, we all have something to be thankful for. Life is meant to have its ups and downs and if you’re hitting a rough patch, try to not only remember the good things, but also express your gratitude. Thanking someone is an easy way to brighten their day, and because happiness is contagious, can make you feel happier as well.

7. Forgive. If you find yourself getting upset over something that has happened in the past, recognize that your feelings are only bringing you down. They have no effect on the other person. Try to see the situation from their view and understand why they may have done something to you. By letting go of your anger and forgiving the person you will actually make yourself happier in the long run.

8. Do something kind. By putting someone else first you may forget, even for a short while, about what is making you unhappy. Simply volunteering at an animal shelter or homeless shelter will help you realize that your life can have a positive impact on the world. You can find an animal shelter at the MSCPA website or other volunteer opportunities in your area at Volunteer Match.

Do you have another trick to live a happier life? Give us your best happiness tip in the comments below!