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How to be Happy in life – 11 proven techniques 

We all strive to be happy, though each of us may relate our happiness to different things. For some, it may be wealth that they relate with happiness, others may associate happiness with health, and for yet others, it may be their relations. 

It is such an important component of our existence that In 2011, the UN General Assembly resolved to invite all countries to measure happiness. And thus was born the World Happiness Report initiative.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that our greatest aim is Eudaimonia – or to live well and purposefully. He believed that happiness is the key to living a productive and meaningful life.

…in view of the fact that all knowledge and every pursuit aims at some good, what it is that we say political science aims at and what is the highest of all goods achievable by action. Verbally there is very general agreement; for both the general rung of men and people of superior refinement say that it is happiness, and identify living well and doing well with being happy…

Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle

Given what we have seen with the rise of Covid in 2021 and 2022, the need to find happiness, satisfaction, and purposefulness has grown in most of us.  

But why is happiness such an essential ingredient of our life and well-being ? 

Happiness and Well-Being

Happiness is strongly associated with physical and mental health. 

A meta study in 2017 of 62 studies involving 1250000 participants associated happiness with lower mortality rate. 

The Impact of Subjective Well-being on Mortality ,

Though one may argue because the people are healthy, so they are happy suggesting a reverse causation, there are many more studies that show similar results. 

One of them has been the longest study on adult development conducted by Harvard (quoted further in this article) with similar findings.

Further, well-being is known to reduce the main stress hormone – cortisol. A prolonged exposure to cortisol is associated with many physical ailments including heart diseases and high blood pressure – another reason for you to adopt happiness. 

Now that you know how important happiness may be for your well-being, you may wonder if happiness can be created. 

How to be happy in life ? 

While it may be difficult due to our long practice of being serious since childhood, it is completely achievable. 

Here are some of the, here are 11 things you can do to improve your overall happiness: 

1. Smile a lot

Smiling not only signals your mind that you’re happy, but it also helps to create better moods. 

Yogic Science states that mind and body have a 1-1 relation with each other. You  must have observed that when you get angry, your breath speeds up, your forehead is stretched, and these signs are consistent. On the other hand, if you keep your breath normal, it will be very difficult for you to be angry at someone. 

This is true for most physical movements, including smile. If you smile, it is very difficult for your mind to be sad. 

2. Appreciate your loved ones

Spend more time with those you care about, and spread some happiness by doing something nice for them. A simple statement of appreciation and gratitude spreads happiness around you and makes your environment enjoyable. 

Try it today – appreciate your wife, friends, girlfriend, mom, dad, brother, and see the reaction triggered in them, as well as within yourself. 

3. Drop jealousy and comparison

Comparing yourself to others can be unproductive and damaging to your happiness. 

It is also against the basic principles of Ashtang Yoga, or the Eightfold path of mediation, which stresses upon Yamas, or your relation with others, as a critical part in self purification, that leads to peace and happiness. 

Read : Yamas and Niyamas in Yoga – Explained!

4. Count your blessings

Make a list of everything you’re grateful for, and take time to appreciate what you have. 

For a long time, I had adopted this habit as the first thing I would do in the morning. I would go like – I am really grateful for this wonderful air, water, and resources around me. I am grateful for my relations – mother, father, brother who love me dearly. And so on. 

I haven’t conducted a study on what it yielded, but sure I have been a lot happier since I started doing that.

I still have a chart in my room that reaffirms these feelings. 

5. Focus on your relationships

Invest in your relationships, build meaningful connections and stay in touch with your family and friends.

Harvard Study of Adult Development, claimed as the longest study in the field, has derived a wonderful correlation between relationships, happiness,  and health. 

“It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.” 

Dr. Robert Waldinger, Director, at a TED Talk in Boston

6. Practice Breathing and Meditation

Regular meditation can help to reduce stress levels and lead to better moods.

If you want to start the practice, you can take baby steps and start with a simple breathing exercise multiple times a day, where you close your eyes and observe your breath and watch it move in your body. 

Observing your breath and controlling it has tremendous advantages as per the Yogic Science. 

sportive woman with bicycle resting on countryside road in sunlight

7. Reduce stress levels

Plan your day, practice relaxation techniques and take two-minute meditation breaks throughout the day to help reduce stress levels. 

Relaxation meditation can greatly reduce stress levels. Even a 5 min relaxation meditation break on your chair can help you control your mind. 

8. Work on your hobbies and strengths

Doing something that you’re good at and enjoy can boost your confidence and happiness levels. Not just that, it also makes you stronger at your skill and can lead to opportunities opening up around your skill, if practiced consistently. 

Also read :   How to be successful in life – 3 ingredients and 2 qualities

9. Involve in social activities

Connecting with people and engaging in activities that you’re passionate about can help you to feel more fulfilled. The joy you give to others reciprocates strongly towards your own self. This is also related to the point of developing your relation with others. 

10. Maintain health

Drop your weight to healthy levels. I have personally seen a lot of issues like snoring, excessive perspiration disappear when I reduced my weitght from 85 kgs to 67 kgs. 

It is rather simple if you believe in systems and patience.

Read : Ditch Goals and Build Systems that Work Everytime.. Guaranteed !

Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep. Do this consistently for a year, and you will see amazing changes. 

Taking care of your health can have a positive impact on your happiness. You look good, have more energy, work better, and have better sleep. 

11. Plan your year

Set goals and build systems that will help you stay on track and reach your goals.

This simple exercise ensures that you are not worried about your future, and have a more sense of control over where you are taking your life. 

In reality, it is not immediate results, or goal setting, that helps, but this enhanced sense of control over your surroundings, that really comforts you. 

Alright, so these are some of the things from my experience that may help you get happier the year. 

Try some, or all of them, and let me know the results in the comments. 

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