Some people search their entire life to find true happiness without realizing it’s right under their noses.
Happiness is not some illusion, it’s created by you, for you.
Happiness is made daily, with little decisions, including the decision to be just that, happy.
In the pursuit of happiness, some people get lost. It doesn’t need to be complicated but if you’re feeling stuck, you’re not alone. Below are 3 simple tips to be a little happier right now, according to Harvard scientists.
How to Become a Happy a Person
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1. Move Your Body
Getting outside in the fresh air and moving your body does wonder for your mental well-being.
If you’ve been feeling down, stressed, or just overwhelmed, get outside, and take a walk. Not into walking? Ride a bike, go for a jog, do a couple of laps at the community pool, or anything in between.
The mood-enhancing effects of exercise can usually be felt within the first 5 minutes.
It’s believed that physical activity makes us happy by releasing serotonin, a hormone that helps to improve mood.
One study found that 90 minutes of activity per week acted similarly to taking an antidepressant.
Ready to get moving but not sure where to start? Choose an activity you enjoy or try something new.
The amount of time you spend exercising is entirely up to you and your comfort level. If you are just starting, 10 minutes is enough. As you get more comfortable you can work yourself up to 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and beyond.
It’s currently recommended to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise 3 days a week (2).
2. Avoid Decision Fatigue
Having to make so many choices can be overwhelming. The more decisions you make, the more chances there are for you to regret those decisions, according to recent studies.
This can be exhausting and take a real toll on your mental health (2).
Decision fatigue results when you are faced with an abundance of decisions to make.
This causes a decrease in mental energy, leaving you weary to make decisions at all. In some, it can even cause risky decisions to be made while searching for the easiest route to take.
So how do we treat decision fatigue so we can be happier? Limit your choices.
If it is something that won’t have a large negative impact if you make the incorrect choice, make a quick decision, and move on or limit having to make those decisions.
For example, have someone else choose where to eat for lunch that day.
For some, making a priority list of decisions can help. This will allow you to focus your energy on those important decisions first.
You can also consider your mindset when you make decisions. Are you feeling too tired to make a good decision? Prioritize rest before you decide.
Doing so will grant you the mental freedom to let go of unnecessary stress.
3. Practice Gratitude
Last, but most importantly, practice gratitude. It’s easy to focus on what we wish we had, or what we don’t have.
Instead, change your mindset to appreciate what you do have.
Take some time each day to think about what you are grateful for. It could be anything at all, even if you are just grateful to be getting out of bed that morning.
Studies show taking time to be grateful for the small stuff can make us feel happier.
This means letting go of those little annoyances that can easily ruin even the best days, such as misplacing your phone, getting a paper cut, or getting stuck in traffic (2).
Practice gratitude next time you find yourself getting fixated on something that isn’t going right or something you wish you had.
Instead, think about at least one thing you do have that you are thankful for or a moment you enjoy.
Take extra time to be grateful for the beautiful weather outside. Enjoy having lunch with a friend. Savor that fancy morning coffee just a little bit more.
If you are working towards something, celebrate small victories because life is about the little things.
Happiness can be difficult for some to find, but it doesn’t have to be. Take control of your life and your day by choosing to be happy.
Choose to get outside and move more.
Choose to let go of unnecessary decisions and stress and choose to be grateful for what you have. Life is too short to spend without a smile on your face.