“How can I get happy?”
It’s one of the most popular questions on Google with more than 6 billion search results. If you want to know how to be happy, you’re not alone.
Here are 20 tips for how to be happy and lead a happier life that I call “The Lemonade Life”:
As I explain in my new book, The Lemonade Life, the practice of gratitude is one of the most important strategies for how to be happy. Gratitude is focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t. Gratitude is about celebrating your life and being thankful for the joy you experience. Gratitude is associated with positivity, increased well-being and improved health.
2. Gratitude journal
The practice of gratitude can be expressed in many ways. The secret of how to be happy can start with a gratitude journal. With a gratitude journal, you can spend 10-15 minutes each day writing the things for which you are thankful. It can be your family and friends, the experience you enjoyed earlier that day, or anything else that makes you feel grounded. When we express thankfulness for the joys in life, we increase happiness. Make sure to take time to reflect on your writings to experience the full joy and experience of gratitude.
3. Celebrate you
You are worth celebrating. You don’t have to wait for birthdays or holidays to celebrate. Build your self-confidence by recognizing and embracing your greatness. Congratulate yourself for your achievements – even the small ones. Use small wins to generate momentum. You will find it’s one of the smartest ways to be happy.
4. Focus on your strengths
It’s human nature to focus on your weaknesses, but as I explain in The Lemonade Life, focus your time and energy on your strengths. No one is perfect. Spending time trying to build up every weakness will only lead to frustration. It’s an impossible task to be good at everything. Instead, focus on your core strengths and direct them toward seizing opportunities. This is one of the most effective ways for how to be happy. You will feel more accomplished, more balanced and less frustrated.
5. Look for the good in things
It’s easy to see the bad and the downside. Instead, focus on the positive. Look for the silver linings, which are the good things in life. The best books on happiness recommend cultivating positive thoughts: the more you look for the good things, the less stress and negative thinking you can experience.
6. Do it with kindness
Work can be demanding. Life can be demanding. In the race to “get it done,” it can be easier to rush. However, there’s always time to do it with kindness. Treat people respectfully. Empathy at home, at work and in life is essential to understand others and understand the human condition.
If you want to know how to be happy, meditation is a good place to start. Spend 10-30 minutes each morning meditating and you’ll notice an improvement in well-being and a healthier life perspective. Meditation relaxes you and helps you connect with the mind, body and spirit. You can incorporate gratitude in your meditation, listen to soft music or think positive thoughts. Meditation is also associated with lower stress.
Exercise releases endorphins, which can help create a state of euphoria. Research shows that a 15-minute jog can help reduce depression. Spending time exercising –particularly in nature – can not only improve heart health, but also mental health, happiness and well-being.
9. Eliminate roadblocks
Roadblocks are obstacles that stand between where you are today and where you want to be. A negative environment and negative people are two examples of roadblocks that limit your potential. The first step to more happiness is to identify the roadblocks in your life. The second step is to find paths around, over and through the roadblocks in your life. You may not be able to eliminate every roadblock, but you can work to minimize the threat.
10. Choose your friends wisely
Find friends who lift you up, not who tear you down. Their positive or negative energy will directly impact the person you become.
11. Have a core set of values
We also know what it means to have good values. To find happiness, list your values on a piece of paper. Visualizing is a good start, but it will help solidify your set of values when you record them. A core set of values is a great way for how to be happy because it reminds you of the principles and ideals to which you subscribe.
12. Find your life purpose
Why are you here? How do you create impact? When you know your life purpose, you will know how to be happy because you have a life worth living because you understand why you do what you do. You have direction. You have grounding. You have something you are working toward or someone you are working to inspire.
13. Build social connections
Many people want to know how to be happy alone. While being happy alone is important, you will increase happiness through valuable social connections. The more we interact with people, understand people and help others, the more well-being we experience in our lives. We are all connected, and life is about helping others and giving to others. You will not only boost their happiness, but also your own.
14. Be accountable
Everyone knows the blame game. It’s them, not you. Right? Wrong. Accountability starts with you. Want to know how to be happy? Take responsibility. When you own your successes and mistakes, you will lift a burden in your life and enjoy more happiness and freedom.
15. Understand your feelings
Spend time understanding why you’re experiencing a certain feeling. When you can properly assess what makes you happy or sad, and understand the why behind that particular feeling, you will have more clarity for how to be happy. You will be more in control of your feelings and emotions and be on a clearer path toward self-understanding.
16. Embrace empathy
Emotional intelligence is such an important component of being happy. Understanding others is essential to thrive in life and at work. Embrace empathy in everything you do. Understand others. Embrace your imperfect self. Showing more self-understanding and understanding others helps you connect with humanity. Understand their background, perspective and circumstances and you will feel more connected to yourself and to others. It’s a smart way how to live a happy life.
17. Believe that you have the power to change your life
This is more than positive thinking. This is embracing a fundamental truth that happiness is a possibility in your life. Once you accept that principle, you have opened your mind to the possibility of change. You have started on a path to accept more happiness in your life.
18. Practice happiness
You can practice happiness daily. Find things that make you happy and repeat them daily. Develop positive habits. Identify the things that make you unhappy, and work toward eliminating them from your life. It’s a project of separation, and when you master it, it’s a helpful strategy for how to be happy.
A happy mind and a happy home go together. Declutter your personal space and free your mind. Eliminate things you don’t need. Clutter means disorganization and it can be an impediment to accomplishment and well-being. When we declutter, we bring order to our lives. In place of clutter, decorate your personal space with things that make you happy. Surround yourself with happiness and it will bring more organization, order and happiness to your life.
20. Have an open mind
An open mind is a pathway to possibility. Be open to new people, places and experiences. When you are flexible and open to change, your happiness can increase. You can increase social connections, find more joy and feel more a part of a greater community.
Want to know how to be happy? Follow these 20 principles for a happier life. It’s closer than you think.