According to this article, you need to:
- Acknowledge what you are grateful for.
- Label those negative emotions you feel.
- Make decisions.
- Touch people more (appropriately, obviously).
Lots of references in the piece, so read it and get busy and get happier.
Over the last year or so, I’ve found these worthwhile pieces on how to think about life and how to improve it. If you find one of these worthwhile and it improves your life as a result of you reading it, then I think collecting and writing about these is worthwhile.
- If you are feeling lonely and want to understand and deal with it better, consider this: The Science of Loneliness: How Isolation Can Kill You – New Republic
- One idea you can consider: talk to strangers. Hello, Stranger – NYTimes.com
- If you need new ways to live a better life, courtesy of a famous person….7 Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life – Vulture
- Or if you like to write, try to improve your life via writing: Writing Your Way to Happiness – NYTimes.com (I am guessing some writers would not agree with it)
- If you struggle to be happy, this could help: Everyone wants to be happy. Almost everyone is going about it wrong. – Vox
- If you want to be more optimistic, consider the big picture, presented here: A Cockeyed Optimist – NYTimes.com
- If you think you are working too much and are often thinking of cutting back, this could help you: Keynes’ 15 Hour Work Week Is Here Right Now
- Lots of good ideas via a collected stream of tweets, here: Things @GhostfaceKnitta Learned in 2015 (with tweets) · valerieinto · Storify
- Why should you give away money and be happier: Giving money away makes us happy. Then why do so few of us do it? – Vox
- Don’t hesitate when it comes to improving your life. You have less time than you think. See this to see why: These graphics will make you rethink your life – Tech Insider
- Being laid off will happen to everyone. If that’s you now, and you are struggling with it, consider: Advice For the Recently Laid Off – Medium
- Self Confidence makes for a better life. Here’s how to become that way and more so: The Truth On How To Become Self Confident
- Change your mind, change your life. How? One way: Rewire your brain: Why Practice Makes Perfect: How to Rewire Your Brain for Performance
- If you struggle with your thoughts (e.g., worry too much), read : BBC – Future – Why we should stop worrying about our wandering minds
- Sometimes the way to improve our lives is not to have more, but to seek less and not be caught up in the trappings of status. To live a simpler life, like this: Here’s why one of the world’s richest men wears hand-me-down clothes – The Washington Post
- More on how to live with less. Living With Less. A Lot Less. – The New York Times
(Image from one of the articles linked to on NYTimes.com)
Here’s the curve (X is age, Y is a measure of one’s happiness)
As you can see, it is lowest for people in their 40s, then starts to improve past that point. To understand more about that and why you need to hang in there if you are in your 40s, read this: The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis in The Atlantic.
Two additional comments:
1) If you are in your 30s, you can expect this to happen, so take stock and think about ways to prepare for it.
2) Obviously this is a large generalization. Still, there is much merit in it, I believe.
I often struggle with how to get through the long, cold winter. If you do too, or are dealing with other difficulties that can make you sad and miserable, try this exercise that I find helps.
For a period of no more than 10 seconds, do something that makes you happy. It can be looking at something beautiful, enjoying a piece of music or a piece of food, or saying something good to someone you love. Choose the best thing you can think of. In that 10 seconds, don’t think of anything else, just that. Think about it before you do it, think about it while you are doing it, then think about it after you have done it. That’s it. That’s the exercise.
Now, maybe you think 10 seconds is too short and a minute or more is something you can focus on. Great! Do that then. Or you so enjoyed that 10 seconds of admiring the snow, or sipping you tea or juice, that you are going to move on and try the exercise with something else. Also great. Whatever you do, try the exercise and then try to do it repeatedly through the day, week.
Happiness is hard to define, and still harder to quantify. But I think that each of us, in our own way, can build up the part of ourselves capable of being happy and work it and make it stronger. The heart literally gets stronger through exercise. The heart figuratively can stronger through exercise, too. At least I think so. Try this exercise and tell me what you think.