Top 35 Ways to Be Happy
“When you’re really happy, the birds chirp and the sun shines even on cold dark winter nights – and flowers will bloom on a barren land.” ~ Grey Livingston
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer
Happiness is a state of mind, so they say. No doubt, a chemical reaction within our brain causes happiness. Chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine create joy in us. Yet we need to search for external stimuli to feel elated. Those who are happy attract like-minded people and spread good cheer around them. They excel in their daily lives, reach their goals successfully, and are loaded with self-confidence. They are of course much sought after individuals for companionship and employment alike.
Happiness cannot be bought in a shop. One has to develop the instinct to be happy. People react differently to different things: some maybe happy with a given situation, some may not react at all. Little things may make one person happy, whereas someone else may need a million dollars to make them happy. It obviously varies.
Questions that often arise are how to make one happy? What should one do to generate happiness within oneself? Not so easy to answer, but there are some suggestions that can help you in your pursuit of happiness.
How to Be Happy?
Spreading happiness all around is what a happy person would like to do. As the saying goes:
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” Mark Twain
Live in Joy, In Love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In Health, Even among the afflicted. Live in Joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of living in the way. Buddha in Dhammapada
How does one do this?
- Extending a helping hand to someone. Compassion for others can fill your heart with joy. Many eminent people like Mother Teresa have lived for others and enjoyed serving others. It is purely a state of mind. Selfish pursuits may meet with a dead end. But reaching out to others can never turn out to be wasteful activity
- Making someone else happy. Buddhism propagates that while we strive for our happiness, we should promote happiness in our surroundings as well.
- Treating others the way you want to be treated
- Being careful about what you say and not hurting another person’s feelings
- Blessing the enemy: although this may sound difficult, understanding and praying for a so-called enemy can help us move past from any wrong-doings and move on with our lives.
- Forgiving the person for his or her wrongs
- Taking your special friend to the movies or for an extravagant dinner. In other words, making your best friend feel he or she is special
What do you do for yourself in order to be happy? Self plays an important role in happiness: we need to be happy by ourselves. Happiness is generated within us. We feel it inside us. But how can we be happy ourselves?
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi
“The greatest happiness of life it the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” Victor Hugo quotes
- Purchasing a nice gift for yourself or receiving a gift – “Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.”Richard Bach quotes.
- Go that extra mile.
- Accepting your situation as it is.
- Accepting that you deserve to be happy.
- Accepting yourself as you are. Avoiding comparisons with others.
- Appreciating life as it is.
- Being comfortable where you are.
- Moving ahead in life.
- Spending time with the person you love most and being loved.
- Bridging the gap between expectations and reality. Not expecting too much. If you expect little and receive more, you are overwhelmed with happiness.
- Achievements also make you feel good. When you overcome a hurdle you feel relieved and happy. A student who passes an examination has much to celebrate. Life itself is an achievement. If you have lived your life well, the way you wanted to, a sense of pride and achievement is felt. Try to be an achiever and reach your goals, as minor as they may seem.
- Leading a healthy life. Health is wealth, as the saying goes. Good health makes you feel positive. Both physical and mental health are important.
We need not wait for major events to happen. Even small events and gestures can excite and thrill us. Such pleasures can be many and occur frequently. A simple day can be filled with joyous events. We need not wait for something grand to happen. Let us be happy with those events which may appear insignificant, but yet add to wealth of happiness in our life.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest” – Henry David Thoreau
As it is often said, little things make us happy. We need not necessarily search for happiness in grand events. For example, purchasing a Mercedes Benz may be exciting, but a purchasing a small toy for your child may also be equally satisfying emotionally.
- Appreciating the little birthday card that your child may have painted.
- Something unexpected happening to you, like finding the address and telephone number of a friend who may have enjoyed a very, very close relationship with you. You may feel happy that you can again renew contact with that person. Perhaps getting promoted when you least expected it or receiving a job offer, which you thought was impossible to get. As the saying goes “Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief”. Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes.
- A gesture may be small, but can convey tremendous love and affection. Writing a letter to a friend who is down in spirits and who needs a mood lifter. The smile that appears on the face of the friend will make you feel as though you have touched the sky. Taking off your hat for a lady, makes the lady smile. Gifting a small rose to your beloved. The rose may cost only 10 cents, but it can make a person happy a million dollar times. Positive relationships make you very, very happy.
- Treat yourself as though you were treating your own child. Enjoy food that you like most, eat on time, listen to music that you like most, relax and exercise, have an outing with your friends, go out for a walk in the woods. Taking care of yourself in this manner, doing things for yourself can make you very happy.
- One must feel good about oneself. Respect yourself, admire yourself and treat yourself well.
“Happiness comes from spiritual wealth, not material wealth… Happiness comes from giving, not getting. If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it.” John Templeton
Spiritual pursuits are often considered to be the source of happiness as compared to material wealth. Being a better human being makes you a happy human being. How can you be happy on this front?
Spiritual qualities within us, like love, compassion, and concern for others can make us tremendously happy. We experience joy in loving a person deprived of love and in caring for someone who has nobody to care, like an orphan. The pleasure in sharing our love with the less fortunate can overwhelm us in many ways. We may want to share our wealth with them, our knowledge, and our happiness too!
The Bible says : “Happy is the man who finds wisdom and understanding for the gain from it is better than gain from silver and profit better than
gold.” – Proverbs 3:13,14
” A merry heart doeth good like medicine”. – Proverbs 17:22
- “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared”- Buddha
- Unconditional love can be very pleasurable. Making a child feel that as parents, we are there when he or she needs us, can make us feel worth a million. Much pleasure is experienced in knowing that somebody needs us and we can help him or her. The feeling of being wanted can be joyous.
- Looking beyond imperfections can make us happy. Accepting life as it is, enjoying what we possess, not aspiring for the perfect and ideal existence, recognizing our limitations and acting accordingly can make it easy for us to tread on the path of happiness. We must know ourselves well and seek what is possible.
- Appreciating what we have and not aspiring for what we do not have can remove the bottlenecks that prevent us from being happy and cheerful.
- To forgive someone for his or her misdeed can make you very happy. It is a sign of being large- hearted and magnanimous.
- Self- actualization, the process of discovering yourself can make you very happy. It is good to know who you are, what you can do and what you need.
- To stop worrying about things beyond one’s control.
- To be kind to all.
- Being victorious can make you very happy. Success gives you that extra thrill that you are looking out for in life. It is achieving and getting what you want.
- Being in harmony with nature can make you happy.
- Performing your duties without expecting results. Most of us do things for others hoping they would get something in return. But selfless services mean actions without any fruits. Most people who have left a mark in the annals of history, such as Jesus Christ, lived for others and found happiness and joy in serving their people.
- Limiting one’s desires. Being content with what you have and aspiring for that which is within your reach. Anything unexpected can make your day.
Search for happiness is endless. We need more and more of it. Once we taste it we cannot let go off it. The purpose and meaning of life is to be happy. We work, earn and spend to be happy. We serve others to be happy. Our life centers on happiness. Sages have gone in search of it. Gautama Buddha gave up his material possessions in pursuit of it. A blissful life is what they seek. We, as common people, search for pleasure and happiness in mundane things. The goal is the same, but the path is different.