When asked, people may have a number of answers as to what makes them happy. Beautiful cars, luxury vacations, a new home, or large sums of money are all potentials on the list.
All of the items listed are just that: things. You buy them, pay for them, or come into them by sheer luck. This doesn’t mean finding happiness is impossible, it just means realizing happiness can’t be bought.
We’re going to take a look at things that make people happy–things you won’t have to buy or win. Keep reading for more information!
There is a reason for the saying, ‘giving is better than receiving.’ The reason is for the feeling you get by making someone happy.
Making someone happy doesn’t have to mean giving a gift. It can include giving your time by volunteering. Actually, volunteering may be the best form of giving because it increases self-worth while making a difference.
Regardless of how you give or what is given, you are sure to feel a sense of happiness, love, and warmth.
Laugh a Little (or a Lot)
Laughing isn’t just a polite way of responding to someone’s poorly timed joke. There are actually proven benefits to being able to laugh every day.
Laughter has been thought of as a miniature workout by doctors for a while. This is because it stretches muscles in the face, increases blood pressure, heart rate, and even endorphins.
Endorphins are the chemicals in the brain that act as natural anti-depressants, pain-relievers, and act as an overall feel-good hormone. These chemicals also help decrease stress levels while increasing immune cells.
Start your day with a gratitude list. Keep a small notebook and pen by your bed and upon awakening, write down things you’re grateful for.
This list can include odds and ends as well as people you love. Some lists even include items like indoor plumbing, air conditioning, a job, or health. No matter what you include, there is always something to be thankful for.
If waking up and immediately writing a list isn’t your ‘thing,’ try turning the music off on your commute. Make a mental list of things in life to be happy about.
Happy People Don’t Isolate
Growing relationships with friends and family is a great way to increase your happiness. Find fun activities that allow communication while being done.
Forming supportive relationships will bring both parties happiness and offer a shoulder to cry on when things are tough. Sometimes finding these relationships is difficult, so consider attending a church, getting involved in a sport, or talking to new people at the gym.
Many people work remotely or from home these days. While this is great for setting your own schedule, it also can have an effect on your social life. If you do work from home, consider joining a professional organization that meets in your area.
Joining a group like this allows you to network, but more importantly, opens up communication about problems you face that your family might not understand.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself involves two main components: eating well and exercising. This isn’t to say go on a crash diet, but consider incorporating healthier meals into your eating routine.
The second part of taking care of yourself is working out. Mentioned earlier was the fact that laughter is thought of as a mild workout. That small amount of physical movement and exertion leads to endorphins being released.
If endorphins are released just by laughing, imagine how great you’ll feel after an exercising routine that makes you sweat!
Eating well and exercising are both great for the physical aspect of self-care. But you also need to take care of your mental health.
Taking care of mental health means addressing any problems you may be experiencing. This can be done through talking with a counselor or doctor and deciding on your best course of action.
Mental health also involves knowing when to say no, learning to be mindful, and learning to plan as to not be overwhelmed.
Get More Rest
Have you ever noticed how miserable and grouchy you are after not getting enough sleep? An easy fix for this is to put electronics down and go to bed earlier.
Of course, this isn’t always feasible. However, even taking a 10-20 minute nap can help you feel happier.
Keep in mind that rest doesn’t always have to be ‘sleep.’ Rest can also look like relaxing by the pool, watching a favorite movie, or performing a mindless task in pajamas.
Getting more rest is essential for brain function during the day. Aside from improving your mood, sleep and rest help you think clearer, will boost memory and helps builds immunity to sickness.
Throw Stuff… Away
Clutter is annoying, anxiety-inducing, and quite stressful. Once realizing that getting rid of clutter should be included in the list of ‘things that make you happy,’ learn to get rid of it!
Throwing away unused things isn’t always easy, so instead, opt to recycle or donate them. If you’re still having problems getting rid of junk, ask a friend or family member for help.
Most often, when you say, “don’t throw that away,” they’ll ask when it was last used. When you reply, “six months ago,” they’ll give you the look and throw it away for you.
Decluttering also goes for closet space. There are plenty of clothes in your closet that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Get rid of whatever hasn’t been worn in a year or more.
While on the subject of getting rid of things, take a moment to realize which relationships might be toxic. Once you’ve done this, begin ridding yourself of them.
Final Thoughts on Things That Make People Happy
Sure, depression and mental illness happen and happiness isn’t always a choice. However, there are clearly things that can be done to increase the likelihood of happiness occurring.
People say that money can’t or won’t buy happiness. It makes life easier, but the suggestions on this list will cost nothing.
If you’d like more inspiration or information on being happy, check out our blog!