Seriously: What Makes Us Happy

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Writing down the things that you are grateful for can instantly make you happy. Read A Great Blog. Check out our other posts on LifeHack to find out ways to increase your happiness and productivity. Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time. With each step, you form a new smart money habit.

And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

Ten easy steps to happier living

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.


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It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood. A good example is wanting a new car. You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed. Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts. It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And after all, it was all due to your hard work. However, make it a one-time deal and be done. Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

30 Absolutely Free Activities That Can Make You Happy Today

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries. Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it. I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people. Never go to the grocery store without a list. Hunger is a powerful force. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items. You pay for convenience. The gym bill, that is. Thinking and working can beat sad feelings. A wandering mind is not a happy mind. Mastering skills is stressful in the short term and happiness-boosting in the long term. Love means being slightly deluded. Happy people believe their partner is a little more awesome than they really are. Thinking happy thoughts, giving hugs and smiling sound like unscientific hippie silliness but they all work. Before you blame the world, eat something.

Take a nap — it can purge negative emotions and increase happy thoughts. Sleep is vital because your mood in the morning affects your mood all day.

You cannot get away with cheating yourself on sleep and being tired makes it harder to be happy. Lots of little good things is the path to happiness. You want frequent boosts not rare big stuff. And this explains the best method of how to split a dinner bill with friends. We know what people most often regret before they die:. There are things you can do every day to improve your life.

How Being Organized Can Seriously Increase Your Happiness

More happy thoughts in your head now? If you enjoyed this post, share it with friends. We all deserve to be living a happy life. Get a free weekly update via email here. This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree. By Eric Barker April 4, Time to round up the research on living a happy life to see what we can use.

Planning, Organizing, and Good Living

Sign Up for Our Newsletters Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health, money and more. Facebook tends to have a negative effect on our happiness. How we choose to spend our money impacts what we can do and how we live in ways that impact how happy we are. When we are kind to others , we feel better about ourselves. We can do nice things for others , be empathetic , or we can just treat each other with respect, communicating kindly rather than assuming the worst.

Sometimes we are what's making us miserable. We just can't stop thinking about how so-and-so wronged us, or how our life didn't turn out as we hoped. In time, your brain will be able to do this more easily on its own. How are you supposed to move your life forward when you don't even know what you feel or why you feel it? When you start to explore yourself and your values , you may discover that you've known all along what would make you happy, but you're just not doing it.

Sure, sometimes life is hard. But by paying attention to the good , you can rise above it and be more resilient. When you find the good, savor the moment , and bring it with you to maintain happiness even during hard times. We can use imagination to help create happiness out of thin air and enjoy our experiences more. Sometimes we want to escape.


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We all define happiness in different ways. When you know what happiness means to you , you'll have an easier time finding it. How are you supposed to change your life by doing the same things you've always done? Try "doing the opposite" to see how it feels and to make your brain more flexible. When we let people walk all over us, we're unhappy. But when we advocate for our own needs assertively and express ourselves , we feel more in control of our lives.

Happier Brains for a Better World

We all want to feel like we made some sort of positive impact in this world, but sometimes we are uncertain of the type of impact we want to make. Explore exactly what gives you a sense of purpose and how you want to pursue this purpose to give your life a greater sense of meaning. Did you know we enjoy just about everything more when we do it with others? This is why one of the best things you can do for your happiness is to build meaningful relationships and social connections.

To strengthen these relationships, practice kindness and gratitude towards the people you care about. Get off the hedonic treadmill. The "hedonic treadmill" refers to the tendency for us to return to our original happiness level over time. To boost your baseline-level happiness , you can try changing your physiology through nutrition and exercise.