Everyone feels sad at one point in their lives. It can last for only a few days every month or so, but for many, it can last much longer. Reasons for unhappiness range extremely from unhealthy relationships of family or friends to low self-esteem and sense of meaning to chemical imbalances and everything in between.
Below are things that can not only determine your unhappiness, but they might be able to help you to finally find true happiness again. By being determined and willing to make some changes, simple or otherwise, you will find yourself smiling in what will feel like no time at all. Here are some simple ways of how to be happy.
Having a healthy connection
The family is where everyone begins and where many turn to when they are unhappy. Sometimes, the cause of your unhappiness may be a family member, a family fight, or even a loss of a family member. Always remember that family comes first, especially after everything previously mentioned.
Also, a family doesn’t always mean those you are related to by blood. Many people do not have or know their biologic parents or other family members.
Some people even have an abusive family or family member. In these cases, if a healthy connection cannot be maintained, it is best to break a connection altogether. After all, having an unhappy relationship with your family member(s) will not make you any happier.
Keeping in contact
Sometimes having a meal with your family can remind you that you are not alone and there are people who love you, boosting your happiness level. If you are like many of us and you live far away from them, then even something as simple as a phone call can be enough.
It is easy to forget how much we need our families. Taking the time every few days for a phone call, a video chat, a mealtime, or even a small day trip doesn’t just make you happier but can also make your family happier too.
Communication: it is key
While family members do mean well, sometimes you or they just do not speak well. For instants, have you ever got into a yelling match with a parent, sibling, or another member of the family? While most family members do at one point or another, repetitive yelling and arguments can not only hurt a relationship but also has the potential to end one.
By explaining to the family member(s) in a calm and collected way that you would like to talk without trading insults or raising voices, you are demonstrating healthy communication. Once you both, or all, can speak your minds freely, you will be able to feel more open to talking and sharing your opinion, strengthening your relationship.
Do you love your job?
It sounds like a silly question, but it isn’t meant to. Is it the hours, the location, the tasks, the people, or the routine that you do not like? Working too many hours can mean you might be overdue for a vacation or that you are overworked. The same day to day routine that you go through every day might be what is making you unhappy.
Both of these can be short-term or quick fixes. Talk to your boss about a possible vacation or sharing your hours with someone. Try shifting the routine by mixing it up, going out to lunch, doing a task a new way, or something like that. Do not be afraid of change, small or big.
If you are unhappy with your job because of any or all of the other reasons, then you may want to consider either changing your location or getting a new job. Maybe doing your current workplace is toxic or you want to do something more or different. Plan a new course and think about what you want to do for a living.
Maintain a good balance between work and personal life
It may seem like there are not enough hours in the day. Between your work hours, spending time with people, keeping up a home, and anything else you have going on, sometimes there are not enough hours in the day.
Whether you have a strong responsibility at work or not, you have to remember that work stays at work. If you never give yourself time to relax and breathe, how can you expect yourself to be happy? Yes, a vacation is a great time to break and get some R&R, but you need time every day, not every year.
Stay on your toes then kick your feet up
While it is important to take a break every day, letting yourself have a break for too long or often can lead to a lack of motivation. When you are not motivated, you will find work pointless and unnecessary. This can all lead to more unhappiness.
By continuing to work hard and staying motivated with work goals, you will feel more pride in your work and less likely to feel unfulfillment. Remember not to over do it, though.
Share common ground
Having a friend that share every one of your interests can be amazing. Realistically, finding a friend like that would be very difficult unless you are a social butterfly and love meeting new people all the time.
However, trying to be friends with someone who doesn’t have a single thing in common with you can be even more difficult. What would you talk about? What would you do for fun? If you like each other and you make it work, then, by all means, stay friends as long as it is a healthy relationship.
Everyone has their own past and goes through their own experiences in their own way. Regardless, if your friend says or does something that may seem unnecessary, unimportant or anything else you do not like or agree with, try to keep an open mind and stay considerate.
Friends are different from family because, most likely, you have known your family your whole life. If you just made a new friend or are learning more about your current friend, remember that friends do not judge other friends.
Communication: another key
Like with family, communication is extremely important. Most people see their friends more than they do their family. Sometimes they know more about you than your family does. That is why this is a great example of why you should keep great communication with your friends.
Listening to them is a large portion of this. It is easy to go on a rant about what recently happened to you, but listening to your friend and helping them get through the hard times can not only help them but make you feel satisfied and needed.
Techniques to Increase Happiness
More or less sleep
Having less sleep than you need can cause you to become agitated, depressed, and unmotivated. However, having too much sleep can make you feel the same as well as sluggish, body aches, and can increase the chance of developing physical conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
How do you find the perfect medium? Set alarms for 7 to 9 hours after you fall asleep. How you wake up is just as important as well. Experiment with some different alarms to find one that doesn’t make you want to throw it out the window when you wake up. Your favorite song or a comedy skit are some popular choices.
Start a new hobby
Another way to change the daily routine, starting a new hobby can provide a great and new experience while providing you with a sense of accomplishment. There are dozens if not hundreds of hobbies that you could get into that you may fall in love with. Here are just a few.
Physically active hobbies can help to train your body and keep you fit. The most common ones are sports, swimming, jogging, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Some uncommon ones are blacksmithing, metal detecting, parkour, and even LARPing.
Other hobbies can be more mentally demanding that can clear your mind and help you relax. The most common of these are sewing, cooking, completing puzzles, art, and music. Some of the less common ones are book restoration, Origami, metalworking, and homebrewing.
Exercising not only gets your body in shape and healthier, but it also has been scientifically proven to make you happier. When a person works out, the brain releases endorphins, chemicals, that reduce the perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body that is similar to the effects of morphine (ex. runner’s high).
Working out on a regular basis also can reduce mental and physical stress, prevent or combat anxiety and depression, and improve sleep. There are many more benefits that working out has on the body. Weight loss, fat reduction, and muscle tone and strength are just a few of them.
Plan/Take a vacation
If you have the time, taking a vacation is a great way to relax and give yourself quality you time. It doesn’t have to be halfway across the world. Stay-at-home vacations can be just as rewarding and relaxing.
However, some people get extremely excited when planning a vacation, but when it happens they feel underwhelmed, bored, and/or lazy. This is quite common and has a simple fix. Even if you cannot go on a vacation, just plan one.
It sounds a little corny, but it is completely true. In order to be happy, you have to know yourself. Some people know exactly what they want and if it will make them happy. Others spend large amounts of time trying to learn what that is.
Thinking about what has made you happy in the past, what you think will make you happy, and the things you want to do or things you want to have is a great start. Do you want a specific career, a type of partner, a specific house, a bucket list you want to be crossed off, and/or to make a difference in a persons’ life? If you know you want any or all of these, start planning how to get them and get started.
Whether you are trying something new or doing the same thing you have been doing for days, weeks, or years, failure is imminent. What truly matters and can affect your happiness is how you handle failure.
You will learn how to be happy if you prepare for the fact that you can and may fail at doing something. That feeling of complete disappointment and low self-esteem can be completely gone if not lower than how you usually feel when you fail.
Remember, accepting failure and expecting failure are two different things. Expecting failure all the time may have the opposite effect and may bring on more negativity.
Reward success, not failure
Almost everyone does this. You have a bad day, either with work or your personal life, and you want to brighten up by going out and treating yourself. Usually, this treat is a snack, a glass of alcohol, a shopping trip, or even something you are trying to quit like cigarettes.
Almost always, you enjoy this indulgence for a few minutes to a few hours, but the guilt of these indulgences can last much longer. If you get into this habit of treating yourself when you feel down or failed at something, it can make treating your success seem unimportant and unnecessary.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you should not make yourself feel better when you are having a bad day. If you keep rewards big and pick up methods small, you will feel better and more accomplished at the end of the day.