Can money buy you happiness? Think about it - if in general you are an unhappy person, but tomorrow you won the LottoMax jackpot of $30 million dollars (tax free) would you suddenly become a happy person? Initially I think many people would.
But it goes along the same lines as when a person that is heavy says “I will be happy when I lose 50 pounds” or whatever they want to lose. Again, you may feel happy the first few days, but how long will it last? You see here’s the thing – if you aren’t happy today, for whatever reason, chances are that more money or less weight won’t really change the way you feel on a long term basis.
18 Ways to Feel Happy
So what can we do to ensure that we are happy everyday? Here are 18 ideas to help you get started.
Random Acts of Kindness
In this TED video the speaker talks about money and happiness and how he did experiments with different groups of people around the world to see how money affected their level of happiness.
Manage Relationships Better
For some people managing relationships with their family, friends, and co-workers comes easy for them, and for some people it doesn’t.
Those that struggle with it may find that they are sad or angry after a conversation with their mother, or they are upset that their adult kids never phone them. Those feelings then pass on to other areas of their lives, and after a while they just have this general feeling of being unhappy no matter what happens.
If you struggle to manage your relationships well think about what you can do to change that.
Manage the Money You Currently Have, Better
For years I didn’t pay too much attention to my finances. I worked, I got raises and bonuses, I paid my bills, went on trips, bought houses and cars, and for a number of years it all worked out well.
But then I made a major change without considering my finances. And then a few unexpected life altering changes happened to go along with that, and the next thing I knew we had a pile of debt and we couldn’t keep up with the on-going bills.
For a few years I was very scared, unhappy and stressed out.
But I finally realized that the only way to be happy again was to learn how to make more money and to do a better job of managing the money as it came in. The lesson here is that taking control of your money can eliminate all the fear and worry, and make room for more happiness.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
You have two choices, you can wait until you lose 50 pounds and then see if you are happy or you can simply be happy that you are making positive changes to look after yourself as of today, and be happy for every single pound that you lose.
Why would getting organized make me happy? Because when you are organized your stress levels are lower. And when your stress levels are lower it is easier to relax. And when a person can relax and take a deep breath it is easier to see things in a positive light, which in turn helps you be a happier person.
Give Yourself a Break
Take time out of each day to just be with you. Go for a walk around the block or go for a run, if that is something you enjoy. Make a nice coffee and sit out in the sun for 20 minutes. Or if it is freezing out, run yourself a hot bubble bath and soak in the tub for 20 minutes. Whatever works best.
When was the last time you rewarded yourself for anything? When was the last time that you told yourself “congrats on a job well done”?
We all need to do this more often.
Smile at Yourself
Have you ever smiled at yourself in the mirror? Try it. What’s the worst that could happen? You might start laughing. You might feel happy. Remember “Smiles are Free”.
Smile at Others
How many people do you come in contact with throughout your day? How many people do you pass on the street? Do smile at them? Should you start? Would it make you happy, or better yet, would it make them happy?
Be Patient and Kind to Others
Have you ever had an instance where you were accidentally or even intentionally rude to someone and then you felt like crap afterwards, and for days and months to come? It feels awful, doesn’t it?
Sometimes being patient and kind to others takes a more conscientious effort but in the long run you will be much happier if you are able to practice patience and be kinder to those you come in contact with.
Learn How to Relax
For some people a good way to relax is to practice yoga, meditate, or to go to the gym. Others go for a walk, read a book, spend quite time alone. If relaxing is difficult for you, try a few different things to see what works best.
Try Something New & Fun
Start a new hobby, sign up for a dance class or curling lessons. Learn how to ski or ice skate. Learn how to draw or paint, or try writing a book. Be really adventurous and try hiking to the top of a mountain, or try zip lining, or jumping out of a plane.
Plan a Vacation
How can I plan a vacation if I don’t have any money? Well, you can play an inexpensive trip and then you can save up for it. Start today to plan a vacation for next year or the year after, even. Many people do that. It gives them time to find good deals, save up the money they need, and it gives them something happy and fun to look forward to. So what, if the answer to how many sleeps is 600 or longer.
Throw a Party
Plan a small party with people that you enjoy being around. Create a theme night, like Mexican or a pizza party, and ask everyone to bring something.
Watch a Funny – Feel Good Movie
In your entire life what movie have you watched that you can honestly say made you feel good? Made you smile and left you feeling happy?
Commit to Making One Big Change
Have you been thinking about buying a new house, or simply moving out into your first apartment by yourself? Have you been thinking about moving across the country or half way around the world, but been too afraid to do it?
Or have you been thinking about starting a new career or your own business?
Start investigating your options. Will you need more money to make this one big change?
Find out exactly how much you will need and then figure out what you can do to earn that money and how long it will take you. Start making plans.
Stop Reading the Newspaper
Above all else, if you want to be happy, stop reading the bad news in the newspapers and on the Internet.
Be Grateful For What You Already Have
When I’m unhappy about my money situation or life in general, I quickly remind myself to be happy and grateful with what I have right now, because things could always be a lot worse.
So when was the last time you smiled at yourself in the mirror?