How To Be Happier - Part Two
Top 10 Tips
The aim of this article is to show you How to Be Happier, which follows on from
How To Be Happier - Part One.
To recap, happiness is not a destination to be reached, but a conscious choice to live day-by-day in a certain way.
The first five keys for happiness that I covered in my first article are: Get a plan for your life and set clear goals, do what you love, keep things in perspective, celebrate all your little successes and stop worrying about money.
Now, I’ll give you the final five ideas that I’ve used to transform my own life. By borrowing these ideas, you will start to be happier and have more fun... so please feel free to try them out yourself!
How To Be Happier 6 – Use Your Imagination
Ah, the unrivalled power of your imagination. You hold in your head the most powerful agent for change and happiness you could ever wish for. If you want to learn how to be happier, just start to rely on your brain.
Giving your brain a daily time-out by using your imagination to visualise success is a fantastic way to be happier. By seeing yourself achieving your goals – in great detail – and generating the accompanying feelings of success, you will not only feel happier but start to notice significant changes in your own life too.
If you spend just a few minutes every night imagining yourself successful and achieving all you desire, you will start to feel happier every day. Simply put, it feels amazing to see and feel yourself performing at your best – and it inspires you to take action in real life. As a bonus, you’ll probably also come up with solutions to problems - and generate new ideas - when you visualise.
Some people have told me that they find it tricky to visualise. If you are having trouble creating clear and compelling pictures in your mind, I’d recommend investing in some
binaural beats technology.
All this does is make your brain slow down and function at the frequency it does when it’s resting, or in a deep sleep. This quietens all the “mind chatter” and allows you to really focus on what you want to achieve – and makes visualisation a doddle.
I personally think it’s easier to communicate targets to your subconscious in this state of mind too, so you tend to reach goals quicker. Other benefits of binaural beats and visualisation include better sleep, increased relaxation, heightened awareness and improved creativity. I kid you not – this a next level tool to begin playing with!
If you want to learn more about visualising, read here about
The Power of Creative Visualisation,
How to Visualise
Advanced Visualisation Exercises.
How To Be Happier 7 – Exercise!
This is a little outside the scope of this site, but if you really want to know how to be happier - you have to get your arse in shape a bit.
Everyone feels good after exercising – it’s just actually getting up and doing it that is the problem for most people.
All I’d say is – find something you enjoy, and do that. And mix it up – you don’t have to set a structured plan like a bodybuilder or endurance runner if this puts you off – just find ways to quicken your heart-rate and build up a sweat as often as possible. This releases endorphins and other happy chemicals and does wonderful things to your body – and state of mind.
I’m admittedly crap at keeping a structured routine, so I alternate between working out at home, going for a run, going to the gym, playing basketball and football – and, of course, don't forget having sex. Sex definitely counts here – so, if all other exercise scares and bores you, just set out a goal to get some more shagging done. If this doesn’t interest you, I don’t know what else to suggest...!
Keeping fit will make you happier – you just have to find out what you enjoy most and do that. Honestly, it’s very hard to be happy if you’re a lazy, lethargic mess – so decide to get sweaty a few times a week and you’ll feel awesome for it. Did I mention you can just have sex more...?!
How To Be Happier 8 – Explore Your Spirituality
This is perhaps the most controversial point on my list of how to be happier. If you currently believe that this life is all there is to it – that there is no higher power, no real purpose to living, and nowhere to go when you die – it’s a lot easier to get depressed and overwhelmed when things are not going your way.
If, however, you develop a sense of spirituality and explore some rather grander ideas about the nature of reality and life, you can begin to put your troubles in a different perspective and enjoy your life more for the adventure it is.
I used to be a devout atheist, and I worked very hard at it. Unfortunately, this coincided with my massive bouts of depression and inertia – and after a while I began to see that these states of mind were intrinsically connected.
I’m no raging spiritual hippy now, but I had an absolute change of perception when I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book single-handedly changed my life – by introducing me to concepts deeper and more meaningful than myself, which made me dramatically alter my ways of looking at the world.
I’ve since introduced this book to over 20 sceptics, all who have been affected in a similarly profound way to me. This has been the proof I needed to show that humans have spiritual needs which must be addressed – it’s just some of us don’t know it.
Since I started to explore ideas about spirituality, I have not only been happy – but joyously happy at times. I’ve started to live in the moment and (almost) banished unnecessary worry from my life.
I don’t subscribe to a particular belief system or religion here, nor would I recommend one. All I would suggest is that you begin to explore your own spirituality and see where it takes you. If you’re not sure where to start, there are far worse places than Tolle’s The Power of Now. It’s all about taking the step down the rabbit-hole and opening your mind up to a way of thinking...
How To Be Happier 9 – Don’t Fight The Down Cycles
Another idea I stumbled across when learning how to be happier is the idea of “up cycles” and “down cycles”. After trying this belief system on for size, I’m convinced that one of the key ways to learn how to be happier is by allowing this natural phenomenon to occur.
An up cycle is a period of time when everything appears to be going well for you – life flows, you achieve success easily, you’re happy and content and everything is marvellous.
A down cycle is the opposite – life appears to be giving you a bad hand and things seem to be out of your immediate control. You get stressed and panic that things are all going a bit tits-up.
When I was angry and sad, I used up so much energy fighting the down cycles and trying to transform them into up cycles that I’d end up even more depressed and exhausted.
After a while, I realised that this is futile.
I now understand that down cycles are essential for rest, reflection and growth. If you didn’t have the down cycles, you wouldn’t know what areas of your life to focus on. Struggling against the down cycles is tantamount to pushing a boulder up a hill – it just ain’t worth the effort.
As such, when you’re going through a down cycle, don’t fight it. If you can, embrace it, but at the very least, accept that it is there for a reason. Find out what is making you unhappy or unfulfilled – and then put together a plan to fix it.
By using down cycles as an “early warning system”, you can understand yourself better, set goals to get out of your slump – or just use the time to take a rest and recharge your batteries.
Don’t beat yourself up for feeling down – work out why you are feeling this way and then address that issue. This is a fantastic way to be happier – and helps you to find out more about what really makes you tick. Use your down cycles constructively – and watch how quickly they transmute into up cycles again.
How To Be Happier 10 – Appreciate What you Have
I’ve saved the best one for last.
The easiest, cheapest and most effective way how to be happier is simply to appreciate deeply what you already have.
I might not know you personally, but I do know that you have so much in your life to be grateful for.
From family, good friends and a roof over your head – to food, water and clothes – and for your personality, passions and your dreams – you have a lot to be bloody grateful for. There is so much of value in your life.
We live in an age where nobody seems to be happy with their lot, and most people can’t see the proverbial wood for the trees. If you can break this inexplicably unproductive mind pattern, you will start to feel happier almost instantly.
I take a few minutes before bed every night – normally when I visualise – to say and feel my thanks for what I already have in my life. This needn’t be structured – I just let my mind float around and bring me pictures of things I’m grateful for.
I normally end up saying thanks for my family and friends, for what I’ve seen that day, for what I’ve eaten, what I wore, what I achieved and what I look forward to achieving tomorrow... and a hundred other things that might pop in.
The point is, we get distracted by images of rich and successful people and celebrities far too often, and decide that we “want to be like THAT!” We forget that we have so much wonder and satisfaction in our lives already. To be truly happy, we need to go back to being grateful for what we have – and realise how happy this makes us.
I encourage everyone I meet to go after their dreams and live the life of their choice. I also remind them not to forget the very things that make them who they are.
Whilst I encourage you to set goals, and visualise them, and earn more money, and work in a job you love – none of this will make you happy if you don’t stop and choose to be happy now.
Happiness really is a choice and not a destination. You will not just wake up happy one day – but you can choose to cultivate a life of happiness, starting today. Happiness starts with embracing what you have already – and being truly appreciative for all the good in your life.
So whilst I stand by all of the advice in this article, and affirm that it was a combination of all these tips that showed me how to be happy – what you really, truly need to do to have more happiness is appreciate what you already have.
Ironically, when you do this, you’ll be amazed by how fast you begin to accumulate all the stuff that you originally thought you “needed” for your own happiness. I guess it’s the just the Universe’s funny way of making sure we have our priorities right - and thus appreciating what you already have is a sure fire way how to be happier.
How To Be Happy - Part One
What is Spirituality?
Collapsing Anchors - NLP
What is the Law of Attraction?
Law of Attraction - Top 5 Tips
The Power of Creative Visualisation
Why is Goal Setting Important?
How to be Productive
Get Your Swagger Back
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