How to be Happy: 7 Simple Steps to Happier, Healthier Life

How to be Happy: 7 Simple Steps to Happier, Healthier Life

It’s easy to think of happiness as a result, but happiness is also a driver. One example: While I’m definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity (whether a one-day burst, or a lifetime, or things you should not do every day), probably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier. Happy people accomplish more.

You are what you think

“The simple act of assuming a particular pattern of thinking is able to dramatically change the way we respond to things and how we experience our lives,” explains Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. “When you allow your mind to rest on a certain assumption, you open yourself up to changing your entire worldview.” Your thoughts are what fuel your thinking and reactions, and if you’re not actively choosing a different thought process, then you’re choosing to act in a certain way. Conjure the fear you fear “In order to actually act on a fear, it’s not enough to simply fear it,” said Robin Sharma in Journey to the Heart: The Insight That Changes Everything. “You must feel it. “The more you feel a particular emotion, the more powerful it becomes.

Habit If you are what you think, then act what you think

― Zig Ziglar The best way to keep your inner positivity flowing is to surround yourself with happy people. I don’t mean you have to make friends with a busload of happy people. You could be happy if you’re around people who are stressed. If you are in a crowd of unhappy people, it might be hard to keep the happy in. Where do you meet happy people? At happy places: nature, beach, great food, music, etc. At happy events: concerts, parties, etc. At happy places near your work: coffee shops, bookstores, and other places with things to do that aren’t work-related. So how do you know if someone is being negative or positive?


Take risks

Too many people tend to fear making any life-altering change for fear that something bad will happen if they don’t go down that path. But in my experience, changing my mind-set and expecting to live an adventurous, happy life has meant that I often take chances and wind up happier. Chances aren’t all risk. They can include taking a class or reading a new book, or even just choosing to learn something new. “Thinking of this act as an ‘improvise, adapt, and overcome’ sort of thing is important,” said Ray Monk, owner of Huntington City Farm, and author of The Farm Path to Happiness, in a talk for Apartment Therapy. “This way, we have to make a decision that we’re going to jump into things, not sit around and think about it, and if it’s the wrong thing, then we can try something else.

Make time for what makes you happy

I used to run all the time, and then I quit running. I found that running had made me more productive — and I had more energy when I wasn’t running. It was a trade-off — I felt sluggish, but I was less likely to blow up at my kids. So it became clear to me that the simple truth was, the little moments of happiness, the laughs with my family, were more important to me than the hours I spent running in the woods. Once I put my kids in preschool and my youngest in kindergarten, I got in the habit of going to the gym or joining my wife at yoga class. When I’m alone on my bike on the local bike trail, I often sing songs and laugh. I’m choosing activities that are good for my mind and my body, and giving myself the tools to make those good moments last longer, to make them feel special.

Get to know yourself

“Get to know yourself” is a popular exercise. How? By spending some time reflecting on who you are and what you want. More than you might expect. After all, some of us aren’t exactly the best at introspection. First, make sure you have a good process for reflecting on yourself, one that’s safe, something that doesn’t result in you withdrawing from the world and burning out. You want to hear what your fears, needs, and desires are, and reflect on them. Take the time to figure out what works best for you. But, don’t allow the process to be so serious that you can’t still have fun with it. Having fun, even for a minute, can be a big step toward success. Instead of thinking too much about who you are and what you want, stop, breathe, and go outside for a walk.


Be grateful

Gratitude is like practicing you’re a violin, so long as you feel gratitude. There’s a core component to gratitude that makes it the one quality that can’t be faked: As Gratitude Science noted, “Just five minutes of gratitude a day is equivalent to a year of good health.” Nothing will put you into a better mood than practicing your gratitude skills. So the next time you’re feeling irritable, remember you could feel better if you showed some gratitude. In a world where being grateful is equated with believing in god, it’s easy to forget that not everybody believes in the same god. It’s also easy to forget that for many, their god is not making them healthy, wealthy, and wise. If you feel like feeling blessed by the universe is pointless, try feeling grateful instead.


Similarly, it’s important to understand that too much stress can also stunt growth and kill happiness. Have you ever noticed when you’re stressed, you get headaches and can’t concentrate? This is called the “wounded-helmet effect.” When you’re under a lot of stress, your brain starts producing more cortisol, a stress hormone that increases pain and decreases blood flow to the brain. Your only defense is to make your brain more resilient to stress. When your brain isn’t stressed, it can handle it. A less stressed brain is a happier brain. This isn’t just about the headache, though. When your stress is too intense and doesn’t have an outlet, it saps energy from your body.



This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised at how much you aren’t creating. From your goals to your projects to your plans for the future, creating is an important way to make yourself feel better. When we are focused on creating something, the subconscious mind shifts from chaotic, chaotic mode, to focus mode, where we become less reactive, less reactive, less reactive, and thus less reactive to all the negative things that are constantly swirling around us. As humans, we are constantly looking to communicate, and one of the best ways to communicate is through writing. Writing serves many functions: it educates, it engages, it shows others that we are doing the best we can. When we are present and focused, we find meaning in the world, and find balance.


Celebrate the little things. The rainbows. The good news. And give credit where credit is due. People who want something have more energy to work for it. People who aren’t sure of what they want, but are open to options, focus more on what they do want. Not getting what you want today is an opportunity to make what you want even more appealing. Stop pretending that the things you want will just fall into your lap. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel when you can find someone else’s idea and make it work better. Stop trying to be someone else or live someone else’s life. Start simply by being who you are. Have self-esteem Forgive others and yourself. Have compassion for others but don’t assume that everyone will do the right thing (including you).

There’s more to life than a few iPhone apps. But now, you know how to improve your own productivity, by focusing on how to be more happy.

If you are really struggling please go and speak to a medical professional –