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Everybody wants to be happy, but almost nobody is because most people search for happiness in the wrong place. Happiness is not stable, it comes and goes. Lasting happiness is cultivated within and doesn’t depend on your external circumstances. That means finding true happiness through things, people, or situations is impossible. So, when you ask what makes a person happy, you must look for the answer inside yourself. And that’s where you’ll find you can find true lasting happiness through inner peace.
Even though inner peace is something you can only measure inside yourself, you can still do things in your external world to create an environment where it will be much easier to find that peace within yourself. On my path in life and my search for happiness, I have identified 9 proven things that will help you to create the physical and mental conditions that can help you to discover and liberate deep-rooted harmony and peace so you can live a happier life.
All these things are ways to strengthen and calm your mind while interacting with the world around you. And they assist you in gaining control over your thoughts, taking responsibility for them, and owning your mind. They help you to create a healthy relationship with yourself and balance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual power. This sets you up to be happy and content regardless of what is happening around you.
1. Eating healthy food for a happier life
It’s obvious eating healthy food is one of the things that can help to make you happy. But often it’s overlooked. Temptations are everywhere, there are fast food options on every corner, and supermarket sales strategies usually don’t promote healthy, natural food. In the world we live in today, it’s easy to eat unhealthy and too much. It’s a silent killer because you don’t see the results of your poor eating habits immediately after the greasy meal, or the tasty bag of chips or candy.
But in the long run, it can and will be devastating to your body. Your body will be depleted of nutrients and physical problems will show up and reversing the process is not something to happen overnight. It takes time to cleanse your body and detox from all the toxins and other harmful substances.
Millions of people around the world suffer from physical issues due to their food choices and habits. If you take the right decision every time you feed your body you will be happier because of it.
2. Exercise to feel happy
Regular exercise is not something everybody does. But people that get their body moving daily will tell you they feel much better. Every day many of us sit for at least 8 hours behind a computer and live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. It doesn’t seem to hurt your health at first. But, from my experience, it’s one of the worst things I’ve done in my life. It’s been some time since I’ve gotten back into the habit of daily exercise and still, there’s not one day that goes by without pain in my lower back.
I’ve also noticed a tremendous improvement in my mental health. And this is normal because studies have shown regular exercise releases up to 8 hormones that boost your mood and overall health. Probably dopamine and serotonin are the most known of these because they specifically impact your mood and feelings of happiness.
So, whenever you feel a bit down or sad. Go and do some exercise! It will brighten your mind, clear your thoughts, and put you back into a place where happiness is more a probability than a possibility.
3. Ground yourself for natural happiness
In today’s modern world we have lost the connection to nature. Even when we are outside we usually don’t physically connect with it because we continue to wear shoes and clothes. And, while being in nature usually already makes people feel better, this sense of well-being will multiply when you directly connect with the earth. This is called grounding.
It’s as simple as taking off your shoes and walking barefoot in nature. I feel a much deeper effect of grounding when I walk barefoot on wet grass. But grounding will also work on the beach or in the sea. When you ground yourself you charge yourself with free electrons and your body synchronizes with the natural frequencies of the earth. This neutralizes the positive charge that is built up in your body throughout your days via all kinds of electronic devices and wireless networks that contaminate your environment non-stop.
Studies have shown grounding has a positive effect on many physical problems and can support improving anxiety and depression, cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, as well as chronic pain and fatigue. So, connect more with nature, it’s free, it feels amazing, and it will help you to take care of your body and mind, so you can live a happier life.
4. Having a hobby makes you happy
People often say “Do what makes you happy”. Having a hobby is exactly that. Most of us don’t have a job we particularly love. It’s what sustains our life financially but we wouldn’t do it for free. If you are making a living doing what you love, you are among a very tiny percentage of the world’s population and should consider yourself lucky and privileged. A hobby can turn out to be a way to make a living but it’s something you would do for free or even pay money for to do.
A hobby is something that brings you to the moment, it captures your full attention and all your senses are engaged while participating in this thing you love to do. It stops time for a moment, the pressure and tension of your daily responsibilities disappear temporarily, and you fully enjoy every bit of it.
But be careful, don’t use a hobby as a distraction from the things that make you unhappy. Because when you change the purpose in your mind you also change your perception of the things you use to escape from your unhappiness. If you are unhappy, change what makes you unhappy, don’t escape from it by doing things that on the surface seem to make you happy for a little while.
5. Share with other people to cultivate happiness
Deep within everybody knows we are all connected. That’s one of the reasons it feels good to share and give to the people around you. Because, in reality, everything you share will come back to you in one way or another.
It could be anything, from a smile for a stranger on the street to a hug with a friend who needs it. Money or food for people in need, or a little surprise for a loved one. But what will feel even more satisfying is when you share your gift with the world. Your gift is the unique talent you were born with, your purpose in life. When you manage to find that purpose and share it with the world you will see it gives you the possibility to live a more meaningful life for yourself and the world around you.
6. Have a goal to live happier
People with a plan are happier. Look at someone with a goal in mind. They wake up with a fire lit inside, their days are filled with tasks that lead to the completion of the plan. They seem to be more purposeful in their actions. They are more determined, seem to have more energy, generally have higher self-esteem, and achieve more in life than people that live day by day, without a goal, without a purpose, walking through life aimlessly, fragile, and vulnerable to their external circumstances.
I know this all too well. When I retired as a professional athlete back when I was only 29 years old I lost my goal in life. I fell into the well-known black hole so many athletes have to deal with when they retire. For me, it was no different. And only in the last few years, more than 10 years later I have a clear goal in mind. Two years from now I will be able to retire from my day job, to dedicate myself full-time to my passion and my purpose in this life. Creating content that serves others on their path of personal and spiritual development, and other things that will derive from this project. Such as individual coaching, seminars, books, and courses.
People with goals are not happier because of the goal. It’s the journey that makes them happy, the continuous growth, the learning process, and the completion of all the little tasks that serve the bigger purpose. This generates a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. After all, it feels great to execute a plan and finalize all the little steps along the way.
7. Be disciplined to enable your happiness
To achieve anything in life you need some sort of discipline. In sports, discipline is key to improvement. Without discipline, you will not be consistent enough in your training and preparation for the big moments. And you will always fall short unless you have an extraordinary talent that no one else possesses. But that’s almost impossible in today’s modern world. Everyone is well prepared, and preparation and years of consistent practice will always beat talent.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to see the results of discipline and consistency. It will help you in many things that strengthen your foundation for happiness. You need discipline to be consistent in your diet, your exercise habits, and the completion of your goals, and you even need it to stay connected to the nature around you regularly.
Thus, although discipline sometimes can be tough, and it will go against what you feel like doing at a particular moment, it’s necessary to create the circumstances in your life that allow you to be happier.
8. Practice meditation for a happy mind
Your mind determines how often you will experience happiness. So, having control over your mind is crucial. Happiness comes from a peaceful mind, and meditation is a great way to achieve it.
Meditation is known for reducing stress and anxiety. It also allows you to become more self-aware, and it lengthens your attention span and ability to concentrate on a specific task.
There are many different ways to meditate. It doesn’t matter what technique you use as long as you keep in mind that deep breathing and simply observing your thoughts should always be a part of meditation. Observation of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions without interacting with them. Let them be, let them appear, and let them go.
It sounds easier than it is. A clear sign you are not letting go is when you continue to observe the same thing over and over again. When that happens, you’re not observing anymore, you’re actively participating. So, step back, and observe. Detached and at peace. Only observe. This will help you to clean your mind and to bring peace and control to your thoughts. And when you control your thoughts happiness becomes a choice.
9. Be in the moment to experience happiness
So many people live their life in the past and the future. They are worried about the future or reminisce about things that happened in the past. But you can’t find happiness in those moments. Happiness is something you can only experience now. So, to be happy you have to be present. You have to have your full attention present in the moment.
I’m sure your happiest moments in life were those when you were absorbed by the situation you were experiencing. You didn’t have to think, you simply were present, and things flowed naturally, allowing you to truly live the moment without hesitation. In the now, problems disappear. Whenever you have to deal with a problem, you will. But now is not the time. Therefore, now you can let go of the issue.
Living a detached life is an art very few people dominate. Being detached doesn’t mean being disengaged. On the contrary, people who have managed to detach emotionally, from whatever it is they are dealing with, are capable of being much more engaged exactly because they are emotionally detached from it. This provides them with the freedom to feel and experience it to the fullest. And freedom cultivates the feeling of inner peace.
And inner peace is the one key ingredient for permanent happiness.
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