Here are 10 ways to improve your happiness and wellbeing by maximising outcomes from the things you can control.
1. Be social, with friends and family. We’re social creatures, whether you are by nature an introvert or an extrovert, we all need to feel connected and part of a community. Plan time with friends and say ‘yes’ more (to those who make you happy).
2. Don’t compare to others. Be that the size of bank account, house, holiday, or even your the latest tech… comparing our situation to others is often detrimental. Be aware of your competition, but don’t be consumed by them.
3. Practise being grateful. The ‘G’ word gets bandied around a lot, but for good reason. It’s human nature to constantly move the goalposts and never stop to appreciate one’s personal growth or the greenness of our own grass.
4. Build better habits and break those that don’t make you happier. All it takes is some focus, planning, and perseverance. For example, create a new habit around regularly reflecting on what you have to be grateful for.
5. Help others more. It’s proven you’ll get more joy from giving than getting. So be generous with your time, talent, kindness, veggie garden yield, ideas, or money. Giving back can be so rewarding.
6. Be present. We’ve all heard this one but consider how to be more present. What does being present look like in your life? What rituals or habits should you form to transition properly from work to home life and vice versa?
7. Get outside more. That could be for exercise, to get in the garden, to bounce on your child’s tramp… being outside, and especially in nature, is proven to improve your happiness.
8. Exercise and sleep well. We all know that exercise and enough sleep improves our health, wellbeing and resilience, so let’s make it a priority. Eat the right foods, try that new plant-based meal (yes, even if you’re a hardcore carnivore) you might just be surprised)
9. Make the choice to be happy. Because, ultimately, it is a choice. As is choosing to smile more, which has been proven to make us happier.
10. Assess what guilty or innocent pleasures make you happy (and in what quantities). If new shoes, Netflix or avo on toast makes you happy, then go nuts. But ask yourself: ‘How much will maximise my happiness?… At what point does more not make me any happier?’
For example, do two pairs of new shoes make you any happier than one new pair? Does bingeing on five episodes of that Swedish crime thriller make me you happier than watching just one? The answer could very well be yes! And if so, do what makes you happy.
“Happiness equals reality minus expectation.” Tom Magliozzi