The “pursuit of happiness” is lifelong, and it’s safe to say that most people want to feel happy as much as possible. While feeling happy all the time may not be realistic (and those dealing with serious depression, sadness or mental health issues need to seek out professional help), there are ways to feel more fulfilled and happier on a regular basis. Many of these ideas come from studying happy people and their habits. Try these five tips for a greater sense of well-being and happiness.
1) Have a Rich Social Life
Maintaining good relationships with others and spending time with friends and family is an important part of happiness. Talking with them, laughing with them and having their support is key. Make time with your friends and loved ones a priority. Get together regularly and do things you all enjoy or just talk, and your state of mind will benefit. Read the “10 Ways to Meet New People” blog post to expand your friend base locally.
2) Keep a Gratitude Journal
Sometimes a positive outlook makes a big difference. Make a commitment to writing down something you are thankful or grateful for every day. Some days it may be something simple like a beautiful flower that bloomed on your porch or looking through old family photos and feeling thankful for the memories. It can be easy to focus on the negative, especially during trying times; a gratitude journal helps you also think about the positives in your life, which can improve your overall perspective.
Volunteering comes with a host of benefits: a sense of purpose, feeling good about helping others, meeting like minded people and more. There are all types of organizations you can volunteer with and all sorts of ways to help. Read the blog posts “Get Volunteering” and “Volunteering From Home” to learn more and find the right volunteering match for you.
4) Pursue Your Passions
Finding hobbies you’re passionate about and doing things you find fulfilling are great ways to improve your sense of well-being and increase your happiness. Maybe it’s painting or continuing to learn by signing up for a class, or maybe it’s joining a club where you can enjoy your hobby with others. Whatever your interests, find time for them and for yourself. Maybe your friends or relatives will even want to participate with you!
5) Find a Physical Activity You Enjoy
Physical activity (that your doctor approves for you) can be good for your mental as well as your physical health. Find something you enjoy and that’s appropriate for your health needs. It could be a walk out in nature alone or with friends, swimming, taking up yoga or dancing, or one of countless other options. The important thing is to find an activity you like and can stick with.
While there may not be an easy recipe for achieving happiness, you can indeed cultivate a greater sense of well-being by taking care of yourself and making your relationships with others a priority. Here’s to happy days ahead!
Are You Happy? – AARPhealthandwellness.com
Happiness Is Ageless – AARPhealthandwellness.com
AARP Releases New Study on What Defines Happiness for Adults 35+ – AARP.org