How to learn to be happy: 20 practical tips (part 1)

Happiness is simple: it’s triggered by chemical processes in your body, such as those caused by serotonin and dopamine. However, the levels of these chemicals largely depend on your brain’s reaction to different situations. This means that happiness can be learned. Happiness and success are distinct and one can exist without the other. Happiness is an internal state while success is external. Here are 20 tips to help you become happier:

  1. Know yourself – The best knowledge is knowing yourself, including what makes you happy or sad. Understanding your needs and values will lead to satisfaction and happiness.
  2. Self-care – Many people overlook self-care, but it’s important for happiness. Taking care of others is great, but don’t neglect yourself in the process. People who take care of themselves are happier.
  3. Embrace Constructiveness – Life is a continuous learning experience with constant challenges. By approaching challenges constructively instead of complaining, you’ll find better solutions faster. A constructive approach helps you become a creator of your life rather than a destroyer. This means forgiving insults, not regretting, and viewing problems as tasks with solutions.
  4. Create Your Own Luck – Luck can be created by focusing on lucky moments in your life. What you give attention to grows. Instead of focusing on problems, focus on small moments of luck every day to increase their frequency in your life. This way, you’ll learn to enjoy life’s little things you previously overlooked.
  5. Visualize your desired future Many of us tend to imagine mundane or even bleak future prospects. However, happy individuals who have achieved what they wanted in life often envisioned a brighter future for themselves. By doing so, they directed their unconscious to work towards their desired outcome and slowly reached their goals through small steps. Don’t hesitate to give your unconscious a helping hand.
  6. Boost your energy Having energy empowers us, filling our body and mind with strength and desires. A vibrant inner voice says “You can do this, and this, and this… everything is so exciting!” On the other hand, when energy levels are low, we lack motivation and don’t feel capable of doing anything. To gauge your energy, listen to your inner voice. If you hear a lot of “I want and can,” then you’re doing well. If not, consider ways to increase energy such as meditation, exercise, proper nutrition, removing toxic people, closing unfinished tasks, doing good deeds, and engaging in interesting activities. These practices not only boost energy, but also promote happiness.
  7. Learn to slow down Embrace the concept of slow living. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with our insatiable thirst for new experiences. We rush from one activity to the next, never taking time to enjoy the process. To be happy, it’s important to slow down and savor life’s simple pleasures, like watching the sunset, savoring a meal, or smelling freshly cut grass. Make a conscious effort to slow down in certain contexts, such as with family and friends or in nature, while leaving productivity and speed at work. Remind yourself, “I’m slowing down to create time for happiness in the moment.”
  8.  Improve by comparing yourself to yourself Observe your progress daily and avoid envy. Embrace your personal growth.Practice self-improvement in small ways: finish tasks faster, run further, wake up earlier, avoid conflicts, eat healthier. Don’t aim for exceptional results or you may become burned out and self-critical. How can you be happy if you can’t celebrate even small victories that make up progress?
    1. Keep track of your progress Take 10 minutes each week to reflect on your improvement. Write down even minor changes for the better. Share your progress externally as well as internally.

    We’re often taught to keep our achievements to ourselves, but successful people aren’t afraid to speak openly about what they’re proud of. They also track their progress.

    Recording progress is a crucial process that trains your brain to release serotonin when you achieve something. This motivates you to do more and better. Doing this regularly can surprise you with how much you’ve accomplished and how much appreciation and self-respect you deserve. It’s a simple way to be happier every day.

    1. Create a supportive environment Everyone has their own set of life strategies and we’re heavily influenced by those around us. It’s tough to succeed surrounded by failures, be smart among fools, or find happiness among negative people.

    Audit your regular interactions and identify anyone who devalues, is unlucky, or toxic. Ask yourself why you associate with them. Is it for entertainment, recognition, fear of loneliness? Consider alternative ways to receive those values and remove negativity from your environment.

    Meanwhile, start meeting new people and those who can serve as good role models in your life context. This process will create a positive environment for you.

    Note: This doesn’t mean replacing close friends. If they’re close, they already provide the best support for you.”

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