Around this time last year, my friend Eugene Bernshtam and I decided that instead of making new year’s resolutions which we would be highly likely to break, that instead, we would make a pledge to add some happiness to our lives in the coming year. During that year Eugene and I trailed a number of different changes in our lives to add a much-needed dose of happiness, with varying results.
In general, however, this was a plan which worked exceedingly well for us both and last month we did something of a review to see how well things had gone.
Of all the small tweaks and changes that we made, we have whittled down the list to 10 of the most effective and which had the biggest impact on our stress levels and our overall happiness. If you would like to sprinkle a little bit more happiness into your life, here are 10 ways in which you can go about it.
Honestly one of the most important things for me in the last year was getting enough sleep and I saw a direct correlation between my happiness and the quality of my sleep. I aimed for between 7-9 hours per night and to do that I started a routine.
I went to bed at the same time each night, I didn’t eat or drink anything other than water for 3 hours before bed and the final hour I would read a book. In doing this I was able to slow my body down, get to sleep quickly and enjoy a good night’s sleep. This resulted in a more relaxed attitude for me and I was much happier.
I didn’t really need to lose weight but I knew that eating the way that I was probably wasn’t helping me, with a lot of fatty foods.
I countered this with a sensible diet, nothing extreme, which included eating more fruits and vegetables and less of the saturated fats. The result was a small amount of weight loss but also a happier and improved attitude and mindset.
I read that helping others is rewarding and that it can make you feel happier and so I decided that I would volunteer at a local animal shelter and charity store twice per week. This cost me a few hours of my time and the difference was huge.
This wasn’t a self-serving thing as such, it was more about the fact that I was proud of myself for setting some time aside for other people’s needs, and not just my own.
At first I was going to leave finances out of my happiness plan, after all, some of the happiest people on Earth have very little. With this being said however finances were something that affected my happiness which is why I decided to include them. My desire was simple, stop spending as much and save more.
I began to track my spending using a handy app on my phone and using that information I made a daily effort to reduce what I was spending my money on. After just 2 months my situation was improved and it certainly put a smile on my face.
I would say that the number one factor in me becoming a happier person in the last 12 months has been a massive reduction in the use of social media. I realized that I never left social media happier than when I had gone on it, which was a telling sign.
I restricted myself to 30 minutes per day on social media and as a result, my mental health and my overall happiness have drastically improved.
I have never been a particularly spiritual person but there was something about meditation that really lured me in. I learned a lot about meditation and its benefits in this page. I started off simple, with just 15 minutes per day of meditation and after just a fortnight the difference could already be felt.
I honestly felt as though I was in better control of my life, that I could organize better and ultimately I felt far happier than when I wasn’t meditating. Fifteen minutes per day is nothing and the difference that it makes is huge.
Back to You
Another great tip is to write down what you want in life and then spend each day thinking about how you can make it happen. This is sort of a bucket list, but more for your own emotional and financial wellbeing.
Every evening I would finish my day looking at the list of happiness and seeing how close I was getting to each thing, or adding more things to the list. In order to get happy you need to know what exactly is going to make you happy, write it down and start working towards it.
Easy tips which will make you a far happier person.