1. Don’t be afraid to spend money if it makes you happy.
From a psychological standpoint, everyone needs to have a sense of security, to feel loved, and to feel competent in what they do. Even though money can’t provide all of those feelings on its own, there are ways that it can make achieving happiness easier.
For instance, money can help you stay closer to your family members and friends – especially if they live far away. It can also be used to help you stay healthy or to invest in tools that make you better at your job. Minor conflicts in your marriage can sometimes be solved with a simple purchase. Having money also allows you to support causes that are close to your heart or to experience life more fully. For instance, I bought a high-quality digital camera just before my sister’s wedding. Even though it cost quite a bit, it dramatically improved my happiness.
2. Become a better decision-maker.
When it comes to making decisions, people usually fall into one of two categories. They either make a decision right away once they find something that meets their requirements or they compare all of their options endlessly, trying to figure out which choice is best. People in the first category are called satisficers, while people in the second category are called maximizers. In general, satisficers experience more happiness than maximizers. For maximizers, the decision-making process is often filled with anxiety. Comparing options takes time and effort that could be spent doing other things and fuels anxiety disorder. Instead of laboring over decisions, try to decide right away once you find something that is adequate.
3. Start exercising.
From an intellectual standpoint, I knew that exercising was beneficial. Trying to make myself get more physical, however, was a challenge. When it comes to improving your mood, exercise is one of the most effective tools out there. If you don’t feel like heading to the gym, try something as simple as walking for 10 minutes. It can have an incredible impact on your attitude.
4. Don’t nag.
Logically, you probably already know that nagging is not effective. Trying to stop, however, is a little bit more difficult. I used to nag my husband all the time, thinking that he wouldn’t do things unless he was prodded. As it turns out, however, once I stopped nagging, he actually started doing more on his own. That doesn’t mean that you can’t drop hints. For instance, you could set a lightbulb out where he will see it if it needs to be replaced or you could give him a simple reminder instead of harping on the topic. Alternatively, you could simply do the job yourself.
5. Actively pursue happiness.
There is a common misconception that people are either born happy or they are not. While it is true that your genetics and your upbringing can affect your outlook on life, you still have control over a large portion of how happy you are. The key is to focus on ways to feel happier. Choosing to be happy each day can make a big difference in your outlook and is one of the most effective ways to start feeling better. Consider starting a Happiness Project today. The results are definitely worthwhile.