Although genes have a lot to do with our personal happiness, life circumstances and our own choices seem to play a part.
Identifying what makes people “feel good” is difficult not only because happiness is subjective but also because it fluctuates and also because it’s not clear if certain activities make people happy or if happier people are more likely to engage in these activities.
Despite these complications, the following list of ideas for being happier provides something for everyone (which is why some suggestions may appear contradictory).
1. Draw pictures of unhealthy food, like cupcakes and pizza.
3. Write your worries on a piece of paper and seal them in an envelope.
4. Focus exactly on what you’re doing right now.
5. Have more sex.
6. Having sex with one partner delivers even more happiness.
7. Volunteer for religious groups and organisations.
9. Identify a creative moment — like playing chess or skiing — that provides an effortless state of enjoyment.
10. Smile more.
11. Faking a smile also works.
13. Give more hugs.
14. Write notes of gratitude.
15. Listen to upbeat music.
16. Take a yoga class.
17. Join a religious congregation.
18. Laugh more.
19. Visualise your best possible future self.
20. Expose yourself to more of the colour blue.
22. Hold hands.
23. Watch a tragic movie, like “Titanic.”
24. Finish a crossword puzzle in less than 10 minutes.
25. Breath in the smell of dirt.
26. Drink a cup of coffee.
28. Take a 30-minute walk.
29. Plan a getaway.
30. Then, enjoy your vacation.
32. Get a massage.
33. Get outdoors.
34. Eat more shrimp and salmon.
36. Stop compulsively checking your phone.
37. Watch a funny television show in fast-forward.
40. Take in the smell of fresh-baked bread.
42. Go shopping.
Develop better daily habits
43. Get a good night’s sleep.
44. But wake up early.
45. Make your bed in the morning.
46. Eat breakfast.
47. Make sure to get in seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
48. Eat lunch on the beach.
49. Or, spend lunch working out.
50. Limit how much time you spend on Facebook.
51. Everyday, make a list of three good things that happened.
52. Squeeze in 20 minutes of physical activity.
53. Document daily accomplishments.
54. Limit how much overall time you spend in front of the television.
55. Sit up straight.
Longer-term lifestyle decisions and changes
56. Be both an optimist and realist.
57. Get married.
58. Make $US75,000 a year, and no more.
60. Or try to be a “supermom.”
61. Have one child.
63. Have a job, especially if you’re a mum.
64. Have at least 10 good friends.
66. Maintain a position of power either at work, with friends, or in a relationship.
67. Cherish your relationship with your mum.
68. Be grateful for what you already have.
69. Less small talk, more substantial conversations.
70. Remember good experiences and forget the bad ones.
71. Put your cash toward many small pleasures rather than a few big ones.
72. Also, spend money on experiences rather than products.
73. Foster a strong relationship with at least one parent.
74. Spend money on things that give you more free time to participate in fun activities.
75. Surround yourself with happy people.
76. Spend money on other people instead of yourself.
77. Master a new skill.
78. Stop comparing yourself to others.
79. Shorten your commute to work.
80. Own a pet.
81. Take lots of photographs.
83. Always look your best.
88. Do household chores (if you’re a man).
89. Become a research or teaching assistant.
90. Have a positive sense of the future.
91. Attend college in California.
Happiness associated with circumstance and location
92. Being extroverted.
93. Being taller.
94. Being an only child.
96. Old age.
97. Living in Australia.
98. Also, Norway, Sweden, or Denmark.
99. And Lincoln, NE.
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