6 habits to live a happy(er) life

live a happy life
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happiness is simply a state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.

maxwell maltz

i say a happy(er) life because life is full of ups and downs. one cannot be happy ALL THE TIME but one can live their life in a way where they experience happy thoughts most of the time.

pain is inevitable. suffering is optional.

 haruki murakami

who doesn’t want to live a happy life?

if you drill down on your current life goals, be it you want to make more money, you want to travel, you want to spend time with the people you love, etc. your goal could be anything — more often than not, at the source of these goals is the belief that achieving these goals will make you happy. that is why we do what we do. we are all seeking a happy, fulfilled life. 

my life goal is to die happy, content, fulfilled, without any regrets.

and the only way to die happy (in my opinion) is to live happy(ly)

think about it, we don’t know when our last moment is going to be. so technically, we have always got to be prepared to go!

no one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.

euripides

i want to retire to bed at the end of each day being “complete” with my life till then so that if i don’t wake up in the morning, i go content. 

now, 95% of our behaviours is based on habits.

that means, for me to live a happy life, i must develop habits that make me feel happy.

we first make our habits and then our habits make us.

john dryden

in the pursuit of this goal, i have discovered that practicing these 6 habits everyday ensures that i live a happy life and eventually, die happy!

now, of course, life is full of ups and downs and it is not fair to expect ourselves to experience ease and happiness ALL THE TIME! — that’s not possible and that kind of expectation will only bring discontentment. 

recommended read: thinking right in the wrong times // thought-provoking lyrics on happiness

that said, i am certain that if you practice these 6 habits every day, you will be satisfied and content with your life and live a happy life in a broader sense.


6 habits to live a happy life 

1. remember you are going to die (memento mori)

those who died yesterday had plans for this morning & those who died this morning had plans for tonight. don’t take life for granted. in the blink of an eye, everything can change.

unknown

in Bhutan, they say contemplating death 5 times daily brings happiness

when i started thinking about death and how uncertain life is, i started making the most of my life. i started doing things that really matter to me and bring me joy. i started living immediately!

we live like mortals in what we fear and as immortals in all that we desire.

seneca

thinking about death helps me live in the now, and helps me focus on what’s important. 

when you live like you are going to die, you will be more intentional with your time, money, energy, more intentional with living your life to the fullest! you will start living consciously.

think of death, not from a place of fear but accepting it as inevitable and then do your best!

i use this app, wecroak, which sends me 5 quotes every day at random hours to remind me that i am going to die! 

remembering that you are going to die is the best way i know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. you are already naked. there is no reason not to follow your heart.

steve jobs

recommenced read: quotes to remind you that you are going to die!

2. practice gratitude 

practising gratitude is one of the most powerful and simplest ways to raise your energy.

i read somewhere that our brain cannot process 2 thoughts / feelings at the same time. 

so when i have any complaints, irritation, etc, i look for what i can be grateful for in that moment, in that situation, and my energy shifts. 

it is the same situation i am in, but it feels different. 

if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

dr. wayne dyer

this is not to say that you live in denial of what’s not working. the point is to accept it and look for the silver lining. 

complaining about what’s not working doesn’t make that thing work. it just causes anxiety and makes the experience of living not so good. 

be grateful for what’s working, accept what is not, and take action to further your cause.

if you practice gratitude every day, chances are you will live a happy life. 
and trust me, there is A LOT to be grateful for at any given moment, if only you choose to!

recommended read: 13 triggers to practice gratitude daily

3. do your best 

action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.

benjamin disraeli

when you know you have given your best, there is little left to complain about or regret.

essentially, you do what you can do, what is in your control. rest is up to the ways of the universe or life or god, whatever you believe in. 

 

remember, your best will vary over time. there will be days when you won’t be super productive, and that’s okay, that’s part of life!

for example, when you are struggling with your physical or mental health, your best may look like getting out of bed, taking a shower, eating healthy!

avoid falling in the trap of beating yourself up, thinking you could’ve done things better. hindsight is always 20/20. sometimes life just comes at us, and we deal with it the best we can at that moment.

forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.

maya angelou

as long as you know you gave your best, you are going to live a happy life.

4. acknowledge your progress 

we, as human beings, love being acknowledged and rewarded.

acknowledging your progress doesn’t only put things in perspective (since we tend to indulge more in what’s not working), but also acts as an internal motivation mechanism

what you focus on grows //

where attention goes, energy flows and results show.

t. harv eker

focus your energy on:
what’s working, 
what you are doing right, 
the actions you are taking towards your goals, 
what you are proud of yourself for.

forget about your future self. do that which will make you proud of yourself right now!

tojo

all of this helps you feel better about yourself, your life, your progress, and builds momentum. 

you can't hate yourself into a you that you love
lousydrawingsforgoodpeople (tumblr)

recommended read: quotes on self-love

5. practice acceptance

accepting things as they are and as they are not is the final nail in the coffin (pun intended) 

once you:
– are aware that you could die at any moment
– are grateful for your life and everything you have available to you
– know you are doing your best
– acknowledge your progress

accepting things as they are and as they are not becomes easier. 

do your best and forget the rest

notjussayin

god, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, 
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference

reinhold niebuhr

accepting things as they are and as they are not does 2 things

  1. it releases any resistance you might be feeling towards your life situation. you stop making things/situations/people “wrong”, and that releases the negative energy from your system. 
  2. once you accept things as they are, you can then look for the best possible solution to make things better. (with a free/open mind // objectively)

6. practice conscious thinking

at the beginning of the post, i shared a quote on how happiness is a state of mind; which makes this habit extremely important. all the other habits shared above are ways to help you think consciously.

to think consciously is to choose your thoughts. not entertaining whatever pops into your head but consciously choosing the thoughts which you want in your head, which would further your growth, your intentions, your vision for life. 

if any thought occurs in your head which is not in alignment with what you want in life, you disregard it and reinforce your mind with the thoughts that support you.

to think consciously is to mindfully replace your limiting self-talk to one that is supportive. 

recommended read: 5 simple ways to think consciously


to sum it up

if you do these 6 things every day, you will live a happy life

  1. remember that you are going to die (memento mori)
  2. practice gratitude
  3. do your best
  4. acknowledge your progress
  5. practice acceptance
  6. practice conscious thinking

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