Happiness Hacks: 10 Ways to Infuse Your Life with Joy

Posted by on May 14, 2016 in Conscious Living, Happiness & Humor, Thrive with 0 Comments
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By Jess Stuart | Tiny Buddha

“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Life seems complicated these days.


We’re all busy pursuing happiness, yet how many of us ever reach that goal?

Success, money, and busyness are top of our priority list, yet deep in our hearts we’d prefer time, love, and security.

It’s the age of making a living, but perhaps at the cost of making a life.

What really makes us happy, and how do we find it?

I spent many years trying to fit in, to be someone else, to pursue the dream of success, in my jobs and my relationships.

I collected material things, often at the cost of what really mattered, and I was left unfulfilled as a result.

I quit my corporate job and left my long-term relationship to go on a journey of self-discovery. Here are my top nine happiness life hacks, from my experience and the things I’ve learned along the way.

 1. Authenticity: Be who you are, not who you think you should be.

We live in a world where we are surrounded by ideals, and with a tendency to compare ourselves to others, it’s no wonder so many of us feel like we’re not enough.

I’d tell myself that writing was a hobby, not a “real job.” I sought approval through promotions and success through status, neither of which made me happy.

To find happiness, we must be true to ourselves, live our own dreams, and be proud of what makes us unique. So, instead of comparing yourself to others, look to see if you’re fulfilling your own potential in accordance with what you value.

2. Self-care: Respect yourself.

Health and happiness are inextricably linked; you can’t have one without the other.

Our nutrition is so important, as is getting enough sleep and regular exercise. In a world where lifestyle-related disease is at epidemic proportions, taking care of our own health is increasingly critical.

Yoga, meditation, and regular walks help me look after myself and keep me strong. These practices were key in helping me overcome corporate burnout.

Sometimes these practices seem too basic, and we ignore the simple principles of good health. It’s often the last thing we prioritize and in our busy lives. But taking time out to care for our health is fundamental. Without our health, we can achieve very little.

3. Mindfulness: Live in the now.

Our minds are so busy, and with the evolution of technology, we are now connected 24/7. We never switch off. As a result, we are spending less time in the present.

Our thoughts are consumed with rehashing the past or worrying about the future.

The past has gone and we cannot change it, and the future never arrives. The only time we have is now—the present—and of course, this is life.

In a world where multitasking is seen as a necessary skill, being mindful is the opposite. It’s slowing down and focusing on one thing at a time, one moment at a time.

Mindfulness is acceptance of what is, without judgment; being yourself, at home with yourself; and seeing the beauty in every moment. It teaches us to slow down and notice more. This leads to a true happiness that arises from within, independent of external circumstances.

4. Resilience: Learn from experiences.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The art of happiness is also the art of suffering well.”

To be happy, it is critical that we embrace the tough times, too. They come to us all. It’s how we deal with them and bounce back that impacts our happiness. This is our resilience.

We spend much of our time trying to avoid the bad times and cling to the good, yet both will always come and go. Embracing this and shifting our perspective is key to happiness.

5. Appreciation: Be grateful.

In our consumer-driven society, it’s all too easy to focus on what we can get, and to be never feel fulfilled. This leads us into constant craving. Like a bottomless bucket that can never be filled, we always want more.

I learned that happiness is not about getting what you want; it’s about loving what you have.

There are many things we are lucky to have, yet take for granted: fresh air, clean water, warmth, shelter, family, and food. It’s not until these things are taken away that we realize how fortunate we are. Gratitude helps us remember our priorities and focus on the things that matter.

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