"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."
Aristotle said this more than 2,000 years ago. And it still holds true today. What is the true purpose of life, if not to live a happy life until we die?
Happiness is one of the most sought-after goals in life, yet for many it seems to be elusive. It's easy to delude ourselves into thinking, "When I just have that nice house and new car, then I can be happy." But in reality, happiness is available to all of us, right now. A big house or a new car won't actually make you happier; it's the simple joys in life that bring true happiness. Read on to learn 15 simple ways that you can start living a happier life today.
1. Do What You Love
If your passion is playing soccer, writing poems, or teaching children how to swim, make time to do it. You'll find that when you're doing what you love, you're filled with joy. How much better does that sound than forcing yourself do something you don't like?
2. Help Others
Sometimes after we've achieved our own personal goals, we still feel empty inside because we haven't made a meaningful contribution to someone else's life. When we volunteer or help others, it feels good to just be of service to someone else. The impact we make feels fulfilling and is a big potential source for our own happiness.
3. Be Thankful
When you think of all the things that you have to be grateful for, you realize how blessed you already are. Without even realizing it, we take our basic necessities for granted -- a roof over your head and plenty of food to eat. By appreciating the things that you already have, you'll begin to feel happier in your life.
4. Share With Others
When we share our thoughts, our time, and our abilities with others we feel better for it. A life lived without sharing can become lonely. When you share with others, they'll feel great towards you and help you to feel more joy in your own life.
5. Smile More
Practice smiling more and see how it affects you internally, as well as those around you. You can always afford to give a smile. Smiling can make you happier -- even if you have to force it, you'll still feel better.
When was the last time you went to the gym or worked out? Exercise reduces stress and releases endorphins, also known as a "runner's high." Playing sports is a fun way to exercise as well, whether it's kicking around a soccer ball or shooting hoops.
7. Seek Out a Life Coach
A life coach will help you to evaluate your life and why you're not feeling happy in it. Maybe you're holding limiting beliefs or you have an emotional block without realizing it. By speaking to a life coach, you can uncover why you're actually unhappy and what you can do to feel better.
8. Find Ways to Manage Stress
Don't let stress rob you of your birthright to be happy. You deserve to be happy, and it wouldn't be right to let stress get in the way. Practices such as meditation can help you to manage stress better and feel great.
9. Eat Healthy
It's much more challenging to feel truly happy when you're sick. But when you eat right, you feel better both physically and mentally. And you'll avoid that guilty feeling that you just pigged out on junk food.
10. Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
There's no replacement for spending quality time with your loved ones. We're social beings, even if you're an introvert or a loner. People love spending time with their friends and family for good conversation, bonding, and some laughs. Life's too short to live it completely alone.
11. Dump Negative Thinking
You already know that negative thinking will bring you down. So how do you stop it? Become more aware of it and try replacing your negative thoughts with some positive ones. Spend less time with negative people and more time with positive people.
12. Give More Gifts
You don't have to give expensive gifts; sometimes a poem, a quick note, or a thoughtful email will brighten someone else's day, and yours. Share what you can give to all the wonderful people in your life.
13. Forgive and Forget
Holding a grudge will harm you more than the person you're holding it against. Ask yourself, "What would it take for me to let go of the past?" and notice how you feel when you let go of your anger for a few seconds. Focus instead on a bright future and you'll feel better for it.
14. Take a Walk in Nature
Spending time out in nature can be very refreshing and renewing, especially when you're living in an artificial, manmade world. Taking a walk in your local woods or park and getting some fresh air can allow you to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
15. Be Yourself
As Steve Jobs said, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." Accept who you are, just be yourself, and you'll feel a world of difference.