1. Do things for others
Helping others is not only good for those you help, but it also makes you feel good. Whether it’s a big act or something small, helping others or volunteering boosts happiness and connects you to people. Give it a go!
2. Connect with people
Talking, listening and spending time with other people helps you feel connected. Whether it’s spending quality time with family members, friends, workmates, sports groups or local clubs, building a network of positive and meaningful relationships with others supports your wellbeing and happiness. Studies find close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy.
3. Take care of your body
Being active, eating well and participating in regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health. It improves your mood, boosts your energy and improves your sleep, which all help you feel happier.
4. Live life mindfully
Learning to be more mindful and aware of the present moment can help improve your sense of wellbeing. In our fast-paced lives, taking some time to slow down and be in the now and not worry about the past or future is beneficial. Meditation can help, it's calming and helps you focus your mind. Studies have shown regular meditation can actually rewire parts of the brain so you don’t feel as much stress and anxiety.
5. Keep learning new things
Learning new things helps you stay curious and engaged. You could learn a new language, take up a new sport or hobby or try something else you’ve never done before. It’s also a good way to meet new people and become involved in your community.
6. Have goals to look forward to
Having a goal gives you direction and something to look forward to. Make sure your goal is not only challenging, but also achievable. If your goal isn’t achievable it will only lead to disappointment, so make sure it’s realistic. Achieving your goal will bring a sense of confidence, accomplishment and satisfaction. Learn more about goal setting and making changes.
7. Find ways to bounce back
Life can be challenging sometimes, and stress, trauma and loss are a part of life. Being resilient or finding a way to bounce back has an impact on your wellbeing. The good news is that resilience can be learned, enabling you to find healthy ways to cope with life’s challenges.
8. Look for what’s good
Focusing on positive emotions and having a glass half-full (rather than empty) attitude helps you feel good in both the short term and long term. Research also shows that positive emotions broaden your perceptions (helping you to see more in life), respond more flexibly and in new ways, and be more creative.
Being thankful for the good things in your life has been shown to improve happiness. A good way to practise gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, which helps you focus on positive things. This involves, regularly writing down several things you’re grateful for. It can be people in your life or things that have happened – big or small, that you’re grateful for. It can also be for things that are often taken for granted, such as a roof over your head or food on the table.
9. Be comfortable with who you are
Criticising yourself all the time makes you feel unhappy. Accepting yourself for who you are – both the good and not so good – and being kind to yourself increases your enjoyment of life. It also helps you accept other people for who they are.
10. Be part of something bigger
Research also shows having a connection to something bigger than yourself, such as religion or spirituality, makes you happy and healthier.