Do you feel like you need to figure out how to be happy? You’re not alone. Many people find themselves in a depressed state, unsure of what they can do to break out of a funk. Sometimes, you’ll experience these feelings while going through tough times. On other occasions, you’ll simply feel unfulfilled, constantly thinking that there’s something else you should be doing.
Though getting what you want can help make you happy for shorter periods, it won’t lead to lasting happiness. The real secret to happiness is progress. If you know that you’re moving forward on your life path, you’ll be able to enjoy the journey along the way. Here are 3 key principles that will help you get there.
1. Condition Your Mind
Feeling happy is a lot about directing your thoughts. If you don’t condition your mind, you’ll be living off the irrelevant information that comes at you via the news, social media, meaningless chatter, and so on. Though this information can fill up the empty spaces in your mind, it won’t truly fulfill you.
Want to feed your mind the right things? Read 30 minutes a day — and we’re not talking about social media. For example, biographies of great people can help you put your life into perspective. Anything about areas you want to improve or concepts you’re curious about can fit the bill as well. If you’re not a big reader, consider audiobooks.
2. Strengthen Your Body
Though conditioning your mind can help you think happy thoughts, an unhealthy body will put a stop to that. See, a mind and body are a single unit. Feeling depressed or fantastic will affect your physiology. Similarly, feeling physically strong has a positive effect on your mind.
So, how do you go about strengthening your body? Simple: exercise and diet. Five days of exercising a week should be your minimum, but the activity depends on your preferences. A sustainable diet will give your body the fuel to push through an intense workout, increasing your stamina and strength in the process.
3. Learn to Let Go
Another big reason why people feel unhappy is that they’re incapable of letting go. For instance, you may not be able to forget a traumatic experience in your past. Or maybe you can’t get over a slight from your co-worker. Either way, holding up that negativity will keep you feeling unhappy.
To get over this issue, you need to decide how you want to live your life. First, identify the emotional patterns that are keeping you from letting go. Then, examine and change the habits that make you focus on the painful past and try to take things less personally in the future.