Find Happiness in Life

Are you always sad and full of discontent? Always the person "outside the picture" or the wallflower? Silent and lonely instead of perky and peppy? Well, don't worry, this article is created in order to help you overcome some of the feelings that are keeping you from reaching your happiest potential. Read on for more tips and strategies about how to find happiness in life all over again.


Finding Happiness by Yourself

  1. Be strong and optimistic. Don't let negative circumstances and sadness creep into or ruin your life. Whenever you are sad, try to keep your head high. You should tell yourself that life is full of hopes, challenges and unexpected twists and turns of surprises.
    • Look for the silver linings in life. Often something in life will happen which we interpret as being bad. When we look at it, however, it turns out to have some good aspects to it. Those are called silver linings. For example:
      • Your partner dumped you. The silver lining? There are so many different people out there that you can meet. Having the opportunity to get to know someone, to be let into their heart and soul, is a powerful thing.
      • You lost your job. Maybe you didn't like your job all too much. The silver lining? You now have a chance to find a better, more meaningful, higher-paying position.
      • You failed at something when you thought you'd succeed. Life is funny that way, isn't it? The silver lining? You learn just as much, if not more, from failing at something than you do from getting it right the first time.
  2. Keep yourself busy. You know what they say about idle hands, right? Research has consistently found that people who stay busy are happier than people who stand idle.[1][2] Not only is too much free time a little depressing, it can also be unproductive. Think of all the things you could be doing, like joining clubs, visiting places, hearing lectures, and then think of how little time you are given in life to do just that.
  3. Give yourself reasons to smile. Scientists have found that the act of smiling may actually make you happier.[2] That's right: just smiling. Give it a try. Find any one of the following reasons to smile and give it a go:
    • A stranger passed you and smiled.
    • Someone else did a nice thing for a random stranger.
    • Something unexpected happened that caused you to think about how vast and strange the world is.
    • You saw something beautiful in the world.
  4. Follow your instincts. People who stick with their gut instincts can be happier than people who labor over their decisions. This is why: if you stick with your gut, you're less likely to question what the other options might have been like, tasted like, etc; if you labor over the decision, you're more likely to wonder if you made a mistake in picking one thing over the other.
  5. Be generous and compassionate. You might feel smart for thinking that winning a lottery ticket could make you happy, but you'd be wrong. Money increases happiness only up to a certain level, where your basic needs are met.[3] After that, money makes you no happier than other people. What does make you happy, however, is compassion.
    • One study has found that people who look at others giving money to charity makes us just as happy as receiving money ourselves![4] That means you should find ways to be compassionate if you can. Give back to charity, volunteer at your local food bank, help a team of second-graders with their homework, etc.
  6. Learn how to forgive others. Forgiving others is the act of letting bygones be bygones. If you can find it in your heart to forgive other people, even ones who don't deserve it or aren't willing to forgive you, studies say that you'll be a happier person.
    • Forgiving other people may make you a happier person by reducing blood pressure, lowering overall stress levels, and slowing down heart rate.[5]
  7. Whatever you do, and whoever you are, exercise. Research has established a pretty firm link between exercise and overall happiness.[6] Exercise can increase endorphins in your body, lowering your overall stress levels and giving you that blissed-out feeling.[7]
  8. Do the things that make you happy. Don't do what you think should make you happy, or what makes other people happy; do what makes you happy. Throw away preconceived notions about what you're supposed to do and go after what you know you can get.
  9. Listen to inspirational messages. Whether it's reading books, skimming the internet for quotes, or attending interesting lectures, the world is full of inspirational messages if you know where to look. Here are a few inspirational quotes that may get you motivated to go out into the world and find things that make you happy:
    • “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” - Joshua J. Marine
    • “The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra
    • “Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” – Larry Winget
    • "It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

Finding Happiness Through Other People

  1. Join clubs or organizations that expresses your personality and mirrors your interests. Whether that interest is bowling, knitting, debating, experimenting, cooking, flying, sporting, or gaming, getting involved with a community of like-minded people will make a huge difference.
    • When you get there for the first time, introduce yourself. Try not to act shy. Maintain eye contact; try to stay relaxed. Remind yourself that other people are likely to be just as nervous as you are.
  2. Ask other people for help. Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help. When you do, be appreciative. As mentioned earlier, people get satisfaction out of helping others out; it makes them feel useful and accomplished. Guess what? Useful and accomplished people are generally happy and fun to get along with. That means that you'll have an easier time socializing and just being yourself around them.
    • Ask for help on your homework
    • Ask for directions when you're lost
    • Ask for help on a project
    • Ask for advice on a problem you're dealing with
  3. Don't be afraid to open up about your feelings to other people. Holding it all in can be a tricky thing: you can feel stifled, like you have no one to open up to. For these reasons, it's best to trust in other people and tell people you trust about what you're going through. Talking about your problems, with a friend or a professional, can help you reach catharsis, which is a word for the cleansing of emotions.
  4. Keep other people's secrets. If someone trusts you enough to let you in on their secret, be good enough to keep it. That means no gossip, no accidentally letting it slip, and no playing sides against one another. Imagine what would happen if you told someone your secret and they let it accidentally "slip" to a group of other people? You'd be hurt and feel betrayed. Don't make the other person feel the same way. Finding happiness is all about keeping your friends close and giving them good reason to trust you.
  5. Keep your promises. Along the same message: if you say you're going to do something, follow through with it. Words are only words until they're made true by actions. Understand that your friends depend on you; keeping your promises will help reassure them that you're a man or woman of your word.
    • What does happiness have to do with keeping promises? Following through on your promises is all about teaching trust. You teach your friends to trust you. If you constantly promise things that you can't deliver, your friends will stop trusting you. If your friends stop trusting you, you'll find that your friends aren't as close.
  6. Lean on your friends in a time of need. When you're down and need someone to cheer you up, call a friend or two. Find a productive, fun way to keep your mind off of what's bothering you. Your friends believe in you. They're your friends because they want to see you happy, and because they enjoy spending time with you. Hopefully, they would do as much for you as you would do for them. Lean on them when you need to.
  7. Lean on your family when you need to. Your family loves you unconditionally, even if they might not show it in the clearest of ways. Your family cares, first and foremost, about your safety and well being. Next, they want to see you succeed and live a fulfilling life. Even just talking with your family about problems you may be having can feel really good.
    • Try not to worry about your family judging you; ultimately, what they want is for you to be able to find happiness on your own. If you're afraid of telling your parents something, find a friend or another family member to open up to.
    • You don't have to have a "problem" in order to talk or hang out with your family. If you can talk with your family about normal, everyday things, that might bring a lot of happiness to you. Opening up to your family about everyday things is a huge step you can begin to take in your relationship with them.
  8. Have deep conversations with people. One study has found that people who engage in deep conversations experience more happiness than people who chitchat about small, trifling things.[5] So next time you find yourself gossiping about the weather or what Rihanna wore to the Grammy's, resist the temptation to talk about life's emptier subjects and reach for something big and bold. You won't regret it!


  • Don't be scared to live for yourself. After all, it's your life!
  • Have hope.
  • We are here to live our lives, not others'.
  • Have faith.
  • Realize that you could have been in a worse situation.


  • Don't be put off if you get bored. Its better to be temporarily bored than to be in pain or great misery, right?

Things You'll Need

  • Clear state of mind
  • Time alone
  • Confidence
  • Hope
  • A welcoming personality.
  • A smile and an optimistic mind.

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Sources and Citations

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