Happy wife, happy life? This is probably one of the most annoying phrases tossed around in the English language. Let’s dissect it for a minute. As a husband, you don’t want arguments with your wife or else your life will be awful. Additionally, you keep her happy by perhaps just caving in and saying, “yes, honey” or by keeping your opinions under wraps. Oh that sounds like an amazing life! Not.
But let’s say it genuinely means to do good things and be a good husband (which isn’t about keeping your mouth shut) and your wife would be happy. But then if that’s the case doesn’t it mean you have a happy life first and what comes with it is a happy wife? So maybe we’ve gotten it all wrong this entire time. It should read, “happy life, happy wife!”
Nonetheless, lots of us strive to live a happy life. From my experience observing others and myself, I’ve developed a list of ways to live happily while single, married, dating, or at any other stage in life.
1) Be Mindful
What does this even mean?! Aside from a neurological chemical imbalance which usually requires medication, the thoughts we entertain on a daily basis have so much control over our happiness meter. Henry Ford argued, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
2) Let’s Get Physical
Study after study has shown that consistent exercise makes us happier all around. From a physiological and neurological standpoint, regular exercise can completely enhance our natural ability to be happy.
My workouts of choice are weight lifting and martial arts. Lifting weights does something to the entire body and mind that is so unique and absent in any other physical activity. When you ask your muscles to lift, push or pull weights, it not only works on the specific muscle exerting energy, it also makes everything from your brain and your gut (where most of our stress lies) start working. So many times after a great lifting session I have felt euphoric. Additionally, martial arts is a way for me to not think and be creative. It’s my canvas to paint. Can’t get any happier than that.
3) Nourish loving relationships
I remember how happy I was as a child whenever I would be around my best friend. And now, I look at my children and how excited they get to be around theirs. One thing’s for sure, wonderful friendships can help keep you happy and overall fulfilled.
This happy life rule sometimes gets confused with an unhealthy type of relationship where we feel stuck and attached. These are no good. We end up miserable and damaged in the process. Having those around you who lift you up and warm your heart will reinforce and sometimes help trigger happiness in you.
4) Be grateful and generous
Gratitude is a solid predictor of genuine happiness. We can easily get wrapped up in placing most of our focus on things yet attained. But we lose sight of what we already have! Every person can be grateful for many wonders in their life.
If you’ve ever done any kind of volunteer work or lent a helping hand to a friend, you know the rewards of generosity are manifold. Happiness is easily generated when we choose to help another. At our best, we are helpers and teachers.
5) Appreciate the Earth’s beauty
To get the full ride of happiness from this one, you don’t need to be the next John Muir or Henry Thoreau. Everyone has at one time or another felt the wonderful energy of being in nature. The air cleans our lungs, the silence calms our mind and the visual beauty gives us an overall sense of peace.
Earth’s beauty can be found anywhere if we take the time to look. Yes, Yosemite Falls is beautiful and well worth the trip but every day we pass by nature’s wonders. Flowers and plants can have the same happiness effect if we seek it.
6) Have your tools ready
By tools I mean those that you can pull out to bring you joy. If running is your go-to, then get to it! If gardening makes you happy, then by all means! If we have a developed list of tools that enable us to create a sense of joy and happiness, then we can pull these out at those unforeseeable down times.
7) Making money needs to have its place
I’m not about to say don’t make money a priority because I don’t see anything wrong with money. It’s our perception of what money does that gets us into trouble. Having lots of money can be a wonderful thing. It can help a hardworking family finally pay off their house or send all their kids to college loan-free.
However, when we begin to think money can solve our problems or make us genuinely happy long-term, then the façade takes over and even larger problems arise. Money can make life easier but it won’t give you long-lasting happiness.
8) Start every day new
Waking up with a fresh outlook and opening up to the possibility of something great happening is the way to go. You have to let go of the negative energy and thoughts of yesterday so that you can create a space for new opportunities to come to you. This fresh look at life each day can sustain or create a stable happiness completely within your control.
9) Control your emotional knee-jerk reactions
If we stop ourselves from being emotionally swayed so often by our external circumstances, we will find a happy medium from which to gauge life and react accordingly. Sometimes emotion fueled decisions are okay but it’s those that really bite us in the behind that need to be put in check. Happiness is about balance and stability not up and down roller coasters.
10) Be light
Unexpected events that throw us off our game are at the very least annoying and at the worst, tragic. We can’t control what happens to us. We have to move through life’s obstacles and not take things more serious than what they actually are. Being light and sometimes going with the flow can make all the difference.
Check out these happiness courses at Udemy!!