Aug. 12, 2019
Do you need to win the lottery to be happy? Will finding your soulmate make you happier than you have ever been before? Would buying a new car, a new outfit, or a larger home hold the key to everlasting happiness? While most people are aware that money can’t actually buy happiness, they still hold out hope that more money will improve your mood and your life. I’m going to share with you seven ways to be happier right now, that don’t have to cost much if anything.
You may be wondering, why is a financial planner writing about happiness? The bottom line is that it is my job as your financial guide to help you live your best life possible. Yes, much of financial planning does deal with numbers, budgets, investing, and anything else money, but it boils down to helping you reach your various life goals. Hopefully, the end result will be some level of happiness and an enjoyable life.
In my experience helping people live happier, healthier, and wealthier lives, the best results come when these amazing people are already relatively happy. We are just helping them become happier. Similarly, more luck seems to come their way when they look at things with a positive outlook. Conversely, people who are already miserable to seem to get dealt the worst hands life has to offer over and over again. Improving your outlook and happiness can help bring more joy and wealth into your life.
I just finished reading the book The Happiness Equation – Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by New York Times Bestselling author Neil Pasricha. Today we are going to share his seven secrets to being happier right now. If you enjoy this post, make sure to check out the whole book, it is a nice and enjoyable read.
Here are Seven Ways to Be Happier Today, Tomorrow and Beyond:
Happiness Tip 1: Three Walks
If you are like me, you feel better after getting some exercise. The happiness equation suggests taking a brisk 30-minute walk at least three times per week. Can you spare 90 minutes per week to improve your happiness?
Beyond improving your happiness level, this should also help improve your health. So a win-win, in my book at least.
Happiness Tip 2: The 20-Minute Replay
According to the Happiness Equation, writing for just 20-minutes about a positive experience can dramatically improve your happiness level. You may be thinking; I can’t spare 20-minutes to write something, come on, I know some of you spend more than twenty minutes composing a Tweet or Instagram post. I’ll compromise here with you, start by spending just twenty minutes photoshopping some fab image from a happy moment in your day.
All kidding aside, research has shown that couples who write about their relationship just twenty minutes per day were more likely to stay together. Assuming this a positive relationship, I think it is safe to assume that staying together will bring more joy and happiness into your life.
Happiness Tip 3: Random Acts of Kindness
Carrying out just five random acts of kindness in a week will bring more happiness into your life. This could be as simple as sending a thank you note to someone who has been kind to you. Or perhaps, buying someone coffee. These random acts of kindness don’t have to cost much money; it may just be holding the door for someone who has their hands full, or you could volunteer.
According to the Five Principles of Happy Money – research has shown that spending money on others provides a bigger happiness boost than spending money on yourself. This is more “it’s the thought that counts” versus the cost of some expensive gift.
Look to do five random acts of kindness per week, which will lead you to feel better about yourself. Positive self-worth is a major key to a happy life.
Happiness Tip 4: A Complete Unplug
Sometimes you just need a break; unplugging can help you recharge. This may be as simple as not bringing your cell phone to the dinner table. Or turning off your alerts during certain hours of the day. For the more ambitious, this might mean avoiding Facebook or even all social media for a few days or weeks.
Turning off and tuning out unnecessary distractions can help you be more present. Fully engaging in what you are doing now can help you enjoy your experiences more. Similarly, getting your financial house in order might reduce stress and help you become happier.
Happiness Tip 5: Hit Flow
According to the Happiness Equation book, “Get into the groove. Be in the zone. Find your flow. However, you characterize it; when you’re completely absorbed with what you’re doing, it means you’re being challenged and demonstrating skill at the same time.”
To put this another way, time flies when you are having fun. If you are going, take the time to be somewhere, or something go all in, to get the most enjoyment.
Happiness Tip 6: Two-Minute Meditation
My husband has no problem meditating for hours on end. I get fidgety after a few minutes; if it is a really good meditation, I will likely fall asleep (which apparently is not the point of a good meditation). We can all find a way to enjoy a 2-minute meditation. This may be to get in the zone right before a big meeting, or in the car before walking into the office, or a quick reprieve before walking into the house at the end of a workday.
Research has shown that after a course of mindfulness meditation, the parts of the brain associated with compassion and self-awareness grew while the parts associated with stress shrank. Studies have also shown that meditation may be able to permanently rewire your brain to raise your happiness levels.
Other research has shown that meditation can improve your investments returns. Bet you didn’t see that once coming? More money, more happiness, what is there not to love about this scenario?
Best of all, meditation can be done anytime, anywhere, and is often free. When I meditate, I use an app like Calm . For those that need a little more motivation, there are meditation studios, at least here in West Hollywood.
Happiness Tip 7: Five Gratitudes
Neil Pasricha, the author of the Happiness Equation , got starting by blogging about things he was grateful for on the site 1000awesomethings.com. Start jotting five things you are thankful for every week. You can put these in a journal, post them to Facebook, or even just type into a word document on your computer.
Look for an option that will make it easy to remember to memorialize your gratitudes. For me, a journal on the nightstand is the way to go. An added benefit of your gratitude journal being on the nightstand, nice happy thoughts before bed.
Why should you record your Gratitudes? Research shows that people who do this will be happier and physically healthier. I think we could all benefit from being healthier and happier, am I right?
While it may seem impossible, but anyone can learn to be happier. In my experience, being happier makes it easier to stay happy. Things seem to go your way more often. If you are looking to be even happier in life and with your money you may also enjoy this post: Ten Happy Money Tips from the Zen Millionaire
Which of the 7 ways to be happier now can you implement today? Even if you are already happy now, why not take your happiness to the next level?