International Day of Happiness: Five Ways to Become a Happier Person

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Kate Lee, Voices Editor

March 20 celebrates happiness, something we all seem to want but have a hard time finding. From books to speeches, pledges to clubs, every person has a different approach to becoming truly happy. Each solution is valid; the goal is to create a perfect combination of many ideas that works best for you. In honor of International Day of Happiness, here are five ways to become a happier person.

1. Three Good Things About Your Day
Maybe the simplest action of them all, reflecting on your day and finding just three things to be happy or grateful about can be life-altering. It’s a great way to simultaneously look for the positive in your life while also thinking back through what you’ve done that day (half the time, I forget what I’ve had for dinner, so it’s definitely been good for me). After a while, you will begin to instinctively give more meaning to the small things in life, and it will change your outlook on what was once a boring everyday routine. The method’s been proved many times, and you can find happiness journals to help you.

2. Random Acts of Kindness
Finding happiness in yourself often means giving the same feeling to others around you. Simply put, think of any time a stranger has held the door for you, picked up something you dropped, or helped you with a heavy load. A small action can make someone’s day. By making an active effort to offer help or celebrate another person, it can create a mutual positivity. In general, not only will you make a small (but powerful!) impact on others’ lives, but others will appreciate and celebrate you in return. So buy your mom some flowers, or help that teacher carry those textbooks.

3. Reflection
A lot of happiness comes from simply understanding yourself. Reflection, and keeping a clear mind can come in many forms, from journaling to meditation or simply taking a few minutes of silence before bed. What prevents you from happiness? It could be stress, grief, anger, or just feeling insignificant and having difficulty finding purpose. Taking time to get in touch with yourself can help you identify the obstacles in your path to a simpler life. Find a calming playlist that you enjoy, dim the lights, and take a few reflective moments just for yourself.

4. Creativity
In the often monotonous routine of our daily lives, it’s beneficial to devote energy to making something new. Creating offers a number of solutions to finding happiness. Being able to control a solid product not only offers a nice break from deadlines and assignments, but also gives a feeling of pride at what you’ve done. By searching for a different perspective to make a product, you consciously open your mind. Though getting started might be difficult, after you have finished multiple projects, you’ll experience a new kind of happiness that comes from producing something you love.

5. Get Moving
Scientifically, exercise does increase the amount of endorphins that decrease the feeling of pain and trigger a positive response in your body. That’s why although exercise is physically draining, we keep going back to it. Sports, team or individual, can create a sense of community and competition that motivates and supports you. Any movement, such as yoga, pilates, or jogging, can take your mind off your worries for a little while and let you recharge. Even if physical activity isn’t your thing, getting off the couch, taking a walk outside, or starting on that project you need to finish will stop that dreaded unproductive feeling that drags you down. You can be happier and productive at the same time!

It’s difficult to commit to a regular pattern to find happiness, because our mental state often takes a backseat to the more urgent, immediate needs in our lives. But if you keep these solutions in mind, you might find yourself smiling a little bit more. Especially today, the International Day of Happiness, devote yourself to spreading positivity.