How to be happy?
It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in life. Yet, it all seems so subjective and vague.
The goal of the Tracking Happiness Blog is to show you how to be happier in a fun and engaging way. We’ve compiled the most actionable and helpful content on our website and turned it into a massive happiness guide.This is a growing hub of informational content, so it may be a good idea to bookmark this page.
Let’s get to it. If you want to know how to be happy, then you’re exactly where you need to be right now.
Before getting started on this enormous topic, it’s a good idea to set things straight.
What’s in this guide?
This section of Tracking Happiness is a result of >6 years of experience in tracking, analyzing, studying and talking about happiness. This guide covers everything you need to know to fully understand and to improve your own happiness.
The goal here is to show you how to be happy step-by-step (or chapter-by-chapter). Here are the topics that are discussed within this content hub:
- Define what happiness means to you.
- Learn that positivity, self-awareness and confidence are keys to a happy life (a.k.a. internal happiness).
- Find your purpose in life.
- Keep a journal and track your happiness.
- Spend time with people that make you happy.
- Actionable tips you can do right now to be happier tomorrow.
- Case studies and lessons from within the community on how to be happy.
Along every section of this content hub, we’ll use actual examples of other people’s happiness, actionable results based on studies and surveys, and helpful tips about how to be in control of your own happiness.
You won’t find bullshit advice like “just be happy” in this guide.
This is by far the biggest and most in-depth resource out there. Therefore, I’ve made it a priority to add structure to this section. Here’s how it’s broken down.
1. What is happiness?
If I asked you and your neighbor to define happiness right now, the two answers would probably be wildly different.
Why is that? What is happiness really? Is it a feeling, a state of mind or just an emotion?
What initially looks like a very simple question turns out to be one of the hardest questions out there.
How can happiness be defined? This section of the Tracking Happiness blog explains it all!
2. Internal happiness
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find it really frustrating when someone says: “just choose to be happy”.
A lot of people preach that happiness is 100% a function of your own mindset. That’s not true. It’s not like you can stand in front of a mirror and repeat “I’m happy” thirty-five times and then POOF you’re happy. It doesn’t work like that.
Remember what roughly determines your happiness?
- 50% is determined by genetics
- 10% is determined by external factors
- 40% is determined by your own outlook
The biggest chunk of our happiness is out of our control. But still, more often than not, happiness comes from within ourselves. This section is about the part of our happiness that is determined by our own outlook, or our own choices.
3. Find your purpose in life
Most people spend about 40% of your life on your job (including commuting, getting ready and other stuff).
It’s only logical that you try your best to make that time as pleasant as possible, right? It’s therefore increasingly more important that your occupation is something that is pleasant and endurable.
Most people are not as lucky though. A survey by Mental Health America with over 17,000 respondents shows that only 21% of people in the US feel like they are paid enough at work. In fact, a lot of people simply hate Mondays, just for the simple fact that it’s the start of a new workweek. If this is you, then it’s very important that you find some kind of intellectual satisfaction from other sources. Something that actually gives you satisfaction and that you can be proud of.
In short: find something that makes you want to wake up in the morning! That’s what this entire section is about.
4. Journaling for happiness
Journaling, gratitude, mindfulness, and introspection.
What do all these things have in common?
They are all significantly correlated to happiness. Now, what does this have to do with journaling? It’s easy: journaling – no matter in what form – helps you achieve these things.
There is plenty of scientific research on the benefits of journaling. But that’s not what I want to focus on in this section. I want to focus on the simple fact that journaling is fun.
5. Social happiness
I consider myself to be an introvert, meaning that spending time with others may actually cost me energy. You can lock me in a room for a day and I might actually want to stay there longer. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t mind being alone every once in a while.
That said, spending time with people I love has a huge influence on my happiness. Whether I’m with my girlfriend, family or close friends, I almost always notice that I’m happier after spending time with these people.
The truth is, you have to get out there and be amongst others if you want to find sustainable happiness. Even if you don’t feel like being around others, you should really try to meet up. You’ll likely find out that you enjoyed it afterward.
This section focuses on good relationships and how they can help you to become happier.
6. Actionable tips on how to be happier
The internet is already littered with tips on how to be happier. I mean, take a look at your social media feed and your friends there will show you how it’s done, right?
But are there any actionable tips that you can use? Most of the existing guides on how to be happy are rather thin and uninspiring. For example, a lot of guides tell you to start meditating if you want to be happier. But where do you start? What actions should you take next? It usually stops there…
The articles within this section will give you a toolbox of tips, with actionable ways to implement them straight away.
As this website grows and gets updated, so will this section on Happiness Tips. So, again, it’s a good idea to bookmark this page!
7. Case studies from the community
Everybody likes a success story, a new study or an interesting survey (okay, most people at least).
Now that we’ve reached the last section of the Tracking Happiness Blog, it’s finally time to show:
- Actual case studies of people who have followed parts of this guide on how to be happy.
- New survey results and interesting data studies.
- Interviews with some of the most inspiring people from this community about happiness.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and talked with them about happiness. What did we have in common? We all wanted to understand 100% of our happiness and get happier in the process.
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Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 6 years.