Being happy means something different for everyone, happiness research agrees on this. However, contrary to the opinions of many, our living conditions or purely external factors such as prosperity, social status or age do not make a decisive contribution to a long-term feeling of happiness but only induce short-term highs.
Be happy – you are what you think
But if happiness doesn’t come from outside, where does it come from? What are the ultimate tips for being happy? As motivational speaker Dale Carnegie put it more than 50 years ago, “Happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have; it just depends on what you think.”
Happiness researchers believe that the ability to deal with problems and changed situations is directly related to our state of happiness. In a nutshell, this means: a carefree and easy life does not make you happy. It is much more important that we cope with unpleasant and difficult events and look positively into the future. But how is that supposed to work?
1. BE GRATEFUL
Be conscious of the number of times you think, act, feel deprived, and so on, and so on. In these moments, try to put your mind on something positive and start the day with a smile. Briefly, in a sentence or two, remember what you are grateful for and why you can be happy – even or especially when everything seems a little difficult.
2. AWARENESS OF THE SELF
Make yourself aware that you are not a plaything of fate, but that you are ALWAYS in your own hands. Try to think positively, look optimistically, and confidently into the future, and deal with difficult situations. Those who only think negatively have no strength for positive things and cannot be happy with any tips from this world in the long term. Once you have internalized this, you can pass it on to your children – they will thank you.
This also includes acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and separating yourself from the idea of having to be able to do everything perfectly. Of course, everyone can work on themselves, but sometimes you compare yourself too often with your girlfriend, colleague, or partner. The result: dissatisfaction and insecurity.
3. COMMUNICATE, ARGUE, AND APOLOGIZE
Family life can be very stressful and exhausting for everyone involved. Conflicts are inevitable. It is never too late to apologize and take a step towards the other. Make yourself aware that your family offers you the opportunity every day to get to know each other better through the time together and mutual understanding and to deal with problems more easily in the future. Communication is essential here – children need to learn that even unpleasant situations can be solved.
Have you ever thought about having a regular family meeting? It might sound strange at first, but then everyone would have time to talk about what moves them without being interrupted. The goal is to listen to each other and try to understand the other. Caution: Whether or not you are having a family meeting, do not force anyone to open up.
4. SHOW APPRECIATION
Everyone, whether they are children or adults, wants positive words. In everyday life in particular, many things are quickly taken for granted and not rewarded enough. You should therefore give praise for a job well done or if your child has worked very hard, the little ones learn early on how important and nice it is to show appreciation.
5. SEE THE HOUSEHOLD AS A FAMILY MATTER
Cleaning, washing, and tidying up probably very few people like to do. However, they are things that are part of everyday life and affect everyone. You should therefore involve your children and your partner in household management at an early stage. Show them that it is not a punishment, but that after the work is done, there is more time to do nice things. In this way, children learn to take responsibility and also to carry out unpleasant duties. That promotes independence.
6. MAINTAIN PRIVACY
Every family member has a right to privacy and should have an opportunity to take it away. This also applies to children. If each of your children does not have their own room, it is important that there is an area that only belongs to one person and into which one can withdraw. Rummaging through diaries and private boxes is of course an absolute no-go.
7. TAKE QUALITY TIME
Honestly, how much conscious time do you take for one another within the family? Often, family affairs are put on the back burner; you meet by chance and/or are busy with other things. The time is usually only there when a dispute arises. This can quickly lead to a negative mood. Make yourself aware more often that your family should have the highest priority and always have priority over hobbies, the job, or club mates. So how about a fixed family day or evening?
8. MAINTAIN GOOD FRIENDSHIP AND FREE YOURSELF
Close relationships with friends and family (including partnerships) make you happy. Give recognition, appreciation, and attention. At the same time, you should stay away from acquaintances who do not do you good for a long time or who repeatedly cause negative feelings. You may not have to break off contact immediately: Address the conflict, even if it is a taboo subject. It will take a load off your heart.
Listen to your inner voice and your gut feeling. If you no longer want something or something that is no longer good for you, then think constructively about a change instead of nagging and still leaving everything as it was. If necessary, involve family or close friends – they can usually give valuable advice with a little distance. It’s an important step to be really happy.
9. DEVELOP POSITIVE GOALS AND ANTICIPATION
Be curious, keen to experiment, and be open to new ideas. Consciously plan excursions, trips, and experiences early on and look forward to the upcoming destination together with the family. So bring some variety into your life with little things and do not rest on your old rut.
10. PARENTS OR PARTNERS ALSO NEED TIME FOR THEMSELVES
No one can only be there for others. Not even parents. As a parent, treat yourself to a break. Those who take time for themselves now and then can do their daily tasks with more energy. A mother with burnout syndrome doesn’t help the children either.
This is why: Parents should be able to take their time for the cinema, jogging, restaurant or wellness without a guilty conscience. Ideally, there are grandparents who take care of the children during this time, babysitters or friends can also take on this task. Parents or partners don’t always have to do everything together either. Solo activities with your best friend or buddies are also a great way to switch off.
And in everyday life: concentrate on a few priorities instead of doing everything at the same time. Mindfulness, calm, and serenity help reduce perfectionism. This includes: going offline, restricting availability, planning time-outs, and time for yourself!