8 (Mostly Serious) Ways to Be Happy

There are many things in life that contribute to individual happiness. The key word is "individual". What makes me happy may not make you happy.

For example, i'm happiest when wandering through a new city, eating gelato and listening to Bombay Bicycle Club on full blast. Maybe you're happiest when laying on a blanket in the middle of a dandelion field, reading Eat Pray Love and listening to the chirp of nearby birds as they go about their day. That's cool. The point is that there are many different ways to be happy.

If you're looking for a few unique ideas on ways to be happy, we've tweezed out 8 of our favorites from Adventure Journal.

Sit down outside somewhere with your phone off and stare at something pretty. Mellow out.

Although technology has made communication more efficient than ever, there are times when the best thing that you can do for yourself is to disconnect from the world so that you can connect with yourself. Finding a peaceful place where you can be alone with your thoughts is a vital part of happiness and self-discovery. Head to your favorite hill top, beach, or park - turn off your phone and spend some time finding your zen.

Cook food outside…even when you don’t have to. It tastes better.

ways to be happy cook outside

Picnics. Barbecues. S'mores over a campfire. Eating outdoors is often the catalyst to wonderful memories. Perhaps it is because it often happens among people we love. Or maybe it's because the combination of good food and fresh air stimulates our senses just enough to get us out of our heads, and into the present moment. Whatever it is, grab your picnic basket, a blanket, and a friend and see if some time snacking in mother nature will boost your spirits.

Dive into good music. Spend time expanding your library.

William Congreve in his play "The Mourning Bride", wrote "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." Re-written for today - music can cure what ails you. Whether you're in need of inspiration or just something to dance to, there's a song to meet your need.

Poop jokes, more poop jokes.

Enough said...

However you define it, make art. Especially weird stuff. We all need that right now.

ways to be happy creativity

The impact that creativity has on mental and emotional wellbeing is well documented. Whether it's adult coloring, painting, or building something with your own two hands,  taking time to focus on creative efforts allows you get out of your head. Don't focus on creating something perfect...just create.

Make others (and yourself) laugh as much as you/they can.

How many times have you found yourself in an awful mood, only to have that awful mood (gladly) interrupted by hysterical laughter?

There are many benfits of laughter, including reduced stress, immune system support, and calories burned. Additionally, when laughter occurs with someone else it causes you to release inhibitions and defensiveness, facilitating the creation of a bond between you and that other person.

Share adventures with the people in your life.

The bonds that develop during shared experiences often last for life. Find ways to share meaningful adventures with the people you love.

Say yes to more adventure.

adventure and happiness

Speaking of adventures, have more of them. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to new things is a perfect recipe for keeping life interesting. Adventure doesn't have to mean diving off a cliff or climbing Mount Everest. Try a new restaurant solo. Compliment a random stranger. Explore your city like a tourist, taking photos along the way. As you look at all of the ways to be happy, consider making adventure a key element.

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