How to be happy, 7 common beliefs and 12 habits to be more happy

Curious about how to be happy? We have compiled all the beliefs that act as roadblocks to being happy. These myths may be primarily responsible from our upbringing or from our trauma and experiences. After all, all we want is to be happy in our lives, isn’t it? So, here are 7 beliefs that block you from becoming happier:

What is happiness?

Happiness is a multi-dimensional and subjective emotion that can be different for each and every individual. Well, actually, happiness is a range of things, from gratitude to joy to calmness and more.

There is a clear study that demonstrate the relationship between happiness and quality of life. If you are thinking of happiness as always residing in that state of bliss, then nah, thats not it.

You will always be in a positive mood, but happiness doesnt mean that you will always feel happy intense positive emotion of bliss or ecstasy.

Happiness can arise from both pleasurable experiences and a sense of meaning or purpose in life. It may come from enjoyable activities, positive relationships, personal accomplishments, or contributing to a greater cause.

Belief #1: To be happy, I shouldnt struggle or have rough patches in my life

Virat Kohli hand stiches celebration after hitting a century while playing for RCB

Do you think the same: I will be happy if that thing or person doesnt exist in my life. If you do, then you still have to learn. 

Happiness is not the absence of your ex, the loan you can’t pay, or the lack of education that stops you from achieving your dreams. 

Happiness, in its purest form, arrives for no obvious reason. The narrative in the media that, to be happy, a man does not have any scars and doesn’t have to unfold his sleeves when things get dirty is completely false. 

There will be pain, problems, or whatever the stuff this mighty earth has created, it will get thrown at you regularly. That’s how life goes, but it doesn’t define happiness.

There is no linear relationship between happiness and struggles; they are not directly proportional to each other.

Happiness is a choice, not a condition. You can choose to be happy, regardless of the situation. 

Happiness comes from within, and it’s not a state of being that can be achieved only through external circumstances.

What does science say? 

The disability paradox is a prime example of how a common man who has gone through the separation of his body part or limb can have the same level of happiness even after the incident, even when surrounded by negative situations and negative emotions, and can live a happier life. Also, in a study on lottery winners, people who had won the lottery had no difference in their level of happiness before and after the lottery (Source 1, Source 2).

Belief #2: Happiness is constant

This one is very easy to fall into because social media portrays a happy person as an individual who is feeling happy as always

You will feel like the happy idol you see in everyday media, like Elon Musk, is always happy, but that’s not the case; being happy doesn’t mean a constant state of joy and bliss. 

That is just not sustainable due to human biology and nature.

The only thing sustainable is your thought pattern. 

You know what? Every thought is either influenced by your hormones, physiology, or habit.

You can try this if you just wont be able to think the same way you think while lying down or taking a walk. Some people dont like to sit during meditation because they just get repeated negative thoughts, and they arent able to deal with that negative feeling they get while doing meditation.

What does science say? 

Studies reveal that the lifespan of an emotion is just 90 seconds.

It is your mood that defines the quality of your life.

And what is a mood made up of?

Drum roll please, in three, two, oneyeah, its our thought patterns

Belief #3: To be happy, I have to be in a relationship

Let’s clear this head-on: being in love or receiving love from someone can make you happy, but for a short time, long-term happiness doesn’t come from love. 

To be happy, you don’t have to be in a relationship; you can only spread and intensify it through a relationship. 

Tyrion Lannister dancing in the courtroom spreading the message of be happy

True happiness comes internally from your thoughts and emotional patterns.  Happiness comes from within, and it comes from within ourselves. 

We have the power to choose to be happy and to make our own happiness. We can choose to create our own happiness, regardless of our external circumstances.

What Does Science Say?

The author of “Happily Ever After” says that there is increased happiness in the couple, especially in the honeymoon phase, but it quickly declines, and therefore, by the seventh year: marriage satisfaction is under 50%, which quickly leads to the fact that your happiness is not defined by your relationship. Also, one thing is for sure a strong social circle and relationship do increase your happiness level – Source 1

Belief #4: Avoiding or Suppressing Emotions makes you happier

You think that watching a comedy show when you are sad or going through a breakup makes you happy. 

But, alas! science study says the other way

But, Abhinandan ” laughter is the best form of medicine.”

Yes, it still is, but you have to know: one more important thing, never ever suppress a negative emotion, as it will lead to disaster later. 

Thomas Selby acting all frustrated and irritated and throwing off his own coat

Our society and Social Media pressure us to values the idea of positive thinking and that is definitely not a bad thing; a 2021 study found that positive psychological skills can help to reduce mental illness and maintain mental health.

But people going down through the rough, for them stifling you negativity doesn’t make them go away. Rather it is unhealthy for your mind.

One study states that suppressing your emotions is a “barrier to good health.”

This suggests that by ignoring your emotions, you can prevent them from causing you to become overwhelmed or stressed. 

However, this can actually lead to even more negative emotions in the long run. It is important to recognize and manage your emotions in order to be happy.

What Does Science Say?

Suppressing your emotions and then later bursting on others on small things can have real, harmful effects on a persons life. Yes, it does ruin a persons mental health but it also ruins its relationship with the person he or she is close to making a continuous negative downward spiral, which keeps on increasing until you take care of yourself and your emotions. Source 1 and Source 2

Belief #5: Happiness is a single, universal, one-fit-all concept.

Now this is controversial, but the happiness report of 2016 has clearly indicated that individualistic cultures are happier than collectivist cultures. 

Therefore, everyone has their own personal values for happiness. 

For some, doing charity work makes you happy, and for others, cuddling their loved ones, it is not a one-size-fit-all concept to grasp.

Although some or most of the values will be the same, like helping others and your loved ones, compassion, and so on,. 

But my point is that for some, like living in a nature-themed house leads to more happiness; for others, living in a space-themed house; and for some, living in a low-rent apartment to save money, there is no answer I can provide that will make you happier; there is only the answer that you can provide yourself.

This goes to show that happiness is not a one-size-fits-all concept and that each individual needs to find their own definition of happiness. 

Furthermore, it is important to recognize the importance of social relationships and build a support network of friends and family.

What Does Science Say?

We all have different priorities, value systems, and philosophies on how to live our lives. Everyone values different things differently, so there are no one-size-fits-all answers on how to be happy. Source 1

Belief #6: Happiness is an emotion

But, Abhi, happiness is a habit, isn’t it? 

No, it’s an emotional habit. 

For this, there is a difference between mood and emotion; a mood lasts far longer than an emotion. 

For instance, if someone is rude to you, you might experience a rapid and intense emotion like anger. This feeling of anger is described as coming and going fairly quickly, perhaps within seconds.

Moods are depicted as having a longer duration, influencing ones overall emotional state for a more extended period compared to the relatively rapid and transient nature of emotions.

People don’t know that quick happiness surges like getting a bonus, getting a hot girlfriend, or getting that iPhone for your birthday don’t make you happier.

Belief #7: Either you have it or you don’t

People tend to think that I got first prize in running, and then I will be happy, or if I didn’t pass the exam, I will be sad. 

From my personal perspective, it’s better to think of happiness on a spectrum rather than a turn on and turn off switch, like instead of being sad, you are just less happy, or when you are happy, you are more happy. This can make a huge difference in the overall mental health and thought patterns of your life. 

Just adopting this spectrum mindset can work wonders, especially because now that you don’t think I am sad, I am less happy… Now, you don’t think I am a failure, but I am less successful. Or, if I am not poor, I am less rich.

However, these short-term successes and victories are fleeting and don’t bring lasting happiness. It’s important to understand and accept that you can’t control every outcome, and that happiness is not always determined by external sources.

What Does Science Say??

Right now, where are you on the joy spectrum?

Can you please take a moment to check in with yourself and acknowledge how you are feeling at this precise moment?

Perhaps joy for you is more like an intense roller coaster that jolts up and down from extreme happiness to deep sorrow. Perhaps you spend most of your life in the middle zone, content and calm. As with all of life, the most important part of this concept is my ability to tap into exactly where I am at any given time using my own self-awareness and to be patient in the dark, waiting for the light to come back in. It is always a work in progress – Source 1

Practices that can increase your happiness:

1. Gratitude

Now, read this paragraph carefully, because you will get a paradigm shift, and then later you will tell me, Abhinandan, you didnt mention me.

There is nothing more effective at making you happy than gratitude. I know, Its strange… But some words can make you more joyful and can increase your quality of life.

To practice gratitude, either you can write the things you are grateful for in a journal, like – Thanks for reading this article, or you can say it aloud, cultivating the feeling of gratitude.

Gratitude can also be very beneficial for your relationship; it can increase intimacy and connection between the couple if you practice gratitude together as a couple.

Also, it is found that those who practice gratitude can increase their willpower, and gratitude practitioners also have more satisfaction with their lives and a better quality of life.

 I want you to think about all the people around you and all those who are helping you get through the day.

Take a few moments to appreciate their efforts and be thankful for them. This appreciation will make you happy and create a positive environment around you.

2. Acts of kindness

The relationship between mental health and philanthropy is multifaceted, encompassing both the positive impacts of philanthropy on mental well-being and the considerations individuals may need to navigate regarding their mental health when engaging in philanthropic activities. 

Engaging in philanthropy, such as volunteering or donating to causes, can provide individuals with a sense of purpose, social connection, and empowerment. 

Acts of kindness and altruism have been linked to reduced stress levels and improved mood, highlighting the potential benefits of philanthropy for mental health. s

However, individuals managing mental health conditions may need to establish boundaries and prioritize self-care to prevent burnout or overwhelm. 

Philanthropic organizations and initiatives can contribute to mental health by fostering supportive environments and investing in mental health advocacy, research, and support services. 

Ultimately, philanthropy can serve as a pathway to personal growth, resilience-building, and finding meaning, while also promoting mental health awareness and support within communities.

3. Social Media

The addiction to social media can eat up the joy of your life. Social media addiction can contribute to feelings of FOMO, depression, anxiety, and many more.

Moreover, studies have shown there is a clear correlation between screen time and mental health; the happiest people are those who are not connected to the world. This seems counter-intuitive, isnt it?

Social Media reality on how people look  and act happy online and miserable offline.

Yes, social media has brought us closer to others, but further from ourselves. We tend to compare our lives with others so much that we forget the beauty in them.

It degrades our positivity and sucks away our happiness. Many studies have shown a direct correlation between heavy social media usage and depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many mental health disorders.

4. Exercising

Exercise is one of the best habits an individual can adopt for his mental and physical well-being.

Regular physical activity is crucial for individuals managing mental illness. Not only does exercise elevate mood, enhance concentration, and sharpen alertness, but it also enhances cardiovascular health and overall physical well-being.

People who regularly exercise have better emotional and mental health

Engaging in exercise can enhance your sense of control, coping skills, and self-esteem. Individuals who incorporate regular physical activity into their routine frequently express the positive emotions associated with accomplishing goals.

 Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration, and increase energy levels. It can also reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes.

5. Sleep Cycle

The quality and duration of sleep can impact mental health, and mental health conditions can, in turn, affect sleep patterns.

Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself.

Just improve your sleep cycle and you will be far less stressed and live a far peaceful life, sleep has a strong relationship with PTSD.

When the quality and duration of sleep are compromised, it can have a significant impact on mental health. Conversely, mental health conditions can also disrupt sleep patterns, if you struggle with a bad sleep cycle.

The cycle becomes vicious as poor sleep leads to increased worrying, and this worrying, in turn, leads to further sleep disturbances.

It is a relentless battle within the mind, where thoughts about sleep consume ones thoughts, creating a distressing and unpleasant state to be in.

Science has found a strong correlation between PTSD and sleep. Also, lack of sleep can induce many anxiety disorders and put you at risk of depression. There are many mental disorders that stem from lack or bad sleeping patterns

6. Meditating

Meditation is an important tool for increasing your focus and awareness. 

There are many scientific studies that show that meditation has a clear effect on the level of happiness. Now, I am not forcing you to sit atop a mountain, bald your hair, and start practicing celibacy. I am just asking, Can you please find 10 minutes aside to focus on your thoughts? Or breathe to be more happy? Can you do it? At least for me.

I know we get so busy in our day-to-day lives that we arent able to find times for focus on ourselves. But finding time for yourself can have a positive influence on your life. After all,  we the people may die to save others, but we still live for ourselves.

Meditation can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase feelings of well-being and happiness. It can also help to improve your sleep, making it easier to drift off into a restful night’s sleep.

7. Plenty of water

Drinking less water increases a person’s chance of falling into depression and their chance of having a low mood. 

Without water, our brains can’t produce enough serotonin, which is our feel good hormone, helping us be happy.

Dehydration is also linked to brain fog or a lack of concentration. Now, I am not saying that you should drink water and cure your depression and bad mood; that is not what I intend to do. 

Pikachu drinking water from a water pond, inspiring us to be happy

You can also add meditation, yoga, and other relaxation exercises to your routine. 

In addition, talking to a therapist or counselor can also help you manage your anxiety and stress.  

Dementia and dehydration have a unique relationship, as those who dont drink enough water can increase the risk of developing dementia, and those with the condition have difficulty staying hydrated.

8. Belly Breathing

You know what?

There is a high chance you are not breathing correctly, right?

Most people breathe from their chest, which is shallow breathing.

Take a deep breath…

If your shoulders go upwards, you are doing it wrong.

Belly breathing can help you relax and obtain a state of bliss. It is an effective medicine to cure anxiety and stress. As a beginner, you can start by practicing belly breathing for 5 to 10 minutes a day, and later, when you become habitual, try to do it all the time.

There are many proven benefits of belly breathing, from stress reduction to lower blood pressure and oxygenation.

To practice belly breathing, focus on breathing from your stomach and your diaphragm. Whenever you inhale, feel your stomach expanding, and try not to expand your chest. Our goal is to inhale from the belly and not from the chest.

Belly breathing is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress and increasing your happiness.

It involves breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, allowing your belly to expand. Doing this for a few minutes can help you feel more relaxed and in control.

9. Self Care ritual

Self-care rituals are intentional practices that individuals incorporate into their daily routines to nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

These rituals are essential for maintaining balance, reducing stress, and enhancing the overall quality of life and let you be happy.

Self-care rituals are intentional practices individuals incorporate into their daily routines to nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

These rituals serve as a proactive approach to maintaining balance and promoting personal growth amidst the demands of daily life.

To Wrap It Up

Its a hard task to be happy, and you will encounter obstacles and struggles along the way. 

But everyone can be happy; it will take some time, but some simple lifestyle, habits, and mindset changes can accompany personal growth, improve your quality of life, and lead to a far more fulfilling life.

But taking a proactive approach to self-care can help you stay on track and reach your goals. It’s important to remember that self-care is a lifelong journey and that you can always make adjustments and tweaks as needed. With dedication and perseverance, you will find true happiness.

About the Author

Author image - Abhinandan Thakur

Abhinandan thakur

Abhinandan Thakur is a renowned blogger and the founder of Celeb Chronicles, a popular platform dedicated to celebrity news, entertainment, and lifestyle. With a passion for writing and a keen interest in the world of celebrities, he has established himself as a prominent figure in the digital media industry.

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