10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Be Happy with What You Already Have

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Happiness is a process, not an outcome. That means we can’t wait for happiness to knock on our door; we must invite it in and actively work on developing our happiness skills. And while everyone wants to be happy, most of us have trouble actually getting there. In fact, according to the World Happiness Report 2017, in most countries people are less happy now than they were 10 years ago. This means that a lot of people just aren’t very happy right now. But that doesn’t mean you have to be one of them. If you want to be happier with what you already have, you can learn how. Here are 10 ways to teach yourself to be happy with what you already have:

Practice gratitude and recognise your blessings

The key to all happiness is gratitude. If we could learn to appreciate what we have, instead of always wanting more, our lives would be much happier. Start every day by making a list of five things you are grateful for. This daily gratitude practice trains your brain to recognise all the good things in your life and shift your perspective so you’re looking for the positive, not the negative. To take your gratitude practice to the next level, combine it with forgiveness. When you have resentment towards someone, you’re actually storing that negativity in your own body. Forgiveness is the only way to get rid of it. Write down three people from your past with whom you are still carrying a grudge. Then write down why you feel resentful towards them and what you want to say to them if you could. Now forgive them either in person or in your head. Let go of the resentment and notice how much lighter you feel.

Keep a happiness journal and track your moods

A happiness journal is like a gratitude journal on steroids. Instead of focusing on the things you’re grateful for, you write about what makes you happy. And instead of doing this once a day, you write about one or two happy moments every hour. The idea is to flood your brain with positive emotions so that it becomes your new normal. You can also track your moods to figure out what makes you happy and what makes you sad. If you notice that something in your life is consistently making you unhappy, you can work on changing it. If you are in a long-term relationship, you can also keep a shared happiness journal with your partner. That way, you not only track your own moods and happy moments, but you can track them together. This creates a stronger connection between you and makes it easier to help each other deal with sadness.

Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly isn’t just good for your body. It’s also great for your mental health. Regular exercise has been proven to drastically reduce anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. And it doesn’t matter if you prefer cardio, weightlifting, yoga, or any other form of exercise. What matters is that you commit to a regular exercise routine. Exercising regularly trains your body to release endorphins, the natural chemicals in your brain that make you happy. It also trains your brain to look for happiness in all the small things in life and minimises your tendency to overanalyse or get stuck in the past. So if you’re not happy right now, you have no excuse not to exercise regularly. It’s one of the easiest ways to feel happier.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Comparison is the thief of joy, they say, and they’re right. Comparison is the root of all unhappiness. It’s also a really easy trap to fall into so you have to be very careful. Don’t compare your life to the highlight reel of someone else’s life on social media. Instead, focus on what you want for yourself. If you’re in a long-term relationship, don’t compare your relationship to others’ relationships. Instead, focus on what you want for your relationship. And if you have friends who always compare themselves to other people, don’t let them bring you down with them. Set a boundary and tell them that you’re trying to be happy with what you already have.

Confide in close friends and ask for support

Happy people have strong social connections. They feel connected to a wide network of friends, family, and colleagues. And while social media can be useful for keeping in touch with people, it’s not a substitute for in-person connections. If you want to be happier, you need to make an effort to spend more time with close friends. You might have to schedule time to see them or even drag them away from their screens to spend real time together. But it will be worth it. And if you have friends who always try to bring you down or make you feel bad about yourself, you have to cut them out of your life. Happy people don’t let toxic people drag them down. They know that toxic people are poison and will only hurt their mental health.

Commit to practicing self-care

Being happy isn’t just about the people you know and how you interact with them; it’s also about how you treat yourself. If you’re not taking the time to practice self-care and take good care of yourself, you’ll never be happy. What does it mean to practice self-care? There’s no one definition. It depends on who you are and what you need. But there are some basic things that all people need, such as healthy eating and regular exercise. Make a list of 10 things that you need to do for yourself that you’ve been putting off. Now cross off the ones that you’re already doing and add one new thing to your schedule every week. If you commit to practicing self-care and take care of yourself, you’ll be happier and healthier.

Take care of your body by eating well

Not only does eating well make you healthier, it also makes you happier. And it’s easier than you think. You don’t have to go full Paleo or even cut out all carbs if that’s not what works for you. You just have to eat healthy enough so that you feel satisfied and not hungry after your meals. If you’re not happy with your eating habits, do a little bit of research and find a way of eating that works for you. If you’re unhappy with the way your body looks, you can also try to make changes there too. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. You deserve to be happy with your body, no matter what it looks like.

Don’t be afraid to change your situation if you can’t be happy where you are

If you try everything on this list and you still can’t be happy where you are, it might be time to make some major changes. But don’t make that decision lightly. It’s not easy to change your situation, and it won’t always be easy to be happy when you’re in a new situation. But if staying in your situation will make you unhappy for the rest of your life, you might have to make a big change. It’s better to be unhappy for a little while than to be unhappy for the rest of your life. What will help you decide if you should change your situation? Start with self-reflection. Think about what you want and what might make you happy. Then narrow down your options and create a plan for making your dreams come true.


It’s easier than ever to fall into the trap of always wanting more and always comparing ourselves to others. But there are ways to be happier with what you already have. With a little effort, you can gain control of your life and make sure you’re always happy.

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