4 Ways To Increase Your Happiness

November 11, 2013 — 31 Comments
4 Ways To Increase Your Happiness | Joseph Lalonde

So many people are struggling with sadness and depression. They’re searching for something that will make them happy.

All they want is to be rid of the feelings of depression and despair.

Truthfully, leaders can deal with the same feelings. And for the same reasons.

Today, I want to share 4 ways you can increase your happiness.

While there are many happy people in the world today, there’s a portion of the population that find happiness to be elusive.

They struggle to find that place of joy. They want the pain to go away.

Finding happiness isn’t always easy. And it’s not always possible. But there are steps you can take to increase your happiness.

1. Get away from work: We’ve become a nation of workaholics. Never leaving the stress of the job when we punch out.

Instead, we carry it home with us. We carry it to our kid’s soccer game. We keep it with us at all times.

Let’s learn to let go of work and spend time enjoying the present. Leave work at work and focus on what’s in front of you.

2. Be grateful: Want a really quick way to become happy? Begin focusing on what’s been good in your life. And be grateful for what you’ve experienced in life.

Taking time to focus on the good things in life will instantly boost your level of happiness and satisfaction with life. Give it a try.

3. Create experiences, stop buying things: People become addicted to shopping because there’s a quick endorphin rush when we make that purchase. It sends pleasing signals to the brain.

The bad part? These feelings are fleeting and often turn to regret, quickly.

Skip the purchases, find ways to create meaningful experiences.

Go to a Coldplay concert with the love of your life. Hike the Grand Canyon. Learn to scuba dive.

These experiences stick with us and the happy feelings don’t turn to regret.

4. Learn a new skill: Sometimes we’re stuck in a rut of unhappiness. There’s been no breakthrough and we don’t know when the sadness will end.

Help break the cycle by going out and learning a new skill you’ve been wanting to master.

Science has proven we can increase our happiness when we engage our minds and master skills we’ve never done before.

Question: What other ways have you increased your happiness? Please share one or two of them in the comment section.

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  • http://changeyouremotions.com/ Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Hi Joe. As a therapist I really enjoyed this article. Every suggestion you made is backed in science as well as personal experience. A lot of studies have been done on gratitude, for instance. Studies show that when someone takes the time to list 5 things they are grateful for on a daily basis, their level of depression goes down…and stays down.

    Also, a therapy model called behavioral activation has brought great results for those suffering from depression (lack of happiness), so your suggestion to learn a new skill fits here. Getting active, learning something new, getting into the “flow,” of something so that you are totally focused on that thing, all lower depression and increase happiness.

    I remember going to a financial seminar years (and years) ago and I’ll never forget the speaker talking about creating experiences rather than buying things. His suggestion was to take the money you would ordinarily spend on eating out and save it up. Instead of going to 5 different restaurants in a month, take the money and make one experience you will actually remember. And it doesn’t have to take money at all, does it? Great article, Joe.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      No, our experiences don’t really require as much money as we think. There’s been plenty of experiences I’ve had that cost less than $500. Crazy how keep experiences can be.

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/ Paul Jolicoeur

    This past June I did go to a Coldplay concert with my wife. It was a great night out! These are 4 good points. Sometimes we just need to step back and change thing sup for a bit to gain a better perspective on our lives.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s cool Paul! Glad you enjoyed the show and got to spend a good night with your wife.

  • http://www.crazyenoughtotry.com/ Ryan Bonaparte

    Being grateful really is one of the top ways that I use to give me even a few moments of happiness when I’m in a place that’s not great. It’s amazing, when you take the time to think about it, how much many of us have compared to what we think we have. Even something as simple as being able to spend a quiet afternoon reading or watching a TV show is something to be grateful for.

    Great thoughts, Joseph!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      So true Ryan. There’s been times just sitting down to relax and watch a show has been 7th heaven.

  • Tim Turnquist

    Joe
    Thanks for another thought provoking post. For me, one that goes along with being grateful is being generous. I find that my problems don’t seem so big when I am extending myself to help someone else with my time and resources. The more I help others, the smaller the negative in my life is reduced and the more joy is magnified.

    Also, I think there needs to be some connection with the Spiritual. Being a Christian, I find great comfort and happiness being more connected with the one I worship. I know some who have a different belief system who also feel better the more connected they are with their beliefs.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I think you’re right about being generous Tim. When we get away from ourselves and focus on others, there seems to be a happiness that comes from it.

      You’re also spot on about the spiritual. The connection we get from being a follower influences our happiness.

  • http://leadershipheartcoaching.com/ Bill Benoist /Leadership Heart

    I live very close to Yosemite National Park – about two hours drive. One thing I truly enjoy about Yosemite is my cell service is almost non-existent. Going into Yosemite forces me to disconnect from work. I also believe my blood pressure drops 10 points just driving through the first gate.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That sounds amazing Bill. Being able to get out, get away, and get free from any form of contact. Do you find any stress comes from not having a connection to the outside world though?

      • http://leadershipheartcoaching.com/ Bill Benoist /Leadership Heart

        Not so much to the outside world as to my company email. I address 150-200 emails every day and although most are cc’s or FYIs, there are some that require my attention. Although I try to plan as best I can before leaving, there is always that concern.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          That’s a lot of emails Bill. I can see how that could cause a bit of stress.

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zech Newman

    Great post Joe. #2 is my favorite and it takes being intentional. I spend the first part of my day thanking God for what he has given me in my life. Starts my day off on the right side of the bed.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      There’s not a better way to start off the day Zech! Do you keep any kind of gratitude journal or anything like that?

      • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zech Newman

        I have a Bible journal where I wrote a scripture, observation, application, and prayer. It ends up in that. Also where goals are listed I have a record of wins. I don’t want to feel always short, but full of life and gratitude.

        • Tim Turnquist

          Zech,
          I need to start one of those, too, but I have taken to emailing someone every morning to tell them how I appreciate them. It is magical — not only for the other person, but for me. It seems that just about every morning God puts someone in my heart/mind as I wake up that could use some encouragement. I just send them a simple note saying the I woke thinking of them and highlight one or two things that I appreciate/miss/love/admire about them. I have gotten the most amazing feedback from people — especially those that I haven’t touched base with in years who were struggling with something big that morning. A few were even in tears when they called to say how much my note meant to them.

          • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zech Newman

            Great habit and practice Tim. Are words are very powerful, and we don’t use them enough to encourage and exhort.

  • http://www.calebsg.com/ Caleb Simonyi-Gindele

    #3 is a great idea, Joe. It’s easy to think I’m buying something I can keep when I purchase material things. But with the experience, you get to keep the memories.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Exactly Caleb. The experience thing is something I’ve really been learning lately. Instead of birthday presents, I’ve been getting birthday experiences. The memories last much longer than the life of any kind of physical present.

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  • http://www.LaRaeQuy.com/ LaRae Quy

    I love all your suggestions, but the one that really resonates with me is: be grateful. If your heart is full of gratitude, it’s impossible to feel depressed or negative.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I believe gratitude is the key to being happy and fulfilled. Glad you found that suggestion resonates with you.

  • Andrea

    I love all your tips here, Joe. Gratitude is probably, for me, the best way of raising my vibration. I look for things to be grateful about every day and have had some pretty awesome experiences during stressful times because of it. It gives you a whole new perspective on life, and it makes you change the focus of your attention from the rubbish going on, to seeing the gold. I also love to do stuff that makes me laugh and I dance a lot. That usually makes other people laugh, but then I’m a generous kinda gal. Great post, thank you!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Awesome Andrea. Keep being happy!

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    So true brother, I find true happiness comes from taking your focus off yourself and all the “bad things” going on in life. Instead focus on all the blessing we have received!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That works extremely well. When we open our eyes to the blessings around us, we’ll be amazed.

  • http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/ Lorraine Marie Reguly

    Spend time with children, if possible. They are hilarious!

    Or smoke pot. LOL

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Spending time with children can for sure increase your happiness. Especially when they’re a ball of laughter and smiles.

      • http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/ Lorraine Marie Reguly

        Yes, my niece and nephew are ages one and four, and super cute and funny. And I was kidding about the pot; I am anti-drug. Now.

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