Health Magazine

Are You Depressed? Here Are 4 Tips To Be Happier

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

happiness is lovelier | the both and | shorts and longs | julie rybarczykI’m going to take a little break from the Diamonds and Dogs series and talk about something else today. Specifically, I’m going to talk about happiness.

First, let’s get this straight, happiness is the ONLY goal in life. Everything else is just a means to end, a way to achieve that goal of being happy. You think you want to be rich? No, you just want enough money to explore all the different ways in which you can be happy. You think you want a family? No, you just want to know that you’re passing on your genes. You think you want sex? No, you just want to be happy because sex feels good (and it really does!)

So I can try to make more money, I can try to have a better relationship and I can try to have more sex because these are things that will make me happy, but I can also just short cut through the whole thing and focus on things that make me happy.

I say this because a couple of days ago I heard the following from a friend:

I love how, when I’m in a good mood, the world exists to delight me. Things that would grate on another day become charming. The woman with the loud laugh… the couple making out on the corner… the businessmen boisterously shaking hands hello… the cute hippie server who takes his sweet time at the cute hippie restaurant… the sun catching my face while I’m waiting for the light to turn… even the insane cyclist who tries to dart across the street after the light has turned red and almost gets hit by a bus… I still think to myself, “fucking idiot”, but with laugh instead of anger. I see the good in the day, and so my mood gets better, and I see more good in the day, and I think to myself, MAYBE we and our crazy world on our amazing planet will be okay after all. And to think, all that starts with a good mood (which I actually have control over every single day).

Listen to that, her whole day was better just because she was happy. She didn’t need a new job, a new neighborhood, a new diet or a new car, she just needed to be happy.

So here are a few techniques that I use when I want to focus on happiness. These are habits that I’ve picked up over the years and they’ve helped me through the rough times. They’re also invaluable during the good times as a way of keeping my spirits up.

Gratitude Journal

Every day, write down the things you are grateful for. They can be as simple as “I’m grateful it’s Friday” or as complex as “I’m grateful to be in a such a wonderful and supportive relationship”. These things should not devolve into complaints like “I’m grateful it’s Friday because my job sucks and I want to kill my boss”. Try to write at least five of these every day and don’t worry about repeating yourself from day to day; there’s no rule against something making you happy multiple days in a row. This habit helps remind me that life is pretty awesome, even when it seems rough.

Show gratitude

I try to tell people thank you whenever I can. I know it sounds counter intuitive because isn’t showing gratitude all about making THEM happy and not ME? Yah, it does sound that way but there’s something about showing sincere gratitude that really makes me feel good. I think deep inside everyone wants to feel appreciated and knowing I made someone else feel appreciated make me feel like I’ve done something nice, which in turn makes me feel happy.

Stop and smell the roses

Yah, this is coming from a guy who’s working a full time job while trying to launch a business, run two blogs and maintain a healthy marriage, but it’s true. Every once in a while you just need to stop and appreciate. This does NOT mean stop and zone out in front of the TV. You need to stop and just do nothing. Look out the window, stare at the stars, go for a walk. In other words, do something relaxing that allows you to appreciate life and the beauty around you. TV is bad for this because it’s usually filled with news and commercials intended to make you feel inferior or scared. In fact, my next happiness tip is…

Stop wasting your time with Facebook, the TV, network news and whatever else people are using to sell or scare you

You log into facebook and you see people boasting of their new car or their perfect baby and it makes you feel bad (even though that facebook status is meaningless and right now that baby is crying and the new car owner is looking at the hefty bill). You turn on the TV and you see pretty people and commercials for products that will make you just as pretty (even though those pretty people have professional makeup artists and the magic of photoshop at their disposal and look nothing like that in reality). You read the news and everyone is trying to scare you because fear sells (even though the world around you is actually a pretty decent place). See my point? Stop listening to this bullshit. It’s not valuable and it just depresses you. Go for a walk, work on your project or just enjoy a break instead.

Ultimately, when you’re happier you’re going to start seeing the world around you in a completely different way, just like my friend.  So yes, focus on your projects and on your family and even on your sex life, but don’t forget the end goal.

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These are my secrets for getting more happiness in my life. If anyone has their own tips for happiness, please feel free to share in the comments.


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