A note about how to achieve happiness. Not the basic "get married, have kids" advice but practical things that you can do right now to improve your mental well-being.
Understand hedonistic adaptation. Be it births, deaths, marriages, divorces, promotions or layoffs; your happiness will normalize in less than 6 months, always. There isn't much that can happen to affect your happiness in the long term. This concept can be tedious to enforce on yourself because of something dubbed "immune neglect"; we are often unaware that we have this adaptation or we think we are solely somehow special. This paired up with selective memory, you aim for totally the wrong things that you think will make you happy but actually don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. Our happiness intuition is misleading.
Focus on processes. If you keep chasing specific goals, you will feel unfulfilled majority of the time. Design routines and systems; you get fulfillment from following your strategies. And putting effort to the processes makes the prize more rewarding.
Form a morning ritual. Have a proper breakfast to get your day going, no matter how small it will be. Give yourself half an hour of downtime in the morning, between being ready and leaving.
Form a sleeping routine. Try to always go to sleep and wake up around the same time. 10:00pm to 06:00am is the best time on average but depends on where you live, your work, your hobbies, your age, your biology and such.
Exercise daily. Helps to get high quality sleep. Daily 15 minute walk is enough. Have a longer jog once a week. If you can't get motivated for a walk, only listen to some interesting audiobook specifically while walking.
Human beings are social; being social makes you happier. You can fool the system rather easily though. Sending a single online message each day to one or a few of your closest friends is enough to make you feel being in the loop. The social needs are addicting but easily satisfied on the base level.
Constantly help people close to you. Even in small degree. Deepens connections and fulfills your primal social needs.
Regularly encourage others. It generally makes you happy to help others. When someone does well, congratulate them or acknowledge their success.
Prefer buying new experiences over new objects. Things wear and break, memories last. Focus on things that create happy memories.
Buy many minor pleasures. Avoid buying few major pleasures. Humans adapt to change fast, but we cannot keep up with multiple small changes.
Avoid comparison shopping. A sale of 1€ vanilla cake is not a good deal if you do not like vanilla or you do not like sweeties in general. Always think what is the value of the item you are buying, do not compare to other items on the display. This is a sales trick called price anchoring.
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Most of us are raised in highly competitive environments, which leads us to desire being the best. Learn to benchmark yourself and your personal progress against yourself only. Always aim that you are better today than you were yesterday, not to meet other people's expectations. Internal values over external recognition.
Follow the herd instead of your head. Read reviews online when considering a product. See what others are buying and consider if you could use one.
Simplify your life. Remove nonessential people, places and things you are tied to. Try to critically think if each "thing" has lost you more positive energy than given it.
Follow "the rule of use" on material possessions. The more you use an item, the higher quality it should be.
Eyewear > Bed, Mattress, Pillows > Sheets, Shoes > Computer, Chair, Desk
If you don't enjoy something, outsource or just get rid of it. Having regular cleaning service in your home might set your mind at ease.
Learn how to pay attention. See all problems you have in your daily routines. There are always other options and places to optimize.
To really attain happiness, keep a happiness diary. Write down each evening how happy you were and what were the main things you did that day. This is the only way to understand what made you happy or sad. It's important to do this every day as our memories fade fast.
Take responsibility on everything you do and happens to you. Most people blame luck or circumstances for their actions or the outcome of those actions. Taking responsibility and reflecting on the matter will make you feel and behave more like you are in control of your life. This can be stressful but it's unfortunately the truth.
- You can frequently affect what happens in any situation.
- You can always decide how you interpret things being said or what happened.
- You can always decide how to respond to events you weren't part of.
- You can always decide how to value things.
- If you do something that you internally feel being wrong, you must make it right.
- You can blame on others for your situation but only you alone are responsible.
- If money doesn't make you happy, then you probably aren't spending it right.
- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams