14 Tips for Finding Happiness Again
Once you’ve made your list, you can clearly identify any parts of your life you should reduce (or eliminate, if you can), as well as the aspects you can focus on that bring you overall happiness. There are several ways to be happy again, and focusing on what already brings you joy is the first step.
Check out more tips below on how to be happy again — each of them can be used as an effective way to actively recapture happiness in your life.
1. Consider therapy
While this might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re trying to figure out how to be happy again, if you’ve experienced any sort of trauma or you’re recovering from a loss or grief, therapy might be a good place to start. Therapy can have a positive impact and help you refocus your energy, accept a painful or uncomfortable experience, and move on in a healthy, positive way, where you can become joyful again.
2. Start or return to a hobby
Finding a hobby and doing what you love is a great way to detach from the stressors in life that are stealing your joy. If you love gardening, painting, music, dance, knitting, hiking, reading, writing, cooking, or anything else that gives you peace and energizes you, make a dedicated effort to find time for it. Even an hour a week spent doing something you love can lift your spirits and offer you hope.
3. Ditch (or time limit) your social media intake
Recent research shows a link between social media use and depression, especially when people scroll social platforms late at night. Further, studies show that people who limit their time on social media are happier and more content with their life. If you find yourself doom scrolling throughout the day or up late at night checking social media, consider ditching social altogether, or at least putting time limits on your use.
Journaling has long been a well-respected way to improve life satisfaction, focus on the positives, and heal from past trauma. Research shows the effects of keeping a gratitude journal can result in positive emotions and an ability to adjust to life changes.
The power of meditation has been proven time and again in study after study. Mindfulness meditation is an effective way to let go of stress and anxiety. Downloading a simple app can help you learn the art of meditation. Try to commit to meditating as often as you can — early morning sessions or just before going to bed at night are both great opportunities to hone your meditation skills and reap all the benefits this quiet time has to offer.
6. Spend time with happy people
If we are the company we keep, spending time with happy people can help us maintain a positive attitude and pull us out of a funk. Distance yourself from people whose negativity brings you down. Instead, make an effort to spend time with people who share your same values and are focused on seeing the positives in life.
7. Say goodbye to unhealthy people in your life
If you’re spending time with the happy people in your life, it’s OK to take a break from those who are unhealthy. Setting boundaries and protecting yourself from toxic relationships is one of the most effective ways to be happy again.
8. Do what you love
Doing what you love is good for the soul. This could be in terms of a hobby, your profession, your extracurricular activities, or anything else that you get joy out of. Take the time to make these things a priority.
9. Eat healthy
Eating healthy doesn’t mean depriving yourself of everything you love all the time. Special treats, in moderation, are fine. Try to eat a nutritious, healthy diet the majority of your days, though, so you can fuel your body and mind. A healthy diet will ultimately help you in the happiness department.
10. Take a “Me-Day” (often)
Self-care is an important component to your lasting happiness. If you’re struggling with how to be happy again, make sure you’re taking time for yourself. It doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming, either. A 30-minute walk outdoors, getting your nails done, or going to coffee with a friend for an hour out of the week all can give you the me-time you need to achieve balance and happiness in your life.
11. Work out
Working out increases endorphins, which is a significant contributor to happiness. Research shows that the endorphin hormone released during regular exercise functions as a neurotransmitter, transmitting happiness, confidence, and well-being.
12. Make sleep a priority
The relationship between sleep and mood has been well researched. Studies show that sleep quality has a direct correlation to life satisfaction and happiness. Making a good sleep schedule a priority can increase your life satisfaction and greatly enhance how happy you are.
The positive effects of altruism include a well-rounded sense of self, physical health benefits, and, you guessed it…happiness. Doing something kind or good for others can offer the type of intrinsic happiness that you might be searching for.
14. Join a support group
Sometimes getting together in a group to discuss challenges or struggles we face in life can be an excellent way to build our way back to happier times. The camaraderie found in sharing with others who understand your experience, which is common in a support group setting, can be hugely beneficial.
“Finding happiness again should incorporate something from each category. For our mind, it’s mindfulness, the power of prayer, or breathing that helps us recenter. For our bodies, what do we enjoy eating that fuels us? Is there something physical that we enjoy? With our relationships, is there a favorite group or team that makes us feel alive? What about our careers/school? Is there passion there?”
The Luthas Center therapist Meaghan Rice, PsyD, LPC