10 Tips to Living a Happier Life

By: Mike Collette

Having been in the fitness industry for over 10 years, I’ve had conversations with people when they’re in the best of moods and sometimes in the worst. All too often, life get’s tricky, things don’t go your way and it can negatively affect your current mindset.

As we all know, being happy is important to our emotional well-being but it can also impact our physical well-being. If you’re reading this and you find it hard to be happy and more so reflect on all the good that you have, here are several strategies that you can do daily to improve your personal happiness.

Remember, action beats intention 10/10.

1.) Begin in Gratitude (B.I.G)

Each morning when you wake up remind yourself what you are truly grateful for that day. If it makes it easier, add into your morning routine some time to journal what you are grateful for. You may always be grateful for your health, your family, your friends, but don’t forget to remind yourself of the things you have the opportunity to every day. For example, many people look at their jammed packed schedule and think “I have a busy day today, this is going to be a lot of work!” The reality is, you should be grateful to have the opportunity to do those things. As I mentioned in my last blog post 5 Strategies to make the time, we need to stop saying things like “I have to do this” instead, change the phrase to “I get to do this”.  As Lee Brower (my former mentor at Strategic Coach) says, “Go B.I.G and go often”.

2.) Smile early and laugh often

Studies suggest that smiling leads to decreases in stress and longer, happier lives. If that isn’t enough reason to smile more, I don’t know what is! Smiling creates a positive feedback loop in your brain and releases important hormones that make you feel good. Have you ever walked down the street and counted the number of people smiling? If you haven’t, do it. You will be surprised to see how many people aren’t smiling (especially in the North East). Who do you see smiling the most though? Kids! Kids are so happy all the time, aren’t they? I guess we need to start acting like kids again : )

3.) Help others and be Kind

People who are kind live longer, experience less pain and are truly happier. Leading an altruistic life can give you energy, they actually call it a “helpers high”. You have more energy, you feel less depressed and you feel like you have served a purpose.
There are several people in this world whose lives revolve around helping others. Their greatest successes in life are created from helping. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to quit work and join a cause or start a non-profit. Helping can be anything from holding a door, carrying groceries for someone, or giving some money to someone in need. The thing here is that if you genuinely want to help someone, you’re not looking for something in return. There is no greater satisfaction than being able to help someone. Helping others and being kind can literally make you happier. Go give it a try.

4.) Thank

Being thankful is aligned with our first tip on being grateful or B.I.G. The difference is being grateful should be how you live your life, thanking someone is a by-product of your gratefulness and is typically in response to an action. This principle is taught to us when we are children and the action is to thank someone when we are given something. When you thank someone, they often appreciate it. It makes them feel good, which in turn should make you feel good. Have you ever thanked someone when you received bad news? Have you been thankful when something hasn’t gone your way? We don’t necessarily have to thank people only when we benefit. Don’t forget to thank people for the things they do for you. It makes a difference!

5.) Don’t sweat the small stuff

We often allow small moments in life to negatively affect our current emotional state and or let it create prolonged negativity. Typically, these moments are temporary, and shortly after they subside and you realize this wasn’t really that big of a deal. Think about a moment like this: spilt red wine on your white carpet, forgot your lunch, messed up on a presentation, or forgot to get something at the grocery store. You need to think to yourself, “will this event shape who I am tomorrow” and “does this really matter?” Creating a mindset to not allow these small instances to create a negative impact on your current state is important to living a happier life. You know why? They are going to happen, you might as well respond positively than negatively, it doesn’t change what happened!

6.) Journal nightly and end with a bright spot

Reflection on the day, for many, often turns into added stress at night. You bring your work or negative experiences home with you. It might even impact your family time or marriage. A strategy to help with this is to journal nightly and reflect on the positives of the day or to end the night by going B.I.G. Despite how bad a day you had, there are always things to be grateful for and that was positive. Some days you might have more impactful positives than others but if you end the day reflecting on the good things, it makes your next day even better!

7.) Compliment Others

Everyone loves to be complimented! Do them a favor and make them feel good about themselves. In return, that positivity will make you feel better and who knows, maybe you will receive a compliment back. What you say and how you say it can change that person’s day for the better!

8.) Fitness

Optimizing your fitness can play an integral role in your happiness. If you are tackling all the elements of your fitness, your self-confidence will improve. But as you know fitness isn’t just exercising. If you have been around Prototype for a while you would know that we look at fitness from a few different angles. Think of it as 4 Pillars:
1.) Nutrition
The right foods and the right quantities give you energy. When we are sluggish, tired and lack energy, our mood isn’t always the best. So eat well and find out how much energy you need.
2.) Sleep
This is where we recover! Proper sleep gives us the energy we need for our bodies to perform, our muscles to heal, and for our minds to be sharp. Get more sleep, your brain will thank you!
3.) Physical
Exercise literally can make your brain feel better and put you in a better mood. Those endorphins are powerful chemicals that make us happier. Regular exercise creates a release of dopamine in the brain, literally making your feel better. So get out there and move!
4.) Mindset
This is the stuff we have been talking about above. The more regularly you are mindful of improving how you think, the better you will feel!

9.) Build Meaningful Relationships

Building meaningful relationships is so important to improving your happiness. That’s one of the biggest reasons why our vision at Prototype Training systems is to create the greatest relationship business. We believe that strong relationships are integral to long term success and happiness.
With that said, think about the past few months, some of you may have been alone during the quarantine. How did that make you feel? When you take relationships away, you might feel alone and depressed. Those stress hormones (cortisol) start to come out and put a fog around your brain. Positive relationships produce a biological response, the release of the hormone oxytocin. Known as the love hormone, oxytocin opposes the effects of the stress hormone, cortisol.

10.) Failure is Learning

Something that can negatively impact our happiness are our failures in life. Our minds like to think on the negative more often than the positive, it’s just how we intuitively operate (well most of us). There are a few absolute truths in life and one of those most certainly is the fact that you will fail. You will fail at something, no matter what. Those that take risks especially will fail, more often than they succeed, I know I have. But here is the thing, if you change the phrase from “I failed” to “I learned” you create a growth opportunity for yourself. So to improve your happiness you need to learn from your mistakes and grow from them. Know that with every experience you have, you will learn and that’s a powerful thing!