15 simple ways to make you happier

Don't let life get you down, you deserve to be happy.

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  • Life quickly gets overwhelming and your happiness takes the back seat more times than it should. But even with a busy life you can be happy. Here are 15 suggestions to get you started:

  • 1. Take care of your body

  • Eat healthy, sleep well, exercise regularly, drink water often, stretch for 10 minutes each day and wake up early. A happy body usually leads to a happier you.

  • 2. Fake it till you feel it

  • Strive to think positively and express only positive thoughts. Fake a smile until you can muster up a real one. You will start to have a more positive outlook on life.

  • 3. Challenge yourself

  • Learn or try something new. Your brain is a muscle that loves to be exercised. Completing a good challenge will bring happiness and satisfaction to your life.

  • 4. Money can't buy happiness but it can buy ...

    • A camera

    • Photo albums

    • Family games

    • Vacations

  • All of these things help capture or create great memories, which bring happiness to your life (especially in a hard time).

  • 5. Spend time with others

  • Spending time with family and friends is important for your emotional stability, if you aren't afraid to share how you are feeling, that is. They can help you sort through your thoughts. Hearing the perspective from someone older than 70 and younger than seven can bring laughs and a greater understanding.

  • 6. Take action

  • Taking time out of your day to do something other than work can help lift up your mood. Providing service, planning a trip, taking time to meditate and living in the moment can bring a sense of completeness to your life. You can also compliment others, shorten your commute, do something you love and work less.

  • 7. Be outside

  • The world is a beautiful place. Get outside and away from all busyness of life. Take a deep breath and enjoy nature.

  • 8. Show gratitude

  • Tell others that you are thankful, but also keep track of things you are grateful for each day. Forgive mistakes. Share your experiences and give people gifts. A more selfless attitude almost always leads to happiness.

  • 9. Manage stress

  • Stress can take over you life if you let it. Look at your daily routine and choose five things you don't need to do. Or look around your home and think of five items to donate. It's amazing how uplifting decluttering can be.

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  • 10. Be yourself

  • You have a special spirit and energy about you. Don't be afraid to be you. Focus on developing yourself before you worry about others.

  • 11. Be committed

  • Set goals and follow through with them. Avoid over scheduling yourself, but keep your promises. Pledging to being happy will help you focus your life.

  • 12. Create backup plans

  • Surprises happen, so always have a backup plan. Keep your eyes open for any new opportunities. Having an open mind will help you be happier when things don't go as planned.

  • 13. Write a daily journal

  • There will be times when your journal can become a source of comfort and reflection. Write down your happy memories and see how far you've come over the years.

  • 14. Spend time with animals

  • You can't help but smile at a cute dog or cat. If you don't have an animal in your life, that's okay. There are plenty of pictures and videos online, or pledge to volunteer in an animal shelter.

  • 15. Have a purpose

  • Trials will seem bearable when you recognize a purpose in your life. Find a dream you can hold on to.

  • All of these steps can help you have a happier life, but they won'd do any good if you continue doing the following things:

  • Don't

    • Medicate your sadness with sugar

    • Take rejection personally

    • Hold grudges

    • Be arrogant

    • Gossip

    • Think it's too late

    • Set unrealistic expectations

    • Pity others

    • Procrastinate work or family time

    • Seek revenge

    • Over analyze your decisions

    • Give up during hard times

  • Happiness is yours to take, if you want it. Choose to live a happier life and start small by smiling more and taking care of yourself.

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Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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