Happiness is and will always be one of the most cherished, yet elusive of human desires. Day in and day out, many search for happiness, but often end up disappointed in their search.

The thing is, happiness isn't something that is given to us, nor is it something that you need permission for, or something only for the select few. Happiness is for anyone once they realize that it's something manufactured on a daily basis through intentional actions, beliefs, and choices made.

As you're looking to create more happiness in your life, start with including these 13 suggestions below.

1. Laugh more each day

The average four-year-old laughs 300 times per day while the average forty-year-old laughs four times per day.

The best remedy for a bad or stressful day is to laugh and smile. Laughing is not only something that feels good, it releases endorphins, boosts your immune system, protects your heart, diffuses your anger, and can even help you live longer.

2. Acknowledge your accomplishments

In the pursuit of achieving more, it's tempting to look forward and overlook your current accomplishments. But, in the pursuit of succeeding with your big goal, it's important to break it down into smaller goals.

This helps build momentum quicker and for the pleasurable chemical dopamine to release, which regulates your motivation and reward-learning systems among many other functions.

3. Paint your perfect day

Visualization is one of the most powerful exercises you can do for your brain. If it's good enough for Olympic athletes, then it's good enough for the rest of us to look into.

In fact, a recent study showed that brain patterns activated when a weightlifter lifts heavy weights were similarly activated when they just imagined (i.e. visualized) lifting the weights.

4. Be more selfish

What good are you to the world if you're only showing up as a shell of yourself?

Schedule time for exercising, addressing your mental fitness, eating, journaling, or whatever else is important to you. A healthier and more relaxed you equals a productive and higher performing version of yourself.

5. Surround yourself with the right people

You are the sum of your network. If your close network is negative, then you have a higher likelihood of adopting that outlook on the world, which can affect your health.

Strive to have a team of support and inspiration, rather than a team of discontent and limiting beliefs.

6. Stop time-traveling

Time traveling is only acceptable in Back to the Future. In our lives, time traveling to the past only brings about guilt and regret, neither of which is beneficial to your happiness and health.

Traveling to the future brings feelings of anxiousness and various worries which both affect the quality of your sleep.

For more happiness, focus on what you can control (i.e. the present) and let go of the uncontrollable (i.e. the past and future).

7. Have a go-to song

We all need a pick me up song or two when we're down or need inspiration.

Music is powerful, it's not only full of melodic beats, but it's also a great way to help lower blood pressure and anxiety while boosting your psychological wellbeing and happiness.

8. Give daily gratitude

Gratitude allows you to gain perspective on life, business, and your health. A great idea is to start your day off by writing down three things you're grateful for and ending the night with writing down three amazing things that happened that day.

9. Nourish your body and mind with quality foods

Food extends beyond the role of serving as a tool to dictate your weight. Food is information and serves as a communication tool throughout your body which affects your productivity, mindset, energy levels, and mood.

10. Make daily movement a priority

For me, it's challenging workouts inside a weight room mixed with the occasional sprint sessions. For you, it could be runs in the park, morning yoga sessions, bike rides around the city or something else.

More important than the method is establishing the commitment to make exercise a daily priority.

11. Sleep smarter and longer

Without sleep, your hormones, decision-making, and mood are severely affected. When it comes to happiness and improving your energy levels, getting quality sleep becomes nonnegotiable.

12. Say yes to learning something new

Learning new things rewires your brain and makes it stronger and smarter while also helping against various diseases.

13. Give more

Not only are you helping someone, but you're creating a bigger impact on the world and helping people. By giving, your happiness increases because regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust are activated to create a "warm glow" effect.

Published on: Jun 30, 2017